Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lentil Sambusas

I discovered a love of Ethiopian food when I was living in Kenya and I've been enchanted ever since. I was recently introduced to an Ethiopian restaurant in Baltimore called Dukem. The menu is fantastic for both meat lovers and vegetarians and everything has been very tasty so far. If you haven't had Ethiopian food yet, I strongly recommend you give it a try.

As soon as I tried their veggie sambusas with lentils, I immediately knew I wanted to try and recreate them. With the help of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and his recipe for Ethiopian lentils, which I modified a bit to suit my tastes, I had my filling for the sambusas in a jiffy. Although these take a little longer to prepare, they freeze well uncooked and would be great to have on hand to pop in the oven when you are looking for something different for dinner. Make smaller sambusas and serve as a great little appetizer at your next party. No matter what size you make them, I can guarantee these will be big on flavor!

Lentil Samusas

Lentil Sambusas
Makes 8

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 c dry red wine
2 c vegetable stock
1 c lentils
1/2 pkg phyllo dough, thawed

In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute until tender. Add paprika, ginger, allspice, cayenne, coriander, cardamom, and cumin seed, and saute for 30 seconds. Add red wine, vegetable stock, and lentils, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 375. Remove phyllo dough from package and unroll. Cover with slightly damp tea towel. Remove one sheet, brush with olive oil, layer with another sheet. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 4 sheets. Cut sheets in half lengthwise for 2 long strips. On the corner of one sheet, place about 1/4-1/2 c lentil mixture. Fold sheet over and fold like a flag making a triangle shape. Fold all the way to the end, sealing the overlap with oil. (For a visual demonstration, check out this link) Place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Place into preheated oven and bake 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until sambusas are golden brown and flaky. Serve and enjoy!


Jan Scholl said...

I will be making these tomorrow! I love lentils but never can find the phyllo dough in my small town so I am dispatching hubby to Whole Foods in the Detroit area after he visits the auto show. I made an African sweet potato stew last night. The whole house smells wonderful!

Phyllis Sommer said...

mmm...this looks yummy. might be just the thing for a cold day tomorrow. then again, i'd have to go out and get the phyllo. but it might just be worth it. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been checking out your site for a long time now ... and will definitely try this! Our son is Ethiopian and we're always looking to bring some African cuisine into our home!

Courtney said...

mmmm, these look heavenly! i'm constantly looking for ways to include lentils in my cooking, so thanks!
are you in baltimore? i love finding out that my favorite bloggers are in the same town as me! :)

Fiber said...

Jan - hopefully you found the phyllo. It can be quite tricky to find! How did they turn out??

Phyllis - these are perfect for a nice cold day. You'll have to let me know how yours went.

Anon - what a great reason to try new recipes. I'd love to hear what others you've tried and loved!

Courtney - so am I. I love them, but I don't find enough uses for them. And no, I'm actually in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but my boyfriend lives and works in Baltimore so I frequent there quite a bit.

jackie said...

dukem is the favorite DC ethiopian restaurant of my ethiopian friend who lives there. that's great that they have opened a second location, too!

our local ethiopian place here in NC closed, sadly, and i have been craving nothing else so much as some good sambusas for a month--thanks for the recipe!

Ashley said...

great post! i love ethiopian food! this sounds really good :)

Dori said...

These look really great! I love foods like this :)

Anonymous said...

I love lentils too,and these look so great!

Fiber said...

Jackie - that's horrible that your local restaurant closed. I wish I had one closer too. Dukem is about an hour away from me, but so well worth the drive!

Ashley - so do I. I'm hoping to be able to make some more dishes and post them soon!

Meeso - thanks!!

Food's - You can never have enough lentils. They are so versatile and easy to make too!

Angry Asian said...

thank you for posting this recipe. i haven't been to dukem's in awhile, their service is just so... slow. their food almost makes up for it tho. i looove ethiopian food and will def. have to try this!

Katherine Elizabeth said...

This is exactly the recipe I was looking for. I had a bag of lentils in my cupboard I needed to use. It is simmering on the stove now. Thanks! It smells amazing.

Katherine Elizabeth said...

The first time I had eaten Ethiopian was at Dukem's when I was going to Hopkins. I live in Atlanta now and have had this bag of lentils in my cupboard for a few months. This recipe is perfect (and I had all the ingredients on hand). It is now simmering on my stove top and smells amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe!