A quick recipe for the traditional Ethiopian flat bread
Injera, a flatbread made from teff flour, is central to virtually every meal in Ethiopia. It is usually an accompaniment to curries and often takes on the role of plate and scooping spoon too. Teff is a tiny, gluten-free grain with quite a distinctive flavour. Some people like to blend it 50/50 with wheat or barley. The recipe is traditionally a sourdough, fermented over 2-3 days, whereas this recipe is a quicker option (the untraditional splash of vinegar helps to give the distinctive sour taste, while the baking powder puffs the surface with the customary dimples). Serve with ful medames.
100g teff flour
½ tsp dried yeast
1 tsp cider vinegar
A pinch of baking powder
Coconut or vegetable oil, for frying
Mix the teff flour with 150ml water, yeast and a pinch of salt and leave to rise, covered with a tea towel, for at least 1 hour. If you have longer, the batter will only benefit (you could even leave it overnight).
After 1 hour the batter should have a bit of a crazy paving effect on the surface and be bubbly. Now stir in 50ml water, the vinegar and the baking powder.
Heat up a non-stick frying pan, or crêpe pan (you’ll need some kind of lid or foil to cover the pan later), and grease with a little oil.
Take a dessert spoon of your mixture and fry as a mini tester bread, the size of a blini. You should be able to tip the pan around to spread the batter into a thinner layer—if the mixture is too thick, add a splash more water. You want the batter to firm up underneath and form a bubbly, almost frothy top. Once the bubbles have developed you need to cover your pan so that the top steams—no need for any pancake flipping here.
Once the middle of the injera has set (after about 1 min) you can remove it from the pan and set aside to cool. You may want to add a little more salt or vinegar and then you can begin frying the rest of the full-size flatbreads (mine are side plate-sized).
Once the flatbreads are completely cool they can be stacked up (otherwise they will stick to each other) and wrapped in a cloth to be eaten when desired.
Recipe: Jenny Chandler