The only ingredients you’ll need for traditionally fermented injera are teff flour, salt, and water — batter texture is the crucial factor, so the exact proportions of flour and water will vary with humidity.
Fermentation TimeFermentation Type: Lacto
Primary Fermentation: 3 to 5 days
Secondary Fermentation: 12 to 24 hours
Total Fermentation Time: 4 to 6 days
Make the sourdough
First time batch
- Combine about 1 cup of light or dark teff flour (or a combination of brown rice flour and teff) with enough cool water to form a thick batter.
- Place in a jar with enough room for the sourdough to expand by at least 50 percent.
- Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, stirring once a day.
- If the lid is airtight, you’ll need to open it once or twice to allow excess gas to escape.
- The ersho is ready when bubbles form quickly and a tangy, slightly yeasty aroma and flavor develop.
- Either in the same (emptied) sourdough vessel or in a bowl, combine 1 cup or more of teff flour with enough water to form a thick batter.
- Add a few tablespoons of ersho and mix in.
- Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, or until the desired tang is achieved.
Prepare the absit (optional)
- Remove about 1/16 of the total ersho and set the rest aside.
- Heat 4 times as much water as the amount of ersho removed to boiling, and then drizzle in the ersho, whisking constantly.
- Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture just begins to boil.
- Turn off the heat and continue to stir until it’s about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can set the pot in a bowl or sink filled with cool water to speed this along.
- Whisk the absit back into the main batter and ferment for 12 hours, then use or refrigerate.
Preparing the batter
When you’re ready to make the injera, stir the batter and thin with enough water to make a batter slightly thicker than you’d use for crepes, but thinner than pancake batter. You can add salt now or after cooking. (Be sure to reserve a few tablespoons of ersho for your next batch). If you want to make them super bubbly, add about 1/8 teaspoon baking powder or a pinch of baking soda for every cup of batter.
- Heat a cast-iron or nonstick grill (the mitad) to about 325 to 350 degrees. If using the stovetop, start at medium-low heat and adjust as needed. Apply a very light layer of oil to cast-iron skillets.
- For an 8- to 10-inch injera, pour about 1/2 cup of batter into the pan, either by pouring a spiral or by pouring into the center and rotating the pan. Cook until bubbles appear all across the surface, and then cover with a lid and allow to steam for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove injera without flipping, and place on a clean flour sack or paper towel, and cover with another towel (a substitute for the mesob).
- Once cooked, you can keep the injera for 3 to 4 days, but it’s best eaten fresh.
Learn more about the history of injera in Injera Inspiration.