Where can you find a place to satisfy any spice level from zero to fiery hot and any food preference for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike? Where else but Mausam, located on Paterson Plank road in Secaucus.
It is a place for all seasons – as its name would imply – and plays host to all types of gatherings within its restaurant, two banquet halls, lounge, and bar.
Owners and married couple Sankalp and Trusha, both 31, have known each other since the first grade and attended the same high school and college. It was in college that they got to know one another. They became the first two individuals from their family to make the journey from Gujarat, India to the United States. Sankalp arrived during the summer of 2001 and Trusha joined him at the start of 2002.
“For any season, for any community, we can change the mood accordingly.” – Sankalp Trivedi
When naming their restaurant, they wanted it to appeal to all people for all types of gatherings.
“For any season, for any community, we can change the mood accordingly,” said Sankalp Trivedi of the purpose behind the name.
The restaurant has a modern flare to it with subdued lighting and a mix of booths and tables.
The lengthy menu has many options to choose from: Appetizers ranging from $4-$9; kati rolls priced at $7-$8; Tandoori vegetable and meat dishes ranging from $9-$18; Tandoori platters (one of which includes lobster and salmon for $40); soups priced at $3-4; vegetarian, chicken, lamb, goat, and seafood main courses ranging from $9-$19, and a whole assortment of breads/naan and rice as well as desserts and traditional Indian drinks.
Northern Indian influence with a twist
Mausam's cuisine is based on Northern Indian cooking but draws from other regions to accommodate different spice levels. Sankalp Trivedi collaborates with Chef Gomes, who has over 25 years of experience, and two others to design the items on the menu. Some of them include an Indo-Chinese fusion. Amongst the chefs there is an appetizer chef, a Tandoori chef, and a curry chef.
Two popular appetizers include the vegan Samosa ($4), a crispy, floury dough with spicy boiled potato stuffing inside, and Chicken 65 ($7), crispy chicken sautéed with curry leaves and spices, a delicious mix of sweet and spicy.
Special spices and delicate flavoring
The owners import spices from India to ensure they get the desired flavoring for Mausam's dishes. You can taste the flavor in every dish including the Lamb Chops ($14), cooked to perfection in Tandoori spices and served with chutney. Another specialty, Lamb Roganjosh ($14), offers a tender-cooked and flavorful dish of lamb pieces in onion curry with yogurt and special spices. They have their own version of the popular Chicken Tikka Masala ($13) cooked with fenugreek sauce and delightfully flavored. A good accompaniment or plenty on its own is the Chicken Biryani ($10) basmati rice cooked with a delicate blend of spices, onions, cashews, raisins and chicken.
The choices on the menu are endless for those of you who prefer non-meat dishes. The Veg Jalfrazi ($10) adds a sweet tasting, hinting of Indo-Chinese flavoring, to a mélange of roasted vegetables. Dal Tadka ($9), yellow lentils sautéed with ginger, garlic, onions, tomato and red chili, offers a mild contrast and goes well with the light, fluffy toasted garlic or plain Naan ($2-3). The Veg Biryani ($9) is basmati rice cooked with a nice variety of garden vegetables and herbs.
For dessert, the Galub Jamun ($3), golden brown dough rounds soaked in syrup, was sweetness exemplified. After a meal full of flavors that bring your tongue to life, this savory treat offered a lovely closing to the evening.
After 10 years of marriage, the Trivedis know what makes a partnership work and hope to continue to grow their business, especially in catering to Indian weddings, which tend to last several days. This summer they’ve seen weekends filling up with bookings for the banquet hall that holds up to 185 people and the smaller hall that holds up to 60 people.
In the meantime, they will continue to entice visitors with the myriad of options on their menu and deliciously prepared meals full of incredible flavor for every season of the year.
Mausam is located on 1150 Paterson Plank Road in Secaucus, NJ. For more information contact: 201-869-FOOD (3663) or visit: http://www.mausamnj.com/