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Cozy Indian storefront offering standout entrees including the house specialty, paneer butter masala.

Our Review

Following the lead of Wicker Park's Cumin, Rangoli set up shop in (gasp!) Humboldt Park to offer South Asian cuisine to not-so-north north-siders willing to cross Western and cutoff-jeans-clad area natives. The spot is cozy, with a vibe less clubby and upscale than Cumin's, and the dishes are solid-to-impressive Indian fare. Deep-fried appetizer staples like the mixed pakora and samosas are right on par, though the pav bhaji—touted as "traditional Indian street food"—is more of a bland mush of vegetable paste than what the menu describes as "a spicy blend of mixed vegetables." But one slight lowlight can’t mar the exceptional entrees, a list of which features a large selection of vegetarian dishes as well as chicken, seafood, and lamb, all served with rice. Palak paneer was nicely balanced both in texture and in spice, and while the malai kofta offered only a pair of the cottage-cheese-based vegetable-stuffed dumplings, my friend still hailed the light cream sauce as rich and filling in the best way possible. The meat-eating crew at the table had equally rave reviews for the chicken tikka masala and Madras lamb korma. Since my most recent visit I’ve had more than one person tell me that the paneer-butter masala, a house specialty, is Rangoli’s transcendent, don’t-talk-I’m-eating entree. But there’s always next time, and the time after that, and the time after that.

Kevin Warwick

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Price: $$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

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