Cooking for Reddit (Part 2 of 3): Injera!
Ethnic foods. I love cooking them, but Ethiopian always seemed to be the one that managed to escape me. Going to an Ethiopian restaurant is a blast–the food is fantastic, they use a bevvy of spices, and most importantly–you get to eat with your hands! One of the hallmarks of Ethiopian food is injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread that you use to pick up the food with. Personally, I find it delicious, and it absorbs the flavors of the various dishes.
So, anyways–injera. Injera is made mostly out of teff, a grass-like grain that is highly nutritious. This bag? Well, it was only $8 at Whole Foods! I know, madness. After doing a massive amount of research, one thing became clear–this would not be an easy undertaking. The “quick” version of injera takes five days to make. Normally, it takes at least a week. Those of you who know me know that I have the patience of a five year old…so the decision to go for five-day injera was an easy one.
Recipe after the break!
- Teff flour
- Self-rising flour
Instructions for Starter
- 3/4C water (room temperature)
- 1/2C teff
- pinch of active yeast
- Mix ingredients together in a tupperware container. Cover loosely with a lid.
- Leave mixture alone for two days. You should see it start to rise/bubble a few hours after mixing. DO NOT TOUCH IT (no matter how tempting)!
- 1/3C teff flour
- 1/2C water
- Stir starter and add in the ingredients to feed it. Again, cover loosely with a lid and leave it alone until day 5.
- Add in another 1/3C flour and 1/2C water. Cover loosely with a lid and let it rise/ferment for 4 hours.
- 2C teff starter (should be everything you made)
- 2C self-rising flour
- Run the starter through a food processor or blender, without interruption, for 2-3 minutes. The grittiness of the mixture should be gone.
- Stir in the flour and add water until it has the consistency of pancake or crepe batter. You want something that is very thin–it should look like the picture below, bubbles and all:
- Let the batter sit for another 4-6 hours, somewhere draft-free.
- So, for this step, you’ll want a giant pan, a couple of plates, and some wax paper.
- One plate is for cooling and another is for placing the cooled injera on. The wax paper goes between each one.
- Heat the pan up for a few minutes until it’s super hot. Ladle out a good amount of the batter and spread it around the pan, almost like you were making an omelet. It should be pretty thin.
- Let is cook. You’ll start seeing bubbles form on the batter. Don’t remove it until they’ve all burst and it’s cooked through.
- Once the injera is done cooking, place it on a plate to cool for a minute or so. Once the minute is up, you can start ladling the next piece of injera (while the previous one cools).
- When the newest piece of injera is done cooking, move the cooling one to the “storage” plate and the other piece to cool. Repeat the process until everything is cooked.
- That’s it! Once it fully cools, you should be able to easily roll it up, which is exactly how they serve it in restaurants! Enjoy!!