Masouleh | Rogers Park/West Rogers Park | Middle Eastern | Restaurant
Rogers Park storefront specializing in the Persian cuisine of northern Iran.

Our Review

Masouleh specializes in home-style Persian food—stews, soups, and small sides, many based more on vegetables than meat. While Goly Nassiri-Masouleh works the front of this likewise homey Rogers Park restaurant, her husband, Azim, works the kitchen, laboring over regional dishes such as mirza ghasemi, roasted eggplant stewed with tomato and garlic. Gilan, the northern Iranian province where Azim hails from, is noted for its heavy use of garlic, eggs, vegetables, and green herbs that infuse dishes with fresh, grassy flavors. Torshe tareh, for example, is minced sour spinach textured by a small amount of cracked rice and flavored with garlic, cilan­tro, parsley, and a minty dried herb called khol wash, from a dwindling stock Azim’s sister brought over from Iran. Other specialties include zaytoon parvardeh, a side dish of olives marinated in a mixture of garlic, chopped walnuts, pomegranate syrup, and a touch of golpar, a spice that comes from the giant hogweed and is sometimes called Persian marjoram. Then there’s the mirza ghasemi, the region’s most famous food, which is similar to the northern-Indian dish baigan bharta but for the addition of scrambled egg. The menu also includes a triumvirate of three classic Iranian khoureshte, stews: vegetable beef with green herbs (ghormeh sabzi); eggplant, beef, and yellow split peas (gheimeh bademjan); and chicken in a thick walnut-pomegranate sauce (fesenjan). And every weekend Azim prepares a more labor-intensive northern dish as a special, for example, morghe torsh, chicken and yellow split peas seasoned with garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, dill, parsley, mint, and khol wash and finished off with scrambled egg. There are kebabs as well, but why bother with the ordinary when you can eat like an Iranian?

Mike Sula

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