Ethiopian cuisine is one of my absolute favourites. I love everything about it: the wonderful flavours, the fact that it is a sharing meal so I can try many different dishes. I even love using eating with teff injera 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 I can’t find anywhere that makes injera without wheat. What is a gluten free foodie to do?
The answer, of course, is learn to cook Ethiopian food at home!
What is injera?
The base of all Ethiopian meals is teff injera.
- Injera is a spongy sourdough pancake.
- Teff is a gluten free seed that has a rich, nutty flavour. It has a yeast that naturally lives on the seed, so it ferments very quickly.
- In restaurants injera is serves as giant pancake with various stew-like dishes served on top. Small hunks of injera are used to pick up the stew for eating. See photo at the bottom of the post for photos of Brad eating with injera.
Teff Injera -Ethiopian Flatbread
Ethiopian food is often served with teff injera. It is a naturally fermenting sourdough flatbread. Injera has a deliciously nutty and sour flavour that nicely compliments traditional spiced stews. See the bottom of the post for links to stew recipes.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Sourdough
- Cuisine: Ethiopian
- 1 1/2 cups of teff flour
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg (see notes)
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- Mix the teff and water in a glass container. Leave it somewhere warm to ferment for 12-24 hours. It should develop into a nice bubbly starter pretty quickly.
- When you are ready to cook, beat in one egg and add salt to taste (about 1/2 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. Injera is traditionally cooked only on one side. It is supposed to be quite wet and soft on the other side. However, if you want to cook both sides, make smaller pancakes and flip them.
- Serve right away, or allow them to cool, then store between layers of wax paper to keep them from sticking.
- Look for teff flour in African grocery stores, in the gluten free area of a health food store, or online (affiliate link.)
- Traditional recipes don’t use an egg. However, it is difficult to prevent injera from sticking to the pan and falling apart without some sort of binder. Most restaurants replace up to 1/2 the teff in their injera with wheat flour. I added the egg to keep this recipe 100% teff. If you want to make it egg free, then no replacement for the egg is necessary. Either make really small pancakes, or replace part of the teff with wheat flour.
- To make really large injera you need to invest in an injera pan. Otherwise, just make smaller injera in a frying pan.
- See the section below for links to my favourite injera stews.
Keywords: gluten free,sourdough, crepes, pancakes, traditional, teff, vegetarian, dairy free, nut free, soy free, sugar free
Dishes to serve with injera
Here are some of my favourite dishes to serve with injera. Some of these are traditional Ethiopian dishes, but others are not. Injera is really delicious with all sorts of fillings.
- Misir Wat -a spiced red lentil stew (featured in the photo below).
- Shiro Wat – a simple stew made from chickpea flour and flavours.
- Fasolia – green beans and carrots.
- Goman Wot – spinach stew.
- Turmeric Spiced Sauerkraut – A mixed spicy sauerkraut.
- Simple Spiced Cabbage and Potatoes – A traditional vegetable stew made with cabbage, carrots and potatoes.