Injera: The Ethiopian National Staple


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Talking about Injera, I just cannot help to choose and start this particular post with one of my favorite pictures of “Ethiopian birds relishing Injera”.  I must say, it is one of exclusive moments, can only be captured in the vivacious city of Addis Ababa.  Injera is an Amharic word with deep meaning by itself rather than just simply representing the national staple of Ethiopia, which is the base of almost every meal.Image

Injera is made with the indigenous Ethiopian grain called Teff that only grows in the highlands. Teff is an ancient and fascinating grain like its birthplace Ethiopia. Like many other Ethiopian cuisine, making Injera is complex, more than three-day affair and an art by itself. Requiring many eloquent pieces along with extensive and interesting but worth it process.     Image

For Ethiopians Injera is more like “a means of living” and a kind of food almost eaten every day, by everyone and everywhere without ever getting tired of it. Besides the fact, Injera is very filling and can be so addictive; its slightly tart test goes perfectly well with the spicy Ethiopian version of stew called Wot that usually dished out on it- it is also an eating utensil. Image

The distinctiveness of this Ethiopian most adored food starts from having Teff grain stores dedicated only to sell this particular Ethiopian native grain that comes from different part of the country.  And continues with preparing Injera starter, that usually takes more than 4 days by itself then mixing Teff flour with the starter, water and pinch of salt and allowing it to ferment usually two -three days.Image

For a genuine look and test, it requires to have a round and flat cooker with its own lid called Mitad- particularly made for making Injera.  And slowly pouring the batter up on the round Mitad- which takes some kind of experience and skill.  Image

Letting it to cook for one minute, just until holes start to form on the surface and covering the Mitad with its own top lid to steam the Injera and cooking it for three more minutes, until the edges pull away from the sides and the top is set. Image

No flipping! because Injera only cook on one side. Taking the hot Injera out from the Mitad involve the round thin woven tray like called Sefed. Image

What makes Injera quite an intellectual discovery; besides the fact it is made with very nutritious and gluten free grain Teff, it is easier to maneuver than rice and does not fall apart like bread. Image

The best and genuine injera is made solely from Teff flour, clammy, countrywide proportion, regular in thickness, not too sour, smooth and free of husks.   Image

Eating Injera “Ethiopian way” for authentic satisfaction and that is of course with your hand! Just tear of a piece of Injera and scoop wot that’s it. ImageRegarding Injera, one of the prized items that can be found almost in every Ethiopian household is Mesob – a small round table woven like a basket, with a peaked cover and a depression on the tabletop where the tray is placed. It is used to keep Injera and serve with it.Image

The best place to see this handcrafts is at the colorful Addis Ababa Markets, a section where it is dedicated to sell beautifully handmade items, which are all necessary for Injera.ImageImage

Experiencing exotic Ethiopian cuisine is one of the reasons why you should visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And it is with this distinctive national staple that your test of Ethiopia adventure starts with in Addis Ababa- the city that can provide the genuine test of Ethiopia with all its eloquent pieces and straight from the “Mitad”. Image

Travelers are finders. Image

And what can be more adventures and fun than traveling your test-buds with the exotic, delicious and healthy Injera!

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About Sara Genene

I am a traveler... on an endless journey of self-discovery!
This entry was posted in culture, Ethnic Food, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Injera: The Ethiopian National Staple

  1. Peggy Tee says:

    I had injera for the first time in a restaurant in NYC – it was delicious! Really enjoyed it. One day I hope to travel to your beautiful country and see it for myself, but meanwhile, I’m seeing it through your posts and pictures.

  2. fozziemum says:

    What beautiful vibrant pictures Sara, I saw a lady on television from our major city and she was making this,she was Ethiopian and the whole process was fascinating,she also said it was a staple and described the sour taste..the food she was making looked delicious and when finished she just tore pieces up and dipped them in her prepared dishes..thankyou 🙂

  3. Tariku says:

    Woow, Sara! It makes me feel like eating everything, including the Mesobs, but the beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing, sis!

  4. This bread looks soooo good.

  5. Yum! Another very interesting post, Sara 🙂

  6. Theresa says:

    I love “travelers are finders” – so true for all of us as we learn about each other. Thank you for bringing me to you…

  7. Violet says:

    Hi Sara! I’m so happy you found my blog because now I can follow you too, and see how beautiful your country is and learn so much from you! You’ve also inspired me to now use Teff flour in my gluten-free baking, so thank you very much!! 🙂 I tried Injera last December at an Ethiopian restaurant in Toronto, and found it very delicious. Do you have a recipe of it that I can try making it at home? 🙂 Have a wonderful day! ^^

  8. http://gumtreesoftware.wordpress.com says:

    Great website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get comments from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  9. nicola says:

    so excited…please share your Injera recipe…I have just got 50kg of T’eff flour and am eating so many new things…my wish is to bring this to the South African market. Since I was a child T’eff has been a passion from my Grandfather growing it for animal feed and me running barefoot through the fields to nourishing my horses and now me!! I wish to learn more about your fascinating culture Sara…x nicola

  10. j32804 says:

    Thanks for the beautiful post! I’m desperately trying to make injera at home. I found some recipes around, but most of them are not quite right. I know teff ferments on its own without yeast, and injera should be fluffy and spongy, but not too chewy, on its own, without any baking soda.
    I’m trying over and over, to make my own. All I get is strange really flat, almost glossy, paper thin pancakes 😦
    My teff dough ferments very nicely, but the result it’s not fluffy at all! It’s just flat and thin, like paper. It tastes nice though, but NOT THE SAME as proper injera should taste like. I miss it!
    May be it’s because I’m using dark teff flour instead of white? Please, please, share a recipe! Cheers!

    • Sara P.G. says:

      In Great demand I am going to share Injera recipe from my mother’s Kitchen very soon so please stay tuned. And thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words.

      • j32804 says:

        Sweet! I think I will start a blog with pictures of all my failed injeras 🙂 until I get the recipe.
        Thanks again for sharing this. I wish more people knew about this amazing bread – it amazingly tasty, healthy and gluten free. Most gluten free stuff is just like eating cardboard.
        Some foods from abroad gain extreme popularity in Europe, like, for example, sushi. But restos making injera…. you lucky if there is one in town! 😦

  11. Netsanet says:

    Wow wonderful !

  12. Pingback: KOLO: The Cherished Ethiopian Snack | About Addis Ababa

  13. You have put together an excellent blog! I enjoy learning so much about Ethiopia through your eyes. Thank you.

  14. Pingback: Ethiopia In Luxembourg | Ethiopian Wanderlust

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