Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rosie Accepts A Challenge.

My loyal readers know
I will take on any challenge.
Just Ask Rosie @

 I have a friend who recently offered me a challenge.
"I have a culinary challenge for you... cook up something using teff.  You do the research but 10s of million people  eat teff every day and I will bet none of your reading audience knows how to cook with is the new quinoa?"

Well, of course, Rosie accepted the challenge. 

 Teff is the national pride of Ethiopia.  It's been a staple of traditional Ethiopian cooking for thousands of years - as in way back BC.  It's the smallest grain in the world and it's a nutritional powerhouse - high in fiber, iron, calcium, and protein, including all 8 essential amino acids, and it's gluten-free.
In Ethiopia, teff is ground into a flour and fermented to make injera, Ethiopia's national dish.  It's a spongy, sourdough flatbread that is soft, porous and thin like a pancake. Traditional Ethiopian restaurants serve injera with all meals as an edible serving plate topped with meats, vegetables and sauces.
You may be interesting in watching this:
Farmer to Farmer program
  It's how I found out about teff.
 I found whole grain teff at Fresh Market in Nags Head.

 It's a teeny tiny grain.
Mr. Hawthorne was kind enough to grind the grain for me.

 And I have teff flour!

Injera Ingredients

For the starter - Takes 5 days
1/2 cup teff flour
3/4 cup water, room temperature
a pinch of yeast (1/8 tsp) or a teaspoon of sourdough starter

DAY 1:  I mixed the water and teff flour together.

 I have a sourdough starter that's been
sitting on my counter since February.
Every day I feed it
and whenever I make bread,
which is just about every other day,
I use a tablespoon or so of the starter, in addition to the yeast.

 It's alive!

I added a little starter to jump start the mixture.
This is not necessary.
There's enough wild bacteria in the air
to start the fermentation process.

Loosely cover the mixture with a paper towel.
 Just a few hours later,
it's doing its magic.

DAY 2:  The next morning,
we have fermentation!
You can actually watch the bubbles bubbling.

Day 3:
It has a nice crust on it.
This is normal.

Stir the starter, then add in 1/3 cup teff flour and 1/2 cup warm water.

Mix well, loosely cover, and wait 2 days.
 I like to check in on my starters.
Just a few hours later,
it's doing what it's supposed to be doing.

Actively releasing carbon dioxide.

Day 5

 It's starting to resemble an alien landscape.
    Whenever you jiggle the bowl,
the carbon dioxide bubbles up.
The starter has separated into two layers.
It's watery on top and muddy on the bottom
and when you stir it, it has a definite odor about it.
I've smelled this before -
around cows and horses and in barns.
I would describe it as ...  grassy.

 Next, I fed my starter
with 1/3 cup teff flour and 1/2 cup water.

 Stir to mix.
Cover loosely and leave it alone for at least 4 hours
before beginning the injera.
 I left it overnight.

Day 6:
 Look what happens when you jiggle the bowl.
  More jiggling.

 I took 1/4 cup of the starter and added 3/4 cup water.

 Add in 3/4 cup of teff flour.

 Add in 1/3 tsp. salt.

 Whisk to combine
and let rest for 5-6 hours.

 I heated my pan over medium heat,
swiped my pan with a paper towel of oil,
and poured in 1/2 cup of the batter.
Swirl the pan around.

  Cook 1 minute and let the bubbles come up,
then cover and let the injera steam for 3 minutes.
Cool on a rack.

 And here's my injera.

 It looks like the pictures I saw.
 Is this an acquired taste?
I really should have made some of
the traditional Ethiopian stuffings for the injera,
but after 6 days of smelling the fermentation,
I was not so inclined.

But I did find a few suggestions
in an Ethiopian restaurant menu.
(Queen of Sheba in Louisville, KY.)

I would rather go to the restaurant and have it done properly.

Rosie needs benchmarks.


Catherine said...

Well, this is something I never heard of or tasted, but I would definitely give it a try.
Glad you accepted the challenge!!
Blessings, Catherine

Lori K said...

I would love some when I see you in May!!!!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks Catherine and Lori. Check out the menu for the appetizers with injera and stuffings.
Use a stuffing.