Monday, July 9, 2012

Injera - New and Improved 1-Day Method (Monday's Menu)

A while back I posted my two-day injera recipe here.  Well, the more I made this recipe, the "stronger" (by stronger, I mean yeastier/fermentedy) it became.  Maybe it was because I left my starter too long in the fridge, maybe it has been too long since I've been in Ethiopia and have lost my "taste" for all things good.  Either way, I have been busy experimenting and have eventually come up with the following one-day process which is much much easier and better (in my opinion). This recipe begins after you have your injera starter.

note:  I have cut the batch size in half for a couple of reasons:  1) this batch size fits well into my blender.  2) the full batch size was just a little too large for us and I am kind of a reheated-injera snob - it's just not as good).  3) I have become proficient enough with the cooking process that I don't typically have to throw away large portions of injera anymore :)  If you want to double the batch, go for it.  Unless you have an industrial size blender, you'll have to blend in batches, but that shouldn't matter.

morning - 9:00ish 
2.5 cups teff flour (I use dark teff, but it doesn't really matter which kind you choose)
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
water, enough to make to the consistency of very runny waffle mix
1 cups injera starter - (see photo below)
Add all ingredients except for the starter in a blender.  Blend well for about 5 minutes on medium speed.  This helps break down the teff grain and should feel smoother between your fingers.  Next add your 1 cup of injera starter and blend for about another minute.  Next, put it in a clean bowl with a lid at room temperature.

afternoon - 2:00ish
Put 1 cup of white self-rising flour and approximately 1.5 - 2 cups of room temp water in the blender (enough water to make a watery waffle mix consistency).  This step isn't crutial to be done in a blender if you're a big show off and your kitchen's already cleaned from this morning.  A bowl and a wisk works fine - just enough to get all the lumps out of the flour.

Your mix from this morning will be separated and bubbly with fermenting goodness (see photo below).  Simply pour the white flour mix you just made into the morning's mix and stir thoroughly with a spoon or a wisk.  Replace lid and keep at room temp.

afternoon - 4:00ish
Your batter will be slightly separated and bubbly, a little like it looked this morning.  Mix gently with measuring cup.

You're now ready to cook your injera.  There's a whole art to cooking injera and a lot of it comes with trial and error, but here are the basics:

Pour a very thin layer of batter (approx 3/4 cup) on a griddle (non-greased) and cover with a lid.  Do not flip.  Cook on high, takes approximately 1-2 minutes.  Always save 1 cup of batter to use as your injera start.

  • These times are not absolute.  If it seems like you don't have enough fermentation going on, put the lid back and wait another hour or two.  Or, if you need to get this done before nap time etc., feel free to get a jump start.  Likely, it will all still work out just fine.
  • It's important to always use luke-warm water.  Fill a large pitcher of water before you start.  This makes it easier to get it to room temp, rather than attempting to get your faucet to the right temp as you go
  • As tempting as it is, don't peek on your batter in between steps.  This messes up the fermentation process.
  • Before you start cooking the injera, take out 1 cup of batter right away to save for your start.  This way you won't run the risk of getting distracted (thank you 5 small children) and accidentally using up all your batter.  What. a. bummer. to. lose. your. start!
  • Your starter will be good for about two weeks in the fridge.  If you need to go longer than that, simply take it out of the fridge and "feed" it for a couple of days.  Click here for more detailed instructions
Photo tips

This is what my injera start looks like after about 10 days in the fridge.  It looks nasty, but it's still good.  Just pour off most of the black liquid before using.  The longer it sits, the more separation you will see.  Either way, it's all good.

This is what the batter looks like at the beginning of the afternoon process, and pretty much what it will look like right before you cook it.  It will also smell pretty yeasty.

I'm using my man-hands here to demonstrate the consistency your batter should be -  more watery than waffle mix, and run fairly freely off your hands.

About half-way done.  See all the bubbles?  Aren't they beautiful?

See how the edges are turning up ever so slightly.  This is how you know your injera is done and ready to pull off.  The inside might still look gooey, but it's ready - I promise.

Most important tip 
If I can do this, anyone can do it.  If it doesn't turn out just right, try and try again.  Don't be afraid of this process and learn as you go.



  1. you are amazing. also, i've seen your hands in person and know they aren't at all manly but in that picture they do freak me out a little. :)