Techies by Day, Chefs by Night: Two Indian Women Serve Flavors of India at Fomo Momo Food Truck in USA

Indian staples like idli, dosa, samosa and chaat have already won over the hearts and palates of Americans as evident from Chai Paani in North Carolina, which was named the States’ most outstanding restaurant in 2022. The new ambassador of Indian street food to have journeyed from the bustling markets of Delhi to America’s busiest thoroughfares is Momos with desi flavors that have enthralled the tastebuds, both American and Indian, equally.

Catering platefuls of momos, dim sums, and dumplings is Fomo Momo Food Truck, a ‘passion’ project by two Indian tech professionals living their American Dream thousands of miles away from home. Driven by nostalgia and longing for authentic Indian momos, Ankita Nagpal and Impreet Sodhi teamed up to enrich the cosmopolitan food scene of northeast USA with Indianized versions of Tibetan dumplings. Their food truck stands out amidst the brick-and-mortar retail stores for its vibrant pink flamboyance in Central Avenue – one of the bustling shopping districts in Jersey City, NJ.

Fomo Momo Food Truck New Jersey, Indian food business USA, Indian food trucks in NY and NJ

PC: Fomomousa | Instagram

Unlike Shama Joshi who gave up her Microsoft career to become a food entrepreneur in Seattle, the owners of Fomo Momo Food Truck did not make any such sacrifice yet. They juggle both their full-time jobs and the evening food truck with equal dedication and attention to details. After wrapping up their everyday office work, Ankita Nagpal and Impreet Sodhi get into their ‘chef’ avatars swiftly for a beeline of buzzing foodies waiting to grab bites of ‘FOMO’ momos. As they engage with customers and take their feedback personally, they often lose track of the hours until it’s time to call it a day.

Fomo Momo Food Truck in Jersey City has a well-curated menu for ethnically diverse palates, ranging from spice-loving Indians to spice-sensitive Americans. It features a variety of flavors in steamed and fried versions for veg and non-veg lovers. Ankita and Impreet attribute the success of their joint venture to the versatility and adaptability of Indian street food. Bites of chicken Manchurian momos won’t let you crave chili chicken. Their Schezwan momos fulfil your longing for flavorful Mumbai bhel or jhalmuri of Kolkata. Tandoori momos, among their bestsellers, make a perfect alternative to tandoori chicken.

You name a flavor, they have it. Be it buttery makhani, Afghani, or smoky tandoori momos, they serve it with rich sauces. The familiar sense of contentment they see on the faces of their Indian customers evokes memories of their own younger selves devouring Indian momos in the streets of Delhi.

It was what Ankita and Impreet dearly missed, after moving to the US. It was what unsettled them though they were happily settled in their pursuit of American Dream, until their paths crossed at a social gathering. Their husbands are college friends. They forged a bond over their mutual love and longing for authentic Indian food (especially momos), which strengthened from friendship to business partnership. They hatched a plan to hit the streets of New Jersey and New York with a food truck at their first meeting itself.

From the very beginning, their shared vision was clear – to recreate Delhi’s vibrant street food scene in the heart of New Jersey. For Ankita Nagpal and Impreet Sodhi, Fomo Momo Food Truck is not just an entrepreneurial venture but also a means to nurture their umbilical cord with their roots and celebrate their home country’s culinary diversity. Evidently, it was not a piece of cake. Full-time IT jobs and everyday family duties did not subdue their appetite, passion, and commitment. They started experimentation using various spices and herbs to create the right balance of flavors and sought feedback from friends.

Once the recipes were honed to perfection, they put in marketing efforts, such as distributing complimentary samples from door to door, creating educative content on the subtle difference between momos and dim sums, and inviting prospective customers to take part in various activities, and engaging them with the titbits of India’s street food culture. In 2021, they started with an Indian street food stall at Smorgasburg Food Festival in NJ. Foodies from different communities started taking a fancy to their fusion momos with flavorful fillings.

The overwhelming response there encouraged them to make it to Smorgasburg Food Festival in New York, where their momos and dim sums found the same outpouring of love. Thus, what started as a food stall became a thriving business venture on bigger wheels. The transition was the hardest, yet the most rewarding journey for the techie duo. Though located in Central Avenue, Fomo Momo Food Truck with a live kitchen, travels to hotspots across New Jersey and New York. You may spot them also at Smorgasburg World Trade Centre, a popular outdoor food market in the Big Apple.

The techies – Ankita Nagpal and Impreet Sodhi – are good at branding too. They coined the name ‘Fomo Momo’ drawing upon the fear of missing out on succulent, delectable momos with fusion flavors. The mascot of their business is a modern Indian woman exuding a cool demeanor in a traditional attire and raising her left eyebrow to invite you for an unforgettable indulgence. The food truck with a vibrant pink look is easily identifiable at popular hotspots teeming with the locals.

This exclusive story is part of the series, Indian Life in America, by Indian Eagle, a most trusted travel-booking partner of Indian Diaspora in the USA. Subscribe to Travel Beats, a thriving community portal by Indian Eagle, for overseas Indian community stories, US-India travel news, visa and immigration updates.

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