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How to Make Injera (Ethiopian Sourdough Flatbread)
Injera is an East African staple, usually made from teff flour, and is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is a fermented, usually yeast-risen, sourdough flatbread and it is generally served as a flat pancake with a variety of stews and curries of meats and veggies, also called wat, on top. It is generally thicker than a crepe, but thinner than a pancake. This spongy sour bread is delicious with spicy vegetables, lentils and mushroom dishes. There is also chickpea and sweet potato wat. Injera is made over a three-to-four-day process. Here we break down the steps by day for the perfect injera. Use our Injera recipe to follow along with these step-by-step instructions.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
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Day One: How to Combine the Wheat and Teff Flours
While traditional Injera uses teff flour and is gluten-free, our recipe uses a mixture of wheat and teff flour. Here's how to mix the two: In a mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt. Add the lukewarm water, stir just to combine. Cover loosely with a paper towel, and let the mixture stand overnight. To maintain proper fermentation, the mixture's ideal temperature exposure is between 59 and 73 F. Anything more than 95 F would ruin the fermentation process.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
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Day Two: Agitate the Flour Mixture
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. There are different schools of thought as to whether or not you should agitate your injera each day during the process. Agitation is meant to ensure consistency and avoid lumps in the mixture. Do not over-agitate the mixture.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
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Day Three: Repeat
In the morning, gently agitate the mixture again, cover, and let the mixture stand overnight again. Repeat this one more day if necessary. When your injera is ready, it will smell sour and be very bubbly. This usually takes between 3 and 4 days.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Day Four: Cook the Injera
Stir the mixture until combined. Heat a large, lightly-oiled heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 1/3 cup of the batter to the skillet, forming a thin layer of batter over the pan. Cook until bubbles form on the entire surface of the flatbread (do not flip; only cook one side like a crepe), and, using a metal spatula, remove the injera and transfer to a plate. Repeat until the batter is used, adding oil to the skillet as necessary.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
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How to Serve Injera
Serve the injera with vegetables, lentils or meat of your choice on top. One of the most popular foods to eat with injera is Doro wat, which is a spicy chicken stew. Use your hand to break off pieces of the injera to scoop up meat and vegetables or by dipping it into stews. Ethiopian foods are full of flavor, spices and herbs and the sour taste of injera is a great compliment to the taste of the curries and stews that accompany it.