This recipe is for folks like me who don’t own a mitad (a traditional injera griddle), as it produces injera that are smaller than those found in restaurants, making them more manageable to cook. If you’ve already made Ersho, homemade injera will take an additional thirty-six hours to ferment before they can be cooked.
- 3 cups teff flour, any variety (see cooking tip)
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 5 tablespoons Ersho, at room temperature
- 4 cups filtered water, plus more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Per injera: 96 calories, 3 g protein, 1 g fat (0 g sat), 19 g carbohydrates, 39 mg sodium, 43 mg calcium, 3g fiber
Day 1. Make the injera batter. Sift the flour and fenugreek into a large nonreactive bowl. Add the starter and water and whisk until smooth and well blended. Cover with a plate or clean, dry tea towel and let rest undisturbed in a warm, draft free place for 24 hours. In cooler months, put it in an unheated oven or on top of the fridge.
Day 2. If any liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s okay if it’s dark). Gently stir the bubbly mixture, incorporating in any batter clinging to the sides of the bowl or plate. If you used a tea towel and it gets wet at any point, replace it with a dry one. Measure out 1/2 cup of the batter and transfer it to a small saucepan. Cook the batter over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid evaporates and the batter turns into a thick, rubbery dough (once the pan gets hot, this will only take 2 to 3 minutes). Immediately remove from the heat and spread the dough out on a ceramic plate and let cool for 5 minutes. Return the cooked dough to the bowl of teff batter and blend using an immersion blender until smooth and bubbly. Alternatively, blend in batches using a food processor or blender and return the batter to the bowl. The batter should be the consistency of a thick slurry or crepe batter; if it seems too thick, whisk in a little filtered water to thin it out. Cover with a clean, dry tea towel and let rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for 24 hours. In cooler months, put it in an unheated oven or on top of the fridge. A few hours after blending, you should notice that the batter has risen and is actively bubbling. This recipe is for folks like me who don’t own a mitad (a traditional injera griddle), as it produces injera that are smaller than those found in restaurants, making them more manageable to cook. If you’ve already made Ersho, homemade injera will take an additional thirty-six hours to ferment before they can be cooked. Teff sourdough crêpes Makes 16 (7-inch) injera
Day 3. If any dark liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s okay if it’s dark). Add the salt and gently stir the bubbly ersho to combine; it should be the consistency of a thick slurry or thin crepe batter. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of filtered water as needed to thin.
To cook the injera, heat a nonstick flat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Line a counter or table with a large, clean, dry tea towel. Keep another dampened tea towel nearby. Form the injera by pouring 1/ 3 cup of the batter into a disk on the hot griddle. Use the back of a small spoon to quickly and lightly smooth the batter into a 7-inch disk, starting in the center and working in concentric circles until you reach the edges (try to keep the center of the crepe the thickest and the edges the thinnest). The disk should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cover the pan and cook the injera for 3 minutes (do not flip it, as injera are only cooked on one side). Fully cooked, the injera should be dry on the top with little holes that have formed over the entire surface; the bottom should be firm, smooth, and unbrowned. Depending on your cookware and stove, you’ll most likely need to adjust the heat to achieve this. Use a flat, flexible spatula to loosen the injera and then quickly transfer it to the towel-lined surface. Cover it with another clean, dry tea towel.
Use the dampened towel to wipe off any visible starch on the pan or griddle. Repeat the cooking process until the batter is used up. As they cool, the injera will develop a spongy stretchy texture, and they can be stacked without sticking.
Once they’re completely cool, wrap them in a clean, dry tea towel and store them in a tightly closed ziplock bag. Be certain that the injera are dry; otherwise, the bag will collect moisture and the injera will spoil. If you notice any condensation, open the bag to air it out.
Cooking Tip: I prefer injera made from whole-grain brown teff flour, which produces a deep chocolate-brown color. If you want lighter-colored injera that look similar to those served in Ethiopian restaurants or that are sold in Ethiopian grocery stores (the ones sold in stores are generally cut with white flour or barley flour), be sure to purchase ivory teff flour. This recipe can be halved, but since the batter is time-consuming to make, I recommend making a full batch.
l I’ve made injera dozens of times, and I’ve often noticed that mysteriously the first and last ones in a batch don’t turn out that well. If that happens to you, don’t be concerned; just toss them out or put them aside as a snack for the cook.
l The hardest part about making injera is finding the right cookware. I’ve found that injera stick terribly in cast iron, even in a well-seasoned pan. I’ve had great success using a flat, anodized metal griddle and also a ceramic-coated nonstick pan. I use a large lid from a stockpot to cover the pan so the injera can steam a bit as they cook.
l If you have a 14-inch nonstick pan, you can make larger injera. Use 1/ 3 cup of batter, and instead of spreading out the batter with a spoon, just tilt the pan around to spread it. Cover and cook as directed.
Storage Tip: Injera are best eaten the day they’re made, but they’ll stay fresh in a cool spot on the counter for a day or two. After that, store them in the fridge and use them for Katenga or fitfit and firfir.
Injera are most commonly made from teff, but they’re also frequently mixed with or made solely with other grains too. I’ve had success using 50 percent teff and 50 percent white rice flour or sorghum flour. The rice version has a chewier, stickier texture, so be careful when you stack the injera. Other than that, the method and directions are the same.
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Reprinted with permission from Teff Love by Kittee Berns and published by Book Publishing Co., 2015.