Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC
The beloved fermented staple in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine, injera typically includes brown or white teff flour, but is often mixed with other flours like wheat and barley or gluten-free buckwheat, sorghum or millet flours.
If you attend to your fermented batter, and feed it regularly, it will reward you with a wonderfully nutritious, tangy injera that is digestible, light, spongy and absolutely addictive.
Prep time 3-4 days
Cook time 30 minutes
1 cup flour (mix of ¼ -½ teff flour combined with other flours)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm (not hot) non-chlorinated water
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, ground
Mix flours, yeast, and fenugreek. Add water and with clean hands, mix well to eliminate any lumps. Cover loosely and set in warm space (ideal is 85-90
degrees F) for 2-3 days. A programmable seedling heat mat works well. Stir twice daily. Batter will become frothy and slightly tangy.
Pour off any liquid accumulated on top.
FEED your starter ¼ cup teff blended with ¾ cups of another flour, mixing until smooth. Add warm (not hot) non-chlorinated water, mixing with clean hands, sufficient to reach the consistency of a rather watery pancake batter. It should slip off your hand, leaving a light film. Cover loosely and allow to ferment 6-8 hours or overnight.
Gently stir. Remove 1 cup of batter, refrigerate to retain for your next injera batch.
Mix 2 cups of flour (your choice) with warm non-chlorinated water using clean hands to achieve a smooth, thin consistency without any lumps. Add this blend to your batter. Cover loosely. Over the next few hours the batter will rise significantly with this new feeding, so use a sufficiently large bowl (nonmetallic).
Once the batter volume peaks, it is ready for cooking. If YOU'RE not ready, refrigerate to slow the batter’s fermentation.
Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium low (c 450°F) heat. Use a small bowl or large ladle and quickly add batter to the pan, lifting it to swirl the batter so it spreads into as large and uniform thin circle as possible.
Cook for 1 minute or until bubbles proliferate and the surface loses its glossiness. Cover skillet and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Then uncover and wait one more minute for the injera for the steam to escape and the injera to firm up more. The edges will begin to separate from the pan and curl upwards. With a large spatula or your fingers, pick up an edge and transfer the injera onto a woven placemat or cooking rack. Wait a minute or two then roll it up; the warm injera will soften and create that soft, spongy texture injera is famous for. Repeat until you've used all your batter.
Place injera on a warmed plate and top with various Ethiopian stews (wats). Serve with additional rolled injera to break off to mop up the stews.
Temperature, humidity, feeding, water quality and temperature all affect fermentation. If your batter fails to thrive, feed it flour, yeast, and fenugreek powder to reactivate. Ferments are forgiving!! However, if your batter has turned gray and inert, if it has an unpleasant odor, too much of the ferment may have died. In that case, best to discard it start over fresh.
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