Mar 13, 2019 at 12:28 PM
Informer: Wegen , from
Injera is usually made from tiny, iron-rich teff seeds, which are ground into flour. Teff production is limited to certain middle elevations with adequate rainfall, and, as it is a low-yield crop, it is relatively expensive for the average household. As many farmers in the Ethiopian highlands grow their own subsistence grains, wheat, barley, corn, or rice flour are sometimes used to replace some or all of the teff content. Teff seeds are graded according to color, used to make different kinds of injera: nech (white), key or quey (red), and sergegna (mixed). Teff flour is gluten-free.
To make injera, teff flour is mixed with water. The fermentation process is triggered by adding ersho, obtained from previous fermentations. The mixture is then allowed to ferment for an average of two to three days, giving it a mildly sour taste. The injera is baked into large, flat pancakes. The dough's viscosity allows it to be poured onto the baking surface, rather than rolled out, which is unusual for a yeast or sourdough bread.
In terms of shape, injera compares to the French crêpe and the Indian dosa as a flatbread cooked in a circle and used as a base for other foods. In taste and texture, it is more similar to the South Indian appam. The bottom surface of the injera, which touches the heating surface, has a relatively smooth texture, while the top is porous. This porous texture makes injera good for scooping up sauces and dishes.
Traditionally, injera is made with just two ingredients – Eragrostis tef, also known as teff, an ancient grain from the highlands of Ethiopia, and water. There is little written or known about teff's origin and while there is no scholarly consensus, some believe that the production of teff dates back as far as 4000 BC. When teff is not available, usually because of location or financial limitations, injera is made by fermenting a variety of different grains, including barley, millet, and sorghum. Teff is, however, the preferred grain for making injera, primarily because of its sensory attributes (color, smell, taste).
A variant of injera known as canjeelo is prepared from a dough of plain flour, self-raising flour, warm water, yeast, and a pinch of salt. The mixture is beaten by hand until soft and creamy. Sorghum is the preferred flour for making Canjeelo. There is a sweet-tasting variety of the dish, as well as another variety that is made with eggs Malawah
The cooking method for injera has changed little since its origin. Traditionally, the flour is mixed with water and fermented for a short period of time. It is baked by pouring the mixture onto a giant circular griddle, known as a mitad
Baking is done on a circular griddle - either a large black clay plate over a fire or a specialized electric stove. The griddle is known as a mitad (ምጣድ) (in Amharic) or mogogo (ሞጎጎ) (in Tigrinya). Mitads have been found at archaeological sites dating back as far as 600 AD. Nowadays, mitads are no longer always made out of clay, but can also be electric.
Traditional clay stoves can be inefficient in that they consume large amounts of firewood and produce a lot of smoke, creating household pollution and making them dangerous to use around children. In 2003, an Eritrean research group designed a stove for cooking injera and other foods that uses more easily available fuel, such as twigs instead of large branches, crop residues and dung, locally called kubet. Several parts of this new stove are made in the central cities of Ethiopia and Eritrea, while other parts are moulded from clay by women in local areas.
Many women in urban areas—especially those living outside Ethiopia and Eritrea—now use electric injera stoves, which are topped with a large metal plate, or simply non-stick frying pans.