Moghul impresses. Open since 1991, this restaurant, which offers fine Indian dining, is one of the Safersteins go-to places for exceptional Indian food. Our other choice, owned by the same family, the Mehtanis, is Mehndi in Morristown, and is equally outstanding. If possible, go with a group as dishes are meant for sharing.
Paper-thin papadum, (crackers), with two sauces, mint and tamarind, are placed on the table when seated. We also ordered a basket of three breads: cheese paneer naan, onion kulcha, and aromatic garlic naan and watched them, as well as other tandoor items, being cooked in the kitchen which looks out into the dining room through a glass window.
Vegetable Pakora comprising a variety of crispy, flour-battered pieces of vegetables were a perfect starter as was the Ragda Pattice, containing fried, seasoned mashed potato medallions served with a spicy and colorful sauce of chickpeas, corn, pomegranate seeds, onion and tomato. The potatoes reminded us of an Indian version of potato latkes.
Peshawari Kebab were char grilled, tender and flavorful, cubes of boneless leg of lamb that had been marinated in seasonings. Enticing aromas came from a second lamb dish, the Gosht Roganjosh, a lamb stew with a red sauce that we kept dipping our bread into. Both were first-rate.
We compared the Murgh Tikka Masala, a classic dish with chunks of boneless chicken cooked in the tandoor and finished in a creamy tomato based gravy, to chicken cacciatore but much more robust because of the Indian spices and seasonings.
One of our favorites, Baingan Mirch Ka Salan, was an eggplant/green pepper dish made intense from the spicy peanut and tamarind sauce with tempered mustard, red chilies and curry leaves. Equally deserving of praise was the Dal Makhani of creamy, black lentils cooked overnight on low heat. We scooped it over the aromatic basmati rice.
Gajar Halwa, our favorite Indian dessert created with slow cooked grated carrots was shared along with Gulab Jamun, deep fried knobs made from powdered milk, cottage cheese and flour soaked in a saffron-flavored sugar syrup. Both were gobbled up.
We felt pampered at Moghul. Chairs were comfortable, service attentive, silverware replaced and heated plates used for the hot dishes.
Owners are Sneh, who won the 2013 restaurateur award given by the New Jersey Restaurant Association, and her husband, Satish Mehtani. Their son Shaun is president of the Mehtani Restaurant Group. Their other properties include: Mirage (an event space) and Ming in Edison; SM23, Mehndi and Ming II in Morristown.
Open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 3 PM; dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 PM.
1655 Oak Tree Road (lower level)
A variety of dishes at Moghul.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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