Injera -Ethiopian Flatbread

Ethiopian cuisine is one of my absolute favourites. I love everything about it. I love the wonderful flavours, and the fact that it is a sharing meal so I can try many different dishes. I even love the fact that you basically get to use the pancake to eat with instead of a fork. -Eating with my fingers is always fun.-

There is only one thing that makes going out for Ethiopian food difficult… the fact that it is pretty darn spicy and at the moment I live with children who seem to melt from the tiniest bit of heat. What is a foodie to do?

The answer, of course, is learn to cook Ethiopian food at home!

The base of all Ethiopian meals is injera. Injera is a spongy sourdough pancake that is made out of teff.  And teff is a gluten free seed that has a rich, nutty flavour. With that very brief primer taken care of, let’s launch into the recipe.

Injera -Ethiopian Flatbread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Pre-ferment
  • 1½ cups of teff flour
  • 2 cups water
  • Remaining Ingredients
  • ½ tsp salt
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
Instructions
  1. Mix the teff and water, and leave it somewhere warm to ferment for 1-3 days. It should develop a nice bubbly starter pretty quickly.
  2. When ready to cook, add salt to taste (about ½ tsp).
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat and lightly oil.
  4. Put in a small amount of batter, then turn the skillet around so that it forms a thin pancake (though not as thin as a crepe).
  5. Cook slowly on one side until it has firmed up. It is traditionally only cooked on one side, and it is supposed to be quite wet and soft.
  6. Cool, then store rolled up or flat between layers of wax paper to keep them from sticking.
  7. Serve with Ethiopian dishes on top. Eat by scooping up the stews with bite-size pieces of injera.

Notes:
-My starter was frothy within 24 hours. I actually left it for 3 days and found the sour flavour too strong. Teff naturally contains a symbiotic yeast, so watch your starter as it may activate very quickly!
-If you can’t find teff, or if the teff is very expensive then you can replace it with wheat. Often restaurants will replace up to 1/2 the teff in their bread with wheat flour.
-I found it very hard to make large thin pancakes. I probably don’t have the right kind of pan. I just need to sneak into the kitchen at one of my local Ethiopian restaurants to figure out what they are doing. In the meantime, I just made smaller, easier to maneuver pancakes.

 

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