Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

Happy new year! I figured I’d start this year on a high note with one of my favourite flatbreads, injera. Injera is the national food of both Ethiopia and Eritrea and an essential part of meals in both countries.

Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

More about injera

Injera is a sourdough flatbread that has a spongy texture. The batter for injera is usually left to ferment over a number of days before it’s used to make the flatbread. Injera is typically made with teff, which has been a staple of Ethiopian cooking for centuries. Teff has also gained popularity among health conscious people in the West due to its nutrient richness. Teff is a whole grain that’s protein-rich and has lots of calcium, iron, and fibre. It’s also got a nice, nutty flavour. In addition to injera, teff can be used to make porridge, breads, and veggie burgers. Teff can usually be found at health food stores, African grocery stores, or online; it can be purchased from Amazon.

Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

While injera is traditionally made with only teff, different grains can also be used. I prefer to mix teff flour with flour from other grains because I find injera with 100% teff flour to be a little too sour for my taste. Hence, this recipe combines teff with all-purpose flour. However, whole wheat or barley flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour.

How to make injera: Ingredients and directions

To make injera, you’ll need 1½ cups of teff flour, 1 cup of all-purpose flour (or whole wheat or barley flour), 1 teaspoon of instant yeast, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 4 cups of water (plus more, if needed).

Add the teff flour, all-purpose flour, instant yeast, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour 3 cups of water into the mixture and whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it sit in a dry area for 2 to 3 days for the dough to ferment. When making the injera, take the bowl to the sink and carefully pour off the water that has risen to the top of the batter; see the first of the two pictures above to see what the water will look like. The second picture is what the batter looks like once the water has been removed.

Boil 1 cup of water in a small pot with the stove set at medium heat. Pour ½ cup of the batter into the boiling water. Let the batter cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the batter vigorously as it cooks. Make sure that there are no lumps in the cooked batter (see the first of the two pictures above). Let the cooked batter cool to room temperature. Use a spoon to scoop it into the uncooked batter and mix until smooth. This whole process will help the batter to form the bubbles we need for injera. 

The batter should be about the consistency of crepe batter (see the first of the two pictures above). I added ¼ cup of water to the batter to get it to the right consistency. You may need to add more or less water, depending on how much water you poured off the batter. I suggest that you add the water a tablespoon at a time and check the consistency each time until it’s the right consistency. Let the batter sit with the bowl covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until a lot of bubbles form at the top (see the second picture above).

How to make injera: Cooking instructions

Injera is usually made using the Mitad grill. However, if you’re like me and don’t have a Mitad, you can use a non-stick crepe/flatbread pan over the stove. You can also use a non-stick frying pan, but it’ll be harder to work with. If you’re using a pan on the stove, heat the pan with the stove set at medium heat.  Pour ½ cup of the batter in a circular motion onto the pan, starting at the centre of the pan and working your way outwards; it takes time to learn how to do this so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a perfect circle the first time.

Cook the batter until the edges become firm and a lot of bubbles form at the top (see first picture above; about 30 seconds). Cover the pan with a lid and let the batter cook for about 45 seconds; I just use aluminum foil to make a dome lid over the pan, making sure that it doesn’t touch the batter.  When it’s ready the injera will be firm throughout and bubbles will be at the top. Carefully slide the injera off the pan and onto parchment paper to cool down. The injera will be very sticky when it’s hot, but the stickiness will decrease once it cools down; at this time, you can stack them on top of each other.  Repeat the steps with the remaining batter until all the batter has been used.

How do you serve injera?

Injera is usually served with Ethiopian stews such as misir wat, kai sega wat, and doro wat. To serve, small portions of the stews (more than one type of stew is often served) and other sides are arranged on top of the injera. The meal is then eaten by breaking off small bits of the injera at a time, using it to scoop up the stew like you would do with a utensil. Enjoy! Let me know how it goes.

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Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

 

Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)
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Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

Injera is a sourdough flatbread that’s central to Ethiopian cuisine. Injera is spongy in texture and is used to eat delicious Ethiopian stews such as doro wat, misir wat, and kai sega wat.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Fermentation time2 d
Total Time2 d 25 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: African
Keyword: flatbread, injera, sourdough
Servings: 5 flatbreads
Calories: 231kcal

Ingredients

  • cups teff flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat or barley flour)
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water (plus more, if needed)

Instructions

  • Add the teff flour, all-purpose flour, instant yeast, and salt together in a bowl. Add 3 cups of water to the mixture and whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it sit in a dry area for 2 to 3 days to ferment the batter.
  • To make the injera, start by carefully pouring off and discarding the water that has risen to the top of the batter.
  • Boil 1 cup of water in a small pot with the stove set at medium heat. Pour ½ cup of the batter into the boiling water. Let the batter cook for 1 to 2 minutes; stir vigorously as it cooks and make sure that there are no lumps in the cooked batter.
  • Let the cooked batter cool to room temperature. Use a spoon to scoop it into the uncooked batter and mix until smooth.
  • The batter should be about the consistency of crepe batter. I added ¼ cup of water to the batter to get it to the right consistency. You may need to add more or less water, depending on how much water you poured off the batter.
  • Let the batter sit with the bowl covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until a lot of bubbles form at the top of the batter.
  • Heat a crepe/flatbread pan on the stove at medium heat. Pour ½ cup of the batter in a circular motion onto the pan, starting at the centre of the pan and working your way outwards.
  • Cook the batter until the edges become firm and a lot of bubbles form at the top.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the batter cook for about 45 seconds; I just use aluminum foil to make a dome lid over the pan, making sure that it doesn't touch the batter.
  • When it's ready the injera will be firm throughout and bubbles will be at the top of it.
  • Carefully slide the cooked injera off the pan and onto parchment paper to cool down.
  • Repeat the steps with the remaining batter.
  • Injera is usually served with Ethiopian stews such as misir wat, kai sega wat, and doro wat.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg

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