Tawakal Halal Cuisine is in its infancy, having just opened in October, but StevieC says the East African spot is worth some CHOW-ish attention.

There are sambusas (much like Indian samosas), stuffed with meat, fish, or vegetables, with a coconut-curry flavor. “The meat sambusas were great, the fish less so due to overseasoning,” says StevieC. At $1.50 a pop they are an insane bargain.

StevieC didn’t try the other appetizers, kebabs and bajiya—black-eyed pea fritters served with basbaas, zippy chile-lemon sauce—focusing instead on the chicken and beef biryani (“nice flavor profile, though the meat of both was overcooked”). He also ordered chapati, which was disappointing—”super-thin, greasy, and too chewy.” Somali chapati, by the way, is more like Indian paratha, flaky and layered, than Indian chapati, which is a flatbread. But the muufo baraawe, a classic Somali bread made from corn flour, was unique and wonderful: “I haven’t had anything quite like it,” says StevieC. The breads are another bargain at $1.50 to $2 apiece, and each of the biryanis was around $10.

judej, another early adopter, tried the chapati fish wrap, which turned out to be “a puffy wheat bread seasoned with cumin, two pieces of fried fish (probably tilapia) and corn … carrots, and raisins with curry spices and served with coconut hot sauce for $3.99.”

Tawakal Halal Cuisine [East Boston]
1004 Bennington Street, Boston

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