October 4, 2007


I found this recipe on Recipe Zaar which uses teff as the main ingredient for injera. The cookbook that I have has multiple injera recipes and suggests alternatives to teff such as wheat flour or rice flour if the chef doesn't have access to teff. I would much rather prepare injera the traditional way using teff but I have yet to see where I might be able to buy it - although I would be amazed if I didn't find an entire block of grocery stores somewhere in NYC that carried not only teff, but many other ingredients specific to Ethiopian cuisine as well. Now that I think of it we'll probably be able to be discerning as to where we purchase our teff... I do love NYC.

What is teff? According to the Exploratorium's "The Science of Cooking" area teff is "a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. While teff is very nutritious, it contains practically no gluten. This makes teff ill-suited for making raised bread, however injera still takes advantage of the special properties of yeast. A short period of fermentation gives it an airy, bubbly texture, and also a slightly sour taste."

As I mentioned in an earlier post injera serves as an edible utensil for Ethiopian cuisine. One large circular piece of injera is placed on the serving tray and then the various entrees are placed in scoops on top of the injera. An additional basket of injera is served on the side so that diners can break it apart and scoop up their entree of choice. The meal is officially finished when the piece of injera that was placed on top of the serving plate is gone. This is often the most tasty of the injera served during a meal because it has had a chance to soak up all of the flavors of the entrees throughout the meal and is the last to be enjoyed.

No comments: