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