Even though I adore Ethiopian food, I can’t go to Ethiopian restaurants anymore because of the huge amount of injera you have to eat.  After all injera isn’t just the bread you eat with the meal, it’s the fork and spoon you use to eat your meal.  Last night I decided to indulge in a taste of Ethiopian food by making sambussas.  What I didn’t know was that a sambussa is the African version of an Indian samosa.  I like sambussas more than samosas because they are lighter and crispier.

With extra gyoza skins and a ton of collard greens I recreated the vegetarian sambussas from our favorite DC Ethiopian joint – Meskerem  It’s just like making a won ton.  Just put a tablespoon of filling, brush some egg wash around the edge and seal.  Rather than fill a whole pan full of oil, I did a half inch layer and flipped the sambussa halfway through.  The trick is to keep the sambussa moving so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  The sambussas were fried perfectly (if I do say so myself).  While it didn’t necessarily look like a sambussa, the flavors were exactly right.

Vegetarian Sambussa

1 teaspoon garam masala
4 cups of chopped collard greens (you can use mustard or Swiss chard if you like )
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 tablespoon of Maggi seasoning (can substitute soy sauce if you are in a pinch)

In  a large pan, heat the oil and the garam masala for about a minute to release the flavors of the spice.  Then saute the vegetables in about two or three tablespoons of vegetable oil until soft.  Add the maggi and let it saute for another ten minutes or so.  You want them very soft so they don’t poke through the sambussa skin.   Let cool completely and use to stuff the sambussa skin.  Once stuffed, heat a shallow frying pan with about half an inch of oil.  In small batches put the sambussas in the pan and move around a lot of keep them from sticking to the bottom.  Flip over when they are a golden brown and cook the other side.  Eat and enjoy!

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