April 6, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
“I HAVE A FRIEND IN ETHIOPIA!” I Y-E-L-L-E-D!
(Like in Spinning Globe Persian Pomegranate and Pistachio Meatballs)
You must be “used” to me by now YELLING with PASSION, ENTHUSIASM and EXCITEMENT when it comes to food!
My mum YELLED back, “GREAT!”, followed by YELLING “WHY DON’T YOUR PREPARE A FEAST FOR YOUR FRIEND?” …”GREAT IDEA!!!”, I YELLED BACK! And so the game continued.
Little did I know at the time, but it was my mother’s way of distracting me from YELLING out about more friends from around the globe and she “knew” I always LOVED a challenge and was indeed “on my merry way” to prepare my imaginary feast for my imaginary friend.
As soon as my dad walked in the door, the first question I always asked was how was his day.
He would always replied back, “BIZ-EH” (busy)
He would then ask did I meet any new friends from around the globe?
He “knew” what would cause my mum’s eyes to roll and as soon as she did, he and I laughed together too!
It was that special “father – daughter” bond that cannot be explained in words, TRUE!
When I “initially” contemplated making an Ethiopian Feast featuring Injera, I had “no idea” HOW exciting it would be!
WHO has never cooked with Teff flour other than me?
Original recipe called for Collard Greens. I need you to put on your Ethiopian Spinach glasses today; as I like to use up what I have on hand.
I also used canned diced tomatoes and drained well.
What is Injera? I “hear” your say?
I can “still“ hear your thoughts through the computer!
Injera is a yeast risen bread with a unique sponge-like texture; “normally” flat and “traditionally” made out of teff flour.
My “friend” from “around the globe” shared that with me “many” years ago!
I also “knew” there was a connection to the blog when I read:
“One of the benefits of life in New York is the bounty of cuisines that it boasts.”
I did get EXCITED and inspired making Ethiopian foods!
Did you know Ethiopians like to eat with their hands?
Injera is made from an ancient grain called teff which is ground into flour. Seeing I had never previously heard of it, I did not know it also provides protein, calcium and iron and would like to share that with you!
What I DID and DO like about Injera, is when you whisk it with water, it “bubbles”
( I like bubbles), ferments overnight covered and when you cook the batter on a hot fry pan it SHOULD “look” like a pancake and one could S-Q-U-E-A-L with delight in seeing bubbles appear on the surface.
I like making pancakes with bubbles too!
My name is Joanne and I have a confession.
I had to make three batches of batter before I got my PLAN B.
I decided to make the crepe bread into an egg ring size, so I could scoop up my feast with wonderment and surprise!
Ingredients for Injera
4 cups teff flour
5 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used pink Himalayan)
In a large bowl, combine flour and water; whisk until well combined.
Cover with cling wrap; leave overnight at room temperature.
Hint and Tip
Batter should be “slightly” bubbly and foamy.
The original recipe called for 4 cups (5 ounces) of teff flour.
I used 5 ounces and should have realized the batter was VERY watery.
I was “hoping” that during fermentation overnight, it “may” thicken up; THAT didn’t happen.
I THEN noted that 4 cups does not equal 5 ounces; so adjusted the recipe in half to 2 cups teff flour and 2 1/2 cups of water and added the salt DOH!; THAT didn’t work as the batter was too thick.
By the THIRD batch, I felt like the “little baby bear” that got it JUST right; or so I THOUGHT!!!
I always think when something doesn’t work in a recipe, it is almost as good (if not better) than if the recipe would have worked right away, because one LEARNS something in the process.
Uncover batter next day; whisk in salt.
Heat a fry pan over medium high heat; add batter and “swirl” around until it forms a round thin pancake.
I “tried” and “tried” and “tried” but the more I tried to “spread and swirl“, the batter just did NOT want to move. So I went with PLAN B!!!
Hint and Tip
Oil spray and lid for fry pan now needed.
I oil sprayed an egg ring; placed it on the hot fry pan; filled with batter. As SOON as it starts to bubble, cover it with a lid for 30 seconds. Remove the lid and “GENTLY“ flip.
Did I mention GENTLY?
I placed the lid back on for about 30 – 40 seconds EACH; as made one at a time!
Hint and Tip
You can “smell” and get a knack at knowing when they are done. Like pancakes, do not overcook or this Injera will burn too!
That was about the only think I did not do.
I “sense” one needs to go by their instinct to know whether the batter is too watery, not watery enough or just right.
FOLLOW UP NOTE
While my Injera did not come out as thin pancake type dough bread, the taste was great for my feast and I was able to enjoy this Injera immensely with my other chosen dishes.
Like Julia Child “suggested” in Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites when a recipe “didn’t quite go according to plan“, the next best thing to do is rename it!
Well, I decided not to rename Injera, but “recreated” the shape to resemble the image of what I thought the world was like when I was little; flat and round.
It was not UNTIL “someone” aka dad aka Santa Claus aka Father Christmas (like we call Santa here in Australia) SURPRISED me with a Spinning Globe so I could find my friend from Ethiopia.
Have you ever used teff flour in a recipe?
Have you ever experienced Ethiopian cuisine?
Which recipe would you like to try?
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