I had never eaten Ethiopian food before in my life, which is a shame because we have many people from Ethiopia and Eritrea in Sweden, and quite a lot of them in the university city of Uppsala, where I live.
So this was an exciting thrill -- not only did I bake Injera, the traditional Ethiopian bread aka universal table spoon, but I also cooked the dishes that our hostess of the month, Mary aka Breadchick of The Sour Dough suggested, and we were enthralled. A million thanks, Mary!
The Injera bread is started with a starter, consisting of teff flour, a pinch of yeast and water. Teff or taf is an annual grass and an important food grain in the Horn of Africa. It turned to be hard to find teff flour in Sweden, but eventually I learned that teff is used by people with allergies, and so I found a website with products for people with all kinds of allergies.
You have to start the Injera at least 5 days before you want to make it. I understood that you can keep the starter for some time if you feed it every other day with 1/3 cups teff flour and 1/2 cups water. If you get too much volume, toss out half of the starter and then go on as usual.
This is what my starter looked like after a couple of days. My teff flour turned out to be very finely ground, and I didn't have to mix it to get rid of the gritty texture.
This bread does not require an oven, you cook them just like crepes in a pan. I used a non-stick pan which I didn't grease.
I'm not quite sure if this is the proper look, however, they tasted very good but were perhaps a bit too compact. Maybe I should have used more baking powder?
Along with the recipe for injera, Mary gave us several suggestions and recipes for Ethiopian dishes to go with it -- and I made them all! Very yummy, tasty and sometimes spicy -- exactly as we like it here!
Yes, we cheated and used spoons!! I made one veggie wot and one chicken wot. I also made Ethiopian Lentils with Yam and Ayib Be Gomen. I should have doubled the lentils dish, everybody wanted more of that.
Eggplant salad -- the eggplant cubes became surprisingly crisp after having marinated in lemonjuice and salt. We used black-eyed beans and chickpeas.
A perfect ending of a delicious dinner: oranges, peaches, strawberries, pomegranate and sugar mixed with mint and basil.
Mary has the complete recipe and all the necessary instructions for injera and these Ethiopian dishes over at her site, it is definitely worth to bookmark for immediate or future use! This was indeed a very pleasant experience for us, now we have to find an Ethiopian restaurant to visit to find out if their food is any better ...!
I am late as usual, so the other Babes of course already have their posts up -- please visit them:
Bake My Day (Karen), Canela y Comino (Gretchen), Cookie Baker Lynn (Lynn), Notite van Lien (Lien), I Like to Cook (Sara), Living in the kitchen with puppies (Natashya), Living on Bread and Water (Monique), Lucullian Delights (Ilva), My Kitchen in Half Cups (Tanna), The Sour Dough (Mary aka Breadchick) and Thyme for cooking (Katie).