How to make injera at home?
May 14, 2011 9:34 PM   Subscribe

How to make injera at home?

I've tried before and failed miserably, but I want to try again. I would like a workable facsimile of injera, preferably one that doesn't take over a day or two and which I can make on a cast-iron griddle pan. And which is hopefully easy enough that it can be made on a regular basis. I have access to regular sourdough starter and teff flour, but am open to combinations of flour.
posted by parudox to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I remember Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet, making injera on his show. His version doesn't require teff flour, if this recipe is accurate, but perhaps you could split quantities of teff and self-rising flour?
posted by apartment dweller at 9:41 PM on May 14, 2011

I can get you two of your three constraints, but I don't know how to overcome the problem that it needs to ferment for three days or so.

The recipe we've successfully used is from Moosewood Recipe Cooks at Home. It quadrupled fine, if you have a big enough thing to let it ferment in. I think we used a clean 5 gallon bucket at least once, which was probably overkill.

1 3/4 c unbleached white flour
1/2 c self-rising flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 package dry yeast (about 1 tbsp)
2 1/2 c warm water

1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Combine the flours and yeast in a ceramic or glass bowl. Add the warm water and mix into a fairly thin batter. Let sit for three full days at room temperature. Stir the mixture once a day. It will bubble and rise. [when it's done it kind of 'inverts' and gets very bubbly on top]

When you are ready to make the injera, add the baking soda and salt and let the batter sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat a small, nonstick skillet (we used a 12 inch round griddle). When a drop of water bounces off the surface, take about 1/3 c batter and pour it into the skillet all at once. Swirl so the pan is evenly coated and then return to the heat.

The injera is cooked only on one side and should not brown. When the moisture has evaporated and lots of "eyes" appear on the surface, remove the injera. Let each injera cool and then stack as you go.

Serves 3.

(we always at least doubled the recipe and sometimes quadrupled it, depending on how many folks we were having over. )
posted by leahwrenn at 10:08 PM on May 14, 2011 [16 favorites]

A friend did a lot of research on this, and he found that it wasn't any of the ingredients that were essential -- it was an electric skillet. He just couldn't get the even cooking in a cast iron.
posted by lunalaguna at 6:51 AM on May 15, 2011

Yeah, I've failed badly at this, and been told that Ethiopians in the US mostly use electric skillets.
posted by Mngo at 9:20 AM on May 15, 2011

I've made injera on an induction cooktop, which works well because of the constant, tightly regulated heat. So an electric griddle of some sort will be a good stand-in for that.

If you don't have one, you can get pretty close with a very thick cast iron griddle or skillet--again, the heat is retained and radiated more evenly than it would be in a thinner pan. Go for the thickest pan you can find.

I also remember that we had better luck keeping the heat to medium (this kept the bottoms of the injera from browning or going crispy), rather than the recommended high.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:44 AM on May 15, 2011

I would think it would be very hard to do the swirling in cast iron. Like you wouldn't make crepes in cast iron either (at least, I wouldn't!).
posted by leahwrenn at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2011

Leah, it shouldn't be. If you can lift the pan, you should be able to make that motion very easily. If you can't lift the pan, you probably shouldn't be cooking with it.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:49 AM on May 15, 2011

Maybe you should buy this book, You Can Make Injera. I learned about this book from an American woman (adoptive mother of kids from Ethiopia, so she was motivated) who spent three months as a recipe tester for it. Plus the proceeds benefit a health non-profit in Ethiopia.

I'll send you a few more links via private mail.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:36 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

My friend's injera mix includes teff, wheat, and barley flours. I don't remember her portions, but it does take two days because of the fermenting.
posted by vespabelle at 11:12 AM on May 15, 2011

Teff is the key according to the Ethiopians I know. It has to be ground to a very fine powder and the fermentation process has to be done a certain way or the injera doesn't come out right.
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 12:24 PM on May 15, 2011

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