Sometimes the simplest recipes become total game changers for me. Even though I work from home, my days can be crazy, bouncing in and out of the house, kitchen, office, or various spots on the land. This means, having bulk prepared items available that allow me to get a dish ready to eat within 5-10 minutes so that I can back to doing whatever task is next on the list. And that's where injera comes in.
In December, Camille and I headed up to Canada to see our friends Ron and Nadine from Living Libations. They too run a business from home, have a young boy, and share similar interests in food. During our first morning there, they introduced us to injera, the traditional Ethiopian staple that is sort of like a tortilla meets a crepe but with a delicious nutty flavor. Ron hooked us up with one of his specialties that consisted of warmed injera, a smear of goat cheese, a few strips of lamb bacon, and sunflower sprouts. It was a perfect mid morning snack that kept me satiated until well past noon. Once we got home, I immediately placed an order for more teff flour and upon arrival, started making injera by the dozens.
A Traditional Fermented Food, Naturally Gluten Free
Injera has a long history of use in Ethiopia and became a staple grain because for many reasons. Tiny in size and lightweight, teff grains were easily transported and it is said that a handful of teff could sow a large field.
Fermenting the flour and water helps to reduce phytic acid, making the finished product more nutritious, and easier to digest. Naturally gluten free, teff should be considered an essential ingredient for those avoiding glutenous grains.
How to Use Injera
I find that most commercial tortillas and wraps are way to dense and the gluten free options are way too dry and fragile. Injera covers both bases and holds up to an array of sauces and fillings. My favorite way to incorporate injera into my diet is to serve as a base for fried eggs and sauerkraut. It's easy and filling, without being too dense. Injera is a must for Sunday brunch! Spreads like hummus or harissa add a nice touch too.
How to Make Injera Bread
While there are many variations of injera bread, I prefer to keep mine simple and free of any other flours besides teff. Although, I am intrigued by the addition of a sourdough starter and will experiment with that once I get my starter activated again.
3 cups of teff flour
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
*Having experimented with a few different flours, I have noticed that the some require more flour than the recipe above. Combine enough flour until a pancake like batter is achieved.
- Whisk together the top three ingredients then place in a jar or non reactive bowl and let stand for 24 hours, or until the mixture is bubbly. Any dark liquid that rises to the top can be poured off.
- On a well oiled griddle or cast iron pan, cook 4-6 ounces of batter over medium heat until the top dried out and the edges curl up a bit. There should be no need to flip the injera.
- You can cook off several at a time, let them cool completely, then store in a ziplock bag for a few days in the fridge.