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Ethiopian Injera

3/4 cup teff, ground fine
sunflower or other vegetable oil

The teff may be ground either in a flour mill or in a blender after
moistening in 3 1/2 cups water.

Mix ground teff with 3 1/2 cups water and let stand in a bowl
covered with a dish towel, at room temperature, until it bubbles
and has turned sour. This may take as long as 3 days. The fermenting
mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter (which is
exactly what it is).

Stir in salt, a little at a time, until you can barely detect the

Lightly oil an 8- or 9-inch skillet (or a larger one if you like).
Heat over medium heat. Then proceed as you would with a normal
pancake or crepe. Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of
the skillet. About 1/4 cup will make a thin pancake covering the
surface of an 8-inch skillet if you spread the batter around
immediately by turning and rotating the skillet in the air. This
is the classic French method for very thin crepes. Injera is not
supposed to be paper thin so you should use a bit more batter than
you would for crepes, but less than you would for a flapjack.

Cook briefly, until holes form in the injera and the edges lift
from the pan. Remove and let cool.

Yields 10 to 12 injeras.

Teff is the staple grain of Ethiopia. The grain yields a seed much
smaller than the size of a wheat grain, but is the basis of Ethiopian
traditional cookery. Teff flour is the main ingredient of the
pleasantly sour pancakelike bread known as injera, which literally
underlies every Ethiopian meal.

To set an Ethiopian table, one lays down a circular injera on top
of which the other food is arrayed, directly, without any plate.
Other injeras are served on the side and torn into pieces to be
used as grabbers for the food on the "tablecloth" injera. Eventually,
after the meal is finished, you eat the tablecloth, a delicious
repository of the juices from the food that has been resting on


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