What is Injera and Teff Flour?
I love Phoenix.
There are so many reasons to love this city, but I think that the food is one of the best things about it. Since we’re so close to Mexico, it’s probably not a surprise that our Taco Tuesdays are unmatched. Exploring the food scene has made me more and more curious about the foods commonly found in other cultures. In this food journey, I’ve discovered Ethiopian food as well, which is really distinctive and unique to most Western culinary experiences.
One common staple of Ethiopian diet is injera, which is a spongey, crepe-like sour bread. Ethiopians eat it with almost every meal as a staple. Using your hands, injera is commonly used to scoop up stews or curry, tearing it off to create a spoon. Made of teff flour, injera has a unique flavor when used in this fermented form. Teff is the smallest grain in the world and is native to Ethiopia. It’s high in fiber, protein and iron, so it is packed with nutrition. In fact, it’s a whole grain–and gluten-free, too!
Many people don’t love the sour taste of injera, so you can always skip the fermenting part of the recipe and just cook it. This method will produce a more traditional bread, similar to a pancake. The best part is imagining all the things you can scoop into it. Soup is a great choice, but curry, hummus, or any kind of dip would be great too! If you are trying to recreate an authentic Ethiopian dish, try pairing injera with meat stews, lentil dishes, or with vegetables or cheese.
Making injera makes me feel more connected to those who live and work in our Ethiopian field office. It allows me to appreciate global ingredients and how food connects us all.
Injera Recipe Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups teff flour (available at Whole Foods, Walmart, or Amazon)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- In a medium-size bowl, stir together teff flour, salt, and water.
- If you want to recreate the authentic, fermented version of injera, let the mixture sit, covered, for 1 to 3 days. (Optional)
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Next, add in oil and swirl it to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour in 1/3 of the batter, or enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Cover and let cook until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- For presentation, roll injera into little rolls (as if a small hand towel). Cover loosely with a towel until ready to serve.
Other recipes you may enjoy:
Philippines: Taste The World: Chicken Adobo Recipe
West Africa: Taste The World: Emudro Recipe
Peru: Taste The World: Causa