Pooja Indian Cuisine in Somerset NJ

I was in the neighborhood of my old workplace, and decided at the last minute to treat myself to a solo lunch. I hate eating alone, but I knew that going to an Indian buffet would be both quick and satisfying, and worthy of going it alone. Besides, with the impending snowstorm, I wanted to load up as if getting ready to hibernate.

Pooja's lunch ends at 2:30, and since I got there at 2:05, I was given a fair warning to serve myself everything I wanted before they closed the buffet station. There was a large group of diners at one table who were discussing the merits of the old "In Living Color" television show, and I wanted so badly to chime in, but instead I shut my trap by shoving forkfuls of delicious Indian food into it. 

For my first course, I drizzled yogurt onto my chickpea salad and had vegetable fritters with mint and onion chutney. My second course was chicken curry, saag masala, and egg biryani, with naan bread on the side. For dessert, I had my favorite rice pudding with crushed almonds and pistachios in it.

The buffet actually offered more than my selections above, but I never go overboard in trying everything even at a buffet. I'm sure there is something for everyone here!

P.S. It seems they raised the price from the last time I went, but it's still a bargain for this complexly prepared comfort food.

--- Original post below from 9/22/11 ---

My apologies in advance for the poor quality of these iPhone photos, because they certainly don't do Pooja any justice.  I always hated strip malls, because they detract from the quality of some establishments, and Pooja is one of them.  On the outside it's not some place I'd spot and say, I must try that!, but it ended up being exactly that.  All my friend had to say was "lunch buffet."

I loved loved loved the chicken tikka masala at Pooja.  It was very buttery, for better or worse.  I also loved reading the menu with Pooja's pledge to making authentic food because it definitely showed in their cooking. Along with my chicken, I also tried their saag paneer and cauliflower dishes, which were not as divine but still very good.  I ended lunch with a hearty custard, which had the consistency of sweet potato.

My share ended up to be $11 after tax and tip, since none of us ordered any drinks.  It was the first time for all of us, but now we know where to go for quick, cheap, yet satisfying lunches.

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