Prep 72 hrs
Cook 10 mins
I love eating Ethiopian food, and along with the lovely spicy flavors, injera is a principal reason for that. Try this authentic recipe for injera, which requires planning ahead a few days. The batter, which solely consists of ground teff and water, must ferment prior to cooking. I found the recipe upon which this is based at http://www.angelfire.com/ak/sellassie/food/injera.html, a good source for other information on how to serve the finished product. Preparation time is the fermentation time. As a result of a user query (thanks Jennifer!), this recipe was edited on 9/5/04 to improve teff-to-water ratio and to submit additional instructions.
- Mix ground teff with the water and let stand in a bowl covered with a dish towel at room temperature until it bubbles and has turned sour; This may take as long as 3 days, although I had success with an overnight fermentation; The fermenting mixture should be the consistency of a very thin pancake batter.
- Stir in the salt, a little at a time, until you can barely detect its taste.
- Lightly oil an 8 or 9 inch skillet (or a larger one if you like); Heat over medium heat.
- Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the skillet; About 1/4 cup will make a thin pancake covering the surface of an 8 inch skillet if you spread the batter around immediately by turning and rotating the skillet in the air; This is the classic French method for very thin crepes; Injera is not supposed to be paper thin so you should use a bit more batter than you would for crepes, but less than you would for a flapjack pancakes.
- Cook briefly, until holes form in the injera and the edges lift from the pan; Do not let it brown, and don't flip it over as it is only supposed to be cooked on one side.
- Remove and let cool. Place plastic wrap or foil between successive pieces so they don't stick together.
- To serve, lay one injera on a plate and ladle your chosen dishes on top (e.g., a lovely doro wat or alicha). Serve additional injera on the side. Guests can be instructed to eat their meal without utensils, instead using the injera to scoop up their food.
To those who failed with the recipe as written, all I can say is that you did it wrong. This recipe is absolutely authentic (except for he addition of salt and oiling the pan...neither addition makes a true injera ).
The fermentation is key to the flavor, and an adequately hot and well seasoned pan (or if you aren't worried about the the health concerns, a teflon pan) is all you need. Also, as someone earlier pointed out, it takes a while to firm up so don't be in a hurry to try and remove it from the pan. It may seem slightly dry when you finally do, but after it sits it will achieve the proper spongy texture.
This is a very authentic version of Injera. It has a nice sour tang to it because of the fermentation. I didn't have teff flour, but I ground teff in my spice mill and used that instead. If you use whole teff, you will have gray/brown injera - it's not a color for the squeamish!
I tried this several times and got pasty wet bread until I looked around at other recipes and realized that most of them tell you to cover the injera to steam it for 30 seconds. That made all the difference in the world! Suddenly my flatbread was not sticking to the pan, did not fall apart and was flexible enough to roll up!