Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ethiopian Recipes: Injera

Ok. This is the best I can do. Not the real thing, for sure; that involves a long complicated process, a special yeast called 'ersho' and a locally brewed beer. Mina's explained it to me several times and I still haven't quite gotten all the steps down in my head. But this works fairly well for us. The quantities feed our family of four for one meal.

1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour

OR

2 cups teff flour

2 tsp baking soda (approx-- I usually just dump a little in)
1/2 c vinegar (ditto)
water (or soda water) to achieve desired consistency

Mix all ingredients together and add enough water to form a consistency like a crepe batter. Set aside at room temp for an hour or so. The batter should be nice and fizzy and bubbly at this point. Heat either a well-seasoned cast-iron pan (my personal choice) or a high quality non-stick pan (this stuff sticks like a stinker, so none of those cheap-o pans will work) on a low to med heat. Too low or too high will cause the batter to stick. I put my electric burner on "3".

Okay. Now the tricky bit. You have to stir down the batter, scoop out a bit (amount depends on the size of your pan) and pour it into the pan. Quickly pick up the pan and swirl the batter till it covers the bottom of the whole pan with a thin film. As it cooks through you'll see bubbles pop and the top will look all pitted. Once the whole top is pitted and firm, flip it out onto a plate. You don't have to cook the other side if you get the batter the right consistency and swirl it thin enough.

Some tips;

Don't be afraid to add water or vinegar as your cooking along. Sometimes the first two injera are total flops and I have to adjust the batter consistancy as I go.

Taste the first one as it comes off the pan to be sure you've got the right amount of vinegar. The tast of that local beer I mentioned is hard to reproduce :)

If you're using cast iron, you may have to lightly oil the pan every few pieces. I use a paper towel dipped in olive oil.

I don't notice a difference between using plain tap water and using soda water myself, but try both and see which one you like better


Next time: Carrots and Potatoes

(if I knew the ethiopian word for this dish, it would be much more dramatic...)

2 comments:

Denise said...

You are SO sweet. I'm going to try this as soon as possible. If this works.... well, you'll get SOMETHING special out of it!!!

I LOVE Ethiopian cooking... Doro Wot, being a favorite. Even throwing it up 34 weeks pregnant hasn't stopped that (though it did for the rest of the pregnancy). We keep pre-made Berbere in the spice cabinent at all times, since it's found in so many of the recipes I have.

Herb of Grace said...

Recipe for Alicha Wat coming up soon! You can just modify it to make it Doro Wat.