Oct 15, 2009

Injera...an Ethiopian Staple

The Ethiopian Princess


The mat I use to carry the injera from the grill to the table to cool...
it is a woven flexible place mat I found a while back.


My injera is it rolled and waiting to be eaten

I buy my teff in bulk from my natural food co-op

Injera is a staple in Ethiopia. It is a flat bread with a very sour taste and rather a spongy texture. Injera is eaten with many stews, meats, sauces and vegetable dishes. I think it is one of those things you either adore or dislike. We happen to adore it, for several reasons:

It's from Ethiopia, we ate the real thing there in January, they don't use utensils-just injera to pick up their food, they not only eat with their hands~ but with their hearts, injera is mild...but much of the food is laced with Berbere which is rather spicy! We are now also Berbere addicts-even Baby Mercy, who is all of 18 months old !


My second attempt at injera...

my first batch happened two weeks after we were home from Ethiopia in January. My husband's Ethiopian friends were impressed that I was making it myself! Mine still needs improvement before Princess Sweetness comes home- though we have been told she likes to cook...so maybe she will teach me how to really make it. (yeah!!)

Berbere spiced tofu, scrambled eggs with fenegreek, injera

Princess Mercy, our Ethiopian girl, approves of Mama's Ethiopian cooking

mmmmmm....

The recipe:
*sour dough starter
salt, to taste
teff wheat (1 lb bag)
warm water-(enough to make dough into a ball and later to thin it)
large bowl
cotton tablecloth...or cooling racks
vegetable oil for grill or large skillet you choose to use
*I add a 1/4 cup of teff sour dough starter to my recipe, I have this on hand always now.


Mix the teff, water, salt together. Knead it until it comes together in a ball, do so until no more lumps (about 10-20 minutes of kneading, if your arms ache you are almost there).

Allow to sit covered for 1-3 days. (I have never been patient enough to wait 3 days, that is why I add the starter right before I am ready to cook it).

When your teff dough has fermented to your liking, begin to add more water, at this point I add in my teff sour dough starter too. You want a very crepe like consistency, thinner than pancake batter. Allow for this to sit for 4-6 hours on your counter...yes, you need to think ahead to make this for dinner. At this point I run it through my blender in small batches, depositing it into a new large clean bowl as it is done being mixed. (save out 1 cup of this mix to use as your sour dough starter...feed it once a week, with milk and teff flour)


Heat up your large skillet. I use my stove top grill...heated to medium high. I add a little vegetable oil that I wipe on with a paper towel, in Ethiopia they don't use oil in their Mitad (the pan). Once the grill is good and hot I begin to cover the whole surface with injera batter-rolling it about to make sure it is thin and as even as you can. I can't roll it on my grill; so I use the back of a ladel to distribute it evenly on the grill surface. Cover the pan or grill (I make an aluminum foil cover for our grill)...the injera needs to steam. It will be done when you see tons of little bubbles (or eyes) rise from the dough-the dough will be dry.

Don't flip it, but carefully lift it off the grill and put it on a waiting cotton tablecloth to cool.

Once cool you can roll them up and they are ready to be eaten. I make enough so we have leftovers for a few days.

***If this sounds like madness to you, email me and I will walk you through it.
King Meemer letting you know that Mama used the Berbere in the eggs and tofu. The kids beg me to baptize everything in Berbere...really! And we don't use a little, we use a lot!

I'd have to say...Berbere is kicking hot!

9 comments:

Sarah Dawn said...

Kimmie,

You continue to encourage me and fill me with ideas! A new friend (who is also passionate about the Lord and adopting from Ethiopia) is taking me to my first Ethiopian food next week. She also wants to try cooking with me, now I have a recipe to start using.

Hugs for your day,
Sarah Dawn

Stephanie said...

Hmmm... we are a family who does *not* care for it. I am a picky eater anyway but tried it while in ET for the sake of experiencing our son's homeland. It took everything in me to choke down a few bites. Josh liked it pretty good the first time. But while in-country, he got really sick [in the bathroom all night!] and traditional Ethiopian cuisine accompanied with injera was what came back up. He was scared to eat anymore for the remainder of the trip. Hopefully we will be ready to try it again when Davis is a bit older and can appreciate the sentiment...

WAY TO GO on making it yourself! I am so intimidated at the thought of trying!

Expat Mom said...

I would love to try making injera, but I don't think I'll have much luck finding teff around here. :( It looks delicious though!

Isabella Kiss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Roselawn said...

Isn't it awesome becoming a part of other cultures? So good for your kids to learn about diversity, too.

"Indescribable" said...

Oh I tried making it once - tasted like very hard dry over wheated pancakes! I need to try it again with the starter. I bet your princess is going to show you how easy it is to make many tasty food items, as well as other crafty type thingys. I will need to sign up for lessons with her.

We love our Berebera on EVERYTHING - well Honey loves it on anything we want her to eat and she doesn't like it....mac & cheese, chicken, pasta, etc.

"Indescribable" said...

Oh I tried making it once - tasted like very hard dry over wheated pancakes! I need to try it again with the starter. I bet your princess is going to show you how easy it is to make many tasty food items, as well as other crafty type thingys. I will need to sign up for lessons with her.

We love our Berebera on EVERYTHING - well Honey loves it on anything we want her to eat and she doesn't like it....mac & cheese, chicken, pasta, etc.

Renata said...

YUM! I love the way you include the girls cultural heritage into your life. Princess Sweetness will love having a little taste of home at her new home.

You asked about potatoes on my blog - I put mine in the ground whole, but I have heard you can cut them. I tried that but at the time the chickens would come & scratch the cut pieces up. One downside of whole is I have up to 3 plants off each potato - don't know if that's right.

Cathy said...

I'll have to try that recipe out. Teff is gluten free?

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