|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 71g||26%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||19%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Injera is a sour flatbread used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine that is thicker than a crepe but thinner than a pancake and has a delightfully sour taste. Vegetable, lentil, or meat dishes are often served on top of the injera, and the food is eaten with your hands, using the injera to scoop up the other dishes.
Traditional injera uses all teff flour, made from the seeds of an annual grass native to the Horn of Africa. Teff is high in protein and fiber and indispensable in Ethiopian cuisine; it also happens to be a gluten-free flour. However, most injera recipes in the United States, like this one, use a combination of teff and all-purpose flour. The flours are mixed with salt and water and left to ferment, giving the injera its pleasant sourdough flavor and spongy texture.
Since the bread is naturally fermented, similar to sourdough, you'll need to plan ahead. The mixture needs to sit out and be stirred occasionally for three or four days. Fermenting foods can be tricky, since temperature, timing, and contaminants can all influence the mixture. Look for the telltale bubbles and sour smell when deciding if your batter is ready.
Click Play to See This Injera (Ethiopian Sour Flatbread) Come Together
2 cups teff flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
5 cups lukewarm water
Cooking spray, for the skillet
Gather the ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, stir or whisk the teff flour, all-purpose flour, and salt until well combined.
Add the water, stirring or whisking until combined.
Cover loosely with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and let stand, undisturbed, overnight. The batter will be loose and watery.
Gently agitate the mixture with a wooden spoon in the morning (there should be bubbles already forming on the surface, and the fermenting water should have risen to the top).
Cover again and let stand at room temperature, undisturbed, overnight. Repeat the process of agitating the mixture the following morning, and then one more round of overnight resting.
After three to five days, your injera should smell sour and be bubbly, especially when the bowl is agitated, which means that it's ready. Stir the mixture until combined.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Add about 1/3 cup of the batter to the skillet, swirling it around to the edges of the pan to form a thin layer. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, the flatbread begins to look dry, and the edges pull away slightly from the pan. Cover the pan and continue to cook until the flatbread's surface is dry, about 2 minutes. All in all, it will take about 5 minutes total per bread to cook.
Using a spatula, remove the injera and transfer to a plate.
Repeat until all of the batter is used, spraying the pan with cooking spray as necessary.
Roll up the injera and serve with lentils, vegetables, and/or meat dishes.
- Check your injera batter often. When it's ready, it should be bubbly and smell sour. If the injera batter has gone bad, it will have an unpleasant, stinky odor. Pitch it and start over.
- To keep from cracking, cover the finished injera with a lid or a lightly damp cloth until all of the injera is cooked and you are ready to eat.
Can I Store and Use Leftover Batter?
If you have leftover injera starter, or decide not to use it right away, you can store it in the refrigerator, loosely covered in a dry, clean jar. Before using, bring to room temperature and feed the starter with equal amounts of teff flour and water; place in a warm spot and let the mixture rest for 24 hours. Give the starter a stir—if it's active and bubbly, go ahead with making the injera. If it doesn't bubble, you will have to toss it out.
How to Store
- At room temperature, injera will stay fresh for a couple of days. In the fridge, it should be good for up to a week.
- Wrap each flatbread in aluminum foil completely and freeze. You can also layer injera one on top of the other; just use a piece of waxed paper in between each layer, wrap it aluminum foil, and tuck it away in a zip-close freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Of course, the longer it is stored, the more likely the texture and flavor will change.
- These taste best when they are thawed at room temperature for a few hours. You can reheat injera in the microwave in between damp paper towels or in a dry skillet over low heat.
Is Ethiopian Injera Healthy?
Injera is naturally low in fat and a healthy addition to your diet. Teff flour, the main ingredient in injera, is gluten free and rich in protein and nutrients, and the natural fermentation may help with gut health.