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Enjoying their injera.

Injera is not only a kind of bread—it’s also an eating utensil.
In Ethiopia and Eritrea, this spongy, sour flatbread is used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews. Injera also lines the tray on which the stews are served, soaking up their juices as the meal progresses. When this edible tablecloth is eaten, the meal is officially over.

Injera is made with teff, a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. While teff is very nutritious, it contains practically no gluten. This makes teff ill-suited for making raised bread, however injera still takes advantage of the special properties of yeast. A short period of fermentation gives it an airy, bubbly texture, and also a slightly sour taste.

Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants have modified their recipes after moving to the United States or Europe, depending on what grains are available to them. The injera you find in many East African restaurants in the United States includes both teff and wheat flours. Most injera made in Ethiopia and Eritrea, on the other hand, is made solely with teff.

What Do I Need? .

Teff grain
• 1/4 cup teff flour
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup water
• a pinch of salt
• peanut or vegetable oil
• a mixing bowl
• a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet

What Do I Do?

1. Put the teff flour in the bottom of a mixing bowl, and sift in the all-purpose flour.
2. Slowly add the water, stirring to avoid lumps.
3. Stir in the salt.
4. Heat a nonstick pan or lightly oiled cast-iron skillet until a water
drop dances on the surface. Make sure the surface of the pan is smooth: Otherwise, your injera might fall apart when you try to remove it.
5. Coat the pan with a thin layer of batter. Injera should be thicker than a crępe, but not as thick as a traditional pancake. It will rise slightly when it heats.
6. Cook until holes appear on the surface of the bread. Once the surface is dry, remove the bread from the pan and let it cool.

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