What's the Injera?
The injera is a kind of large pancake cooked in Ethiopia and Eritrea; it serves as a kind of of bread, plate and fork.
It is made from teffa cereal that grows only on the high plateaus of these two countries, which explains why it cannot be found elsewhere.
Teff seed, which is gluten-free, has positive effects on health, and is said to be one of the reasons for the performance of Ethiopian runners. This cereal has never been genetically modified.
The bottom surface of the injera, in contact with the pan, has a smooth texture, while the top surface is honeycombed and porous. The pancake is cooked on one side only.
What is eaten with Ingera in Ethiopia?
The injera wafer is accompanied by a variety of sauces that are superimposed on it.
Some sauces are vegetable-based: the Shiro (chickpeas), the Atkilt Wot (carrot, potato and cabbage mix), the Azifa (lentils), the Mesir Wot (mixture of lentils and a sauce of berber spicy), and the Fasolia (mixed green beans, carrots and caramelized onions).
We taste the dish by cutting with the right hand small pieces of injera, with which we "wrap" the sauces, vegetables and meats placed on the pancake. At the beginning you are a bit clumsy, but helped by the conviviality of the environment, you progress quickly!
Injera recipe to make at home
First of all, you have to be able to get teff flour, or be lucky enough to have gone on a trip to Ethiopia ... Some online organic grocery stores offer it, because its virtues are beginning to be known in Europe!
1- preparation of the dough :
- Prepare a mixture of warm water and a packet of baker's yeast and leave for 5 minutes
- Mix 500 grams of teff flour with 600 ml of water with a teaspoon of salt, with the water/yeast mixture, to obtain a fairly compact mass, which you will cover with 2 cm of water (without mixing this extra water with the preparation).
- Leave to stand for 1.5 days: if there is water floating on top of the mixture, remove it. Attention: the duration of fermentation is most often the cause of the failure of the recipe; indeed it is not easy to determine it because it varies significantly according to the climate. Therefore it will often be necessary to make several attempts before finding the right duration...
- Boil 200 ml of water: add 200 ml of teff flour, mix well, and after a few minutes of rest, add little by little to the fermented preparation while mixing. The paste obtained must be quite fluid.
- Let stand for 1 hour before cooking.
2- Cooking the pancake :
- Heat the pan well.
- Pour a thick layer of pancake batter in concentric circles from the outside to the centre of the pan; heat for a few seconds until a few dimples appear, then cover the pan until cooked through (about one minute).
- Remove the pancake as soon as the edges peel away from the pan, gently lifting it up, and let it cool on a tea towel before placing it on the pile of ready-made pancakes.
The injera is now ready to receive sauces and meats ... Bon appétit!
To find out more information about Ethiopia, and the Horn of Africa, please click here. hereor discover the other articles on our blog!