Injera: The Ethiopian Flat Bread
What is injera or enjira as it is sometimes spelled? Injera is a flat crepe like food that has millions of bubbles or wholes on its surface. In Ethiopia injera is not considered bread. Injera is injera the stuff of life. We say Ethiopian flat bread when describing it to foreigners because of a lack of words on how to describe it. As I have already written in my hub “Teff: An Ancient Grain” It is made of this very unique and little known grain “teff.” The traditional Ethiopian injera is made wholly with the teff flour and is fermented for three days. This fermentation process gives it a slight sour test.
In this hub I will give 3 different recipes on how to make injera. The first one will be on how to make it the traditional way as it is still being done in Ethiopia which is going to be made purely with teff flour. The other two will be recipes that has been created by Ethiopians in the diaspora. It is going to be a mixture of grains including all purpose flour, self rising flower and some teff. One of this recipes has to ferment for three days, and the other one just for a few hours.
Close-up Photo of Injera
Modern Injera Maker
Pouring the Batter on the Griddle
Making Traditional Injera with Teff Only
The traditional injera making is
a long processes and most of the ingredients and equipment are not available anywhere
else but Ethiopia. The recipe is mostly for your information only and to give
you some idea on how real injera is made. The recipe is for the large size injera as it is normally made in the typical Ethiopian home. Since it is a major staple it is made in large quantities.
To make 25 large size traditional injeras
11 pounds of Teff flour
4 cups of teff yeast
5 quarts of water
Preparing the Dough
Sift the teff flower add the teff yeast and Kneed the dough well.
Add one quart of water and kneed some more.
Add ¾ quart water and let it stand for 3 days to ferment.
On the third day discard all the liquid that has collected on top.
Thin the dough with ½ quart of water.
Take 4 cups of these dough that has been thinned add to 8 cups of boiling water.
Simmer and keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t form lumps fir about 5 minutes
Remove from heat let it cool and add it to the rest of the dough.
Add the remaining water and let it stand until the dough rises.
And when it goes back down start making the injera.
Cooking the Injera
The injera is cooked on a flat circular ceramic griddle with shinny smooth black surface known as “metad”
Preheat the griddle to very high heat.
Then a specially prepared herb is sprinkled over the hot surface to help polish the cooking surface further and to make sure the injrea will not stick to the surface.
The herb is removed from the surface with a piece of clothing at the same time you give the griddle a polish.
A container preferably one with a spout is used to pour the thinned dough on the hot circular ceramic griddle.
You start pouring on the outer ridges of the griddle and work your way in filling up the hole in the middle.
You cover the griddle with its top known as akembalo.
Let the injera cook for about a minutes or so.
Open up the akembalo and remove the injera with a sefede.
Sefede is a flat basket the shape and size of a large pizza.
You let the injera cool on the sefede while you pour another container of dough on the hot griddle.
You then transfer the cooled injera to an enkeb, a special basket used to keep injera and Ethiopian bread.
You keep repeating this process until you have finished all the dough and keep piling one injera on top of the other on the enkeb.
Injera: Rolled and Cut
Sefed Used to Remove Hot Injera from the Griddle
Injera on Amazon
Quicker and Easier Ways of Making Injera
Here is a recipes for modified injera, injera that anyone can make at home using a large non stick skillet.
makes about 14 injeras
1 cups of teff flour
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of self rising flower
4 cups of water
1 tsp of Yeast
Mix all the flours together add 1 cups of water gradually while kneeding the dough well.
Add the yeast and baking soda and kneed some more.
Add the rest of the water and set aside for three days.
At the end of the three days discard all the liquid on top of the dough.
Boil some water and mix in a cup of the fermented dough.
Keep stirring while the the mixture is cooking, making sure it doesn’t form lumps.
Cook for about 5 minutes and remove from heat and let it cool.
Add it to the rest of the dough cover and set it aside for it to rise.
After it has risen and gone back down you can start making the injera.
Preheat the skillet.
Measure about half a cup of the thinned dough and pour it on the hot skillet then pick up the skillet and move it in a circular motion to spread the batter throughout the surface evenly.
Cover and cook for 30 seconds to a minute or until all the wholes are formed on the surface and the injera can easily be removed from the skillet.
Remove from skillet by using a spatula and quickly placing it on a plate.
With a piece of dry clean cloth clean the surface of the skillet and remove any food particles that my be sticking on it.
Make the next injera, let it cool on another plate before you stack it on the last injera and then the next until you run out of dough.
Easy Ingera Recipe
Makes about 14 injeras
3 cups of self rising flower
1 cups of teff
1 tsp yeast
1tsp of baking soda
5 cups of water
Mix the flours and add a cup of water and kneed the dough well.
Add the yeast and baking soda and kneed some more.
Add the rest of the water and let it sit in a warm place to rise.
When it goes back down preheat a non stick skillet.
measure a half a cup of the batter and pour it on the hot skillet.
Cover and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute until all the holes are formed.
Remove with a spatula being careful not to break up the injera.
Place it on a dish towel and let it cool.
Cook another injera and another until all the batter is gone.
Enjoy your injera with some Ethiopian Vegan Dishes. You will find some recipes there.