This Ethiopian flatbread/crepe is made from the seed of the teff grass plant (Eragrostis tef). The seeds are tiny, but develop in large plumes on the plant, so are plentiful in their native areas. It has been cultivated for at least 3000 years. It is fairly strongly flavored, especially when traditionally prepared with a 3-day ferment, so you might want to substitute masa harina (fine-ground corn meal) or whole-wheat flour (adds gluten for a stretchier injera) when you first try it. Camas Country Mill offers Teff grain and flour grown in the Willamette Valley.
Traditional method – takes 3 days:
Start with 3 cups teff flour. Combine with 3 cups warm water and stir until smooth.
This will be a very sour batter. For a milder flavor, you can replace up to half of the teff with masa harina and/or whole wheat flour. Adding wheat flour also makes the final injera less prone to cracking.
Cover and let sit 3 days at room temperature. By the third day, it should be actively bubbling and smell sour.
On the third morning, stir in 1 tsp. salt. Whisk until completely smooth. Batter should be fairly thin, as shown.
You can adjust the thickness with water or more teff flour as needed. Let sit until ready to cook.
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat (I use mark 7 on our electric stove-top). When hot, brush with a little olive oil or butter. Stir the batter gently and ladle in about ½ cup. Swirl the pan to spread the batter evenly – it should be about as thick as a crepe.
Let cook until the top looks dry and the edges just start to curl up (about 60 seconds exactly on our stove). Half cooked and fully cooked pictures shown.
Do not turn – injera is cooked on one side, only.
Using a wooden spatula, lift the finished injera onto a cloth-lined plate. Cover with the cloth to keep it from drying out, and repeat with the rest of the batter, making a stack on the plate. Serve warm.
Overnight method with sourdough starter:
Combine 3 cups teff flour with 3 cups warm water and 1 cup sourdough starter. You can replace up to half the teff with masa harina and/or whole wheat flour for a milder-flavored injera. Whisk until very smooth.
Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
In the morning, stir in 1 tsp. salt and continue as for traditional injera, above.