Jaspal Bhandari: Bringing the Flavors of Uttarakhand to Delhi, One Mandua Roll at a Time

भंडारी जी के हाथों से बने मडुवे के रोल की बात ही अलग है, दिल्ली में फेमस कर रहे हैं पहाड़ी ज़ायका
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Pauri: People from the divine land of Devbhoomi have made a mark in various parts of the country and even abroad. More than just making a name for themselves, they have also popularized the culture, attire, and cuisine of the hills in all directions. Today, we spotlight one such individual. Jaspal Bhandari, hailing from the mountains of Uttarakhand, is introducing the residents of Delhi to the wonders of Mandua (finger millet).

Garhwal Zaika:A Taste of the Hills in Delhi

Jaspal Bhandari runs a food trolley named “Garhwal Zaika” in Burari, Delhi. If the name itself doesn’t draw you in, the menu certainly will. The flavors are sure to captivate anyone. Many migrants start food-related businesses when they move to new places, but few have the unique vision of Jaspal Bhandari.

What Sets Jaspal Apart

You might wonder what sets Jaspal apart. Jaspal Singh Bhandari, son of the late Mangal Singh Bhandari, from the village of Jogida in Nainidanda Block, Pauri district, is putting traditional mountain cuisine on people’s plates. He offers Mandua rolls to the people of Delhi and visitors alike. With these rolls, Jaspal not only earns a livelihood but also introduces people to the delicious and healthy dishes of the hills.

Journey from Mountains to Metropolis

Jaspal left home at the tender age of 15. His journey from a small village in the mountains to Delhi began with a dream to make something of himself. He started working in a hotel at a young age and, over the past 19 years, mastered every aspect of the hotel industry. But Jaspal had bigger dreams; he didn’t want to spend his life just washing dishes.

Family Responsibilities and Pandemic Challenges

Jaspal supports a family of ten and is the sole breadwinner. He lives in Delhi with his mother, wife, and two children. The pandemic severely impacted their financial situation. During the lockdown in 2020, when the hotel business collapsed, Jaspal started a fast food stall near Burari Heera Sweets, serving Mandua dishes to feed his family.

Innovative Menu and Healthy Snacks

In Burari, he prepares egg rolls, veg rolls, paneer rolls, and various other rolls. He even makes noodles with a special Jakhiya (wild mustard) seasoning, which is healthy. Jaspal also sells pulses and other products from his village in Delhi, showing his deep love for Uttarakhand and his commitment to promoting its cuisine.

Pride in Uttarakhand and Its Offerings

Jaspal expresses his pride in being from Uttarakhand. He believes the crops like Mandua, Bhatt (black soybean), and other pulses grown in Devbhoomi are nothing short of nectar. Promoting mountain cuisine everywhere benefits both the people and the mountains. Sharing stories of the hills with Uttarakhand’s youth is also a significant part of Jaspal’s daily routine.

Future Aspirations

Due to the financial strains during the pandemic, Jaspal had to send his family back to the village. However, he continues to work hard and plans to return to his home state soon. Once back, he aims to work more for the promotion of mountain cuisine and for the youth of his village. Indeed, such noble intentions deserve applause. We owe our gratitude to Jaspal Bhandari for taking the cuisine of the hills to new heights.

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