Teff (Injera is the Ethiopian staple bread)

Posted: April 9, 2016 in Ethiopia - the Secret of Africa
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Injera is the Ethiopian staple bread (staple = a principal dietary item, such as flour, rice, or corn) its thin crepe like flat bread that the dishes such as Wots, Tibs and Fitfit are served on. To eat the dishes pieces of injera are torn off and used to scoop up mouthful.

How to bake Injera (1)
Injera is unique to Ethiopia, from its distinct taste and main ingredient the Teff cereal. Teff is the tiniest cereal and used as a staple food only in Ethiopia (in other parts of the world its associated with common grass). Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC. Teff seeds were discovered in a pyramid thought to date back to 3359 BC.

How to bake Injera (3)
Injera preparation usually takes two to three days, the teff is milled into powder then mixed in water along yeast and small quantity of flowers. This mix is set aside at room temperature for 2 days so it ferments and raises. During the second day it starts to give tangy aromas as the fermentation releases air bubbles; this is where the Injera’s slight tangy taste comes from.

How to bake Injera (4)
After the fermentation process is finished the mix is cooked on hot flat iron pan called ‘Mitad’. A circular motion is used to achieve thin consistency. When the hot pan and the fermented teff mix/batter contact thousands of tiny air bubbles escape, creating thousands of tiny craters/eyes – creating the familiar look of Injera.

How to bake Injera (5)
The side touching the hot mitadpan gets its flat look, while the one facing away towards the air has the a porous structure with thousands of mini craters. This pour as a structure allows the injera to be a good bread to scoop up sauces and dishes.

How to bake Injera (2)
Restaurants will serve your dishes on injera and they bring a side dish of injera for scooping purposes either rolled up or folded. When you are about to finish your side injera attentive wait staff will bring your more free of charge.

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