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.
- 1½ cups of teff flour
- 2 cups water
- Remaining Ingredients
- ½ tsp salt
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- 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.
- When ready to cook, add salt to taste (about ½ tsp).
- Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat and lightly oil.
- 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).
- 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.
- Cool, then store rolled up or flat between layers of wax paper to keep them from sticking.
- Serve with Ethiopian dishes on top. Eat by scooping up the stews with bite-size pieces of injera.
-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.