Gandhi Mahal is a full-spice, Bangladeshi/Indian restaurant. My family comes from Bangladesh, and I am pleased to offer you dishes cooked from recipes that have survived in our family for many generations. Our mission is to provide high quality, healthy, locally sourced food that promotes a peaceful mind and experience in a soothing environment.
We are dedicated to the peaceful principles that Mohandas Gandhi advocated in his lifetime. We admire and aspire to his ability to bring diverse people of different beliefs together.
We invite you to join us in creating a special gathering place where people can come together to enjoy exquisite Indian cuisine served with grace and style.
Ruhel gew up in his village home, Bahar Mordan in the city of Sylhet, the North-East region of Bangladesh - the Tea District. The village name literally translates to "Flavor Village". They had land of their own and farming was their main occupation. They were completely self-sufficient and everything they consumed, be it rice or veggies or milk or fish- everything came from their own farmland. The only thing they had to buy was oil.
Ruhel fall in love with the culinary delights those prepared by his mother and grandmother. Wonderful cooks they were and the little boy wanted to prepare delicacies like them. But it was quite a while when he was finally allowed to prepare his own dish. It was an omelet. Ruhel fondly remembers the first ever dish that he prepared with onion, chilies, cilantro, scallions and tomatoes! He loved 'DAAL' prepared by his mother so much that till date he uses the same very old and original recipe that he learnt as a kid. He was also very keen on preparing fish curry out of the fresh fish caught from the pond in his yard.
"I was always an entrepreneur" – says Ruhel with a certain conviction in his voice. He narrates that from as early as about 10 years of age he started his very own poultry farm when he used to save money and bought hens, who laid eggs and when hatched, the chicks were sold to buy new hens. Sometimes he would sell chicken to his mother even! The matter of the fact was that - this boy wanted self sufficiency and financial independence from that very early age.
Mr. M. Saifur Rahman, Finance Minister of Bangladesh for many years and Ruhel's uncle, was of a huge influence on Ruhel. Mr. Rahman knew many, travelled alot, was friend to The Prime Minister of India and had even met Mahatma Gandhi.
Ironically, deep inside, Ruhel was disturbed with the corrupt political system of Bangladesh, where, he observed, the 'bad guys' got away with everything. But he remembered his childhood favorite Westerns and TV shows like the 'X'Files, The A-Team, McGyver – every stories ended with proper justice - which germinated a seed of a profound faith that no matter what, no matter how twisted things may appear, but at the end of the day everyone would be blessed with justice in The United States.
Ruhel began his journey to USA in 1996 where his brother Jamil was already staying in New York. Ruhel worked as a busboy, waiter, food supervisor, eventually as a cook. It was here in New York that Ruhel 'discovered' himself and learnt that he could handle the floor and the kitchen both at the same time. Jamil went to Minneapolis in 1998 and initiated a business called 'Passage to India' as a partner in Uptown. Ruhel followed suit in 2000 and the brothers founded 'Little Taj Mahal' in Dinkytown.
From about 2001 to 2005 Ruhel had been through the toughest time of his life. Back and forth from Bangladesh time and time again with many shocking incidents taking place one after the other during that period – the sad demise of his parents - first dad then mom and aunty thereafter. His uncle Mr. M Saifur Rahman, with whom Ruhel was so close to, fell sick as well. Ruhel stuck by the bed of this ailing man whom he would care for more than anything he could possibly fathom.
Ruhel's family assisted an entire village with supplies of food that were grown in their own land and stock-piled.
Moved to United States - New York was the first city where Ruhel stayed with his brother Jamil.
Jamil started "Passage to India" restaurant as partner in Uptown.
Following Jamil, Ruhel made the move to Minneapolis to open "Little Taj Mahal" in Dinkytown.
Ruhel opens the door to Gandhi Mahal Restaurant.
Ruhel's uncle and mentor, the pride of Bangladesh, Mr. M Saifur Rahman passed away.
Gandhi Mahal celebrates 10th anniversary.
Our mission is to provide high quality, healthy food that promotes a peaceful mind and experience in a soothing environment.
We are dedicated to the peaceful principles that Mohandas Gandhi advocated in his lifetime. We admire and aspire to his ability to bring diverse people of different beliefs together.We invite you to join us in creating a special gathering place where people can come together to enjoy exquisite Indian cuisine served with grace and style.
We believe in a policy of environmental responsibility and sustainable and ethical economics. We achieve this in many ways, from small details such as using containers for leftovers that can be re-used many times – to growing our own food in community gardens and purchasing locally – to donating monetarily and by volunteerism to causes both local and global.
We look forward to serving you.
Peace be yours always,