As I strolled down Marshall Street past the usual, repetitive options, I was suddenly overcome by the unfamiliar scent of coriander and curry near Shirt World. Curiosity won my nose over as, I was led to the door of a restaurant I had never seen before: Moghul Indian Grill.
Upon my investigation, I realized this mysterious place was something I could only think of in my dreams, and had never imagined possible in real life. Moghul is a Chipotle-style Indian restaurant.
In 2006, family members Atta, Imran, Kamran, and Adnan Khan, as well as Jawad and Faraz Saleen, opened the first Moghul Indian Grill in Vestal, New York. The family as spent 25 years cooking their own recipes and making their own sauces before deciding to share their delectable creations with the public.
After Moghul opened a location on the Binghamton University campus in 2014, the people of Syracuse garnered a desire for this delicious Indian cuisine. They demanded Moghul share its magic on campus, and on October 12th the company granted them their wish.
Although it’s only been open a couple of weeks, the restaurant has already seen a lot of business and positive feedback, with a five-star review on Yelp. They already have a selling rate of about 50-70 mango lassis, mango-yogurt smoothies, per day.
Co-owner Jawad Saleen described the appeal of this place as “easy and quick.” They have a variety of options and all a customer has to do is choose one meat, two veggies, and a sauce. Within minutes, a customized wrap, salad or rice bowl is in the customer’s hands, ready to be devoured alongside fluffy homemade naan bread.
Jayman Patel, 4th year med student at UpState Medical University, said, “I don’t think I’ve eaten anything besides here since it opened.” He enjoys the kati rolls, and says they are even better than the ones in New York City.
Another customer said she loves that her food was “fresh.” She is absolutely correct. According to Saleen, Moghul makes every single menu ingredient fresh daily. The workers get to the restaurant early in the morning and prepare everything fresh. When they run out, they cook more batches in the kitchen to have new food ready for later customers. Whether it’s 11am or almost 10pm, a customer gets the same quality and freshness in their food.
Pictured above is my rice bowl: basmati rice, chicken kabob and mild chicken, mixed vegetables, chana masala, potatoes, and a masala sauce. On the side is a piece of naan and fried dough filled with potatoes and vegetables. Every bite was wildly flavorful and satisfying.
In Jawad Saleen’s words, Moghul Indian Grill is “innovation in Indian food.” I truly could not agree more and highly recommend you experience this cutting edge new joint. If you’re studying and can’t make it to Marshall Street, the restaurant will offer delivery through GrubHub starting in about a week so you can take a customized mouthful of India, without ever leaving the library.
If you go:
Moghul Indian Grill
121 Marshall Street, Syracuse, NY; (315) 925-4987
Hours: Monday–Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm
Sit down/Take-out/Both: Both