CHICKEN CURRY AT THE TRUCK STOP IN WYOMING
CBS News’ Jim Axelrod reported recently that more than 30,000 Indian-American Sikhs have entered the trucking industry in the last two years. Where the figure comes from isn’t clear, but what’s evident is that many Sikhs are getting behind the wheels of tractor-trailers and giving a boost to an industry facing a record-high shortage of drivers.
Axelrod spoke to Mintu Pandher, who bought a tractor-trailer 13 years ago and now owns nine Peterbilt rigs, as well as a truck stop called Akal Travel Center in Laramie, Wyoming, about two hours from Denver.
“All our trucks are blue and orange,” Pandher told the trucking magazine Overdrive, referring to the team colors of the Denver Broncos. “We’re big fans.”
Catering to the influx of Sikh drivers, Akal Travel Center not only offers Indian food, it also has a small gurudwara where drivers can worship.
A reviewer on Yelp had this to say: “My 3-year-old said she needed to stop and use the potty. … Walked in the store and was immediately hit with the smell of curry. The whole truck stop is family-owned by a very friendly Indian family. The food was delicious and service was awesome. The tandoori oven was down so we got the lamb saag and the mango chicken curry. … Stop by and tell your friends how you ate Indian food at a truck stop in the middle of Wyoming.”
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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