Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You Can Make Injera- Really.

Meghan has helped produce an incredible new cookbook. It is a resource that is invaluable to adoptive families with children from Ethiopia. You will easily be able to make your kids one of their favorite things- Injera.

 I was quite intimidated by the idea. I knew there was some fermenting involved, and special pans, and days upon days of preparations. Not so much. Easy, Peasy. Yummy, Delicious. Steven was the main chef, I was the sous chef. It was so easy, I'd be surprised if Meazi isn't making it by herself by the end of the school year.

Last Thursday night, after the kids and I fell asleep, Steven prepared the batter.

He used the Maskal brand teff, just the brown kind. I believe the recipe calls for a mixture, but he just used the brown. (Remarkably this teff flour belonged to Chris. He took it from her home after she died).

We tucked it in an open space on our very cluttered counter.

 It is supposed to ferment for up to 48 hours, but ours worked longer. I was worried that if we waited too long it would turn into beer or something. Not all would be lost, but still, it was a concern.

On Memorial Day, Steven added the hot water, which you have to do six to eight hours before you want to start making the bread.
  Our dear friends came over with their brand new Injera pan around 4:00 pm. Steven treated the pan with salt.

Doesn't it look yummy?

This pan was fantastic, but Meghan assures me that you absolutely do not need it. A simple frying pan, without a large lip, dedicated solely to Injera making, will work just as well.  (But if you were desperately trying to find me the perfect gift for, well, uhm, Father's Day? This Bethany pan would suffice). We didn't have a lid, so we just used one from another one of Heather's frying pans.

Here we go...

 I made Shiro from some powder I had, and the yellow split pea recipe from the Injera cookbook. I did not realize that in addition to easy, detailed, instructions on how to make Injera, the book contained tons of yummy recipes for many of our favorite Ethiopian dishes.
The Injera was great. It was the real deal. The dark teff gives it a richer, stronger, taste in my opinion, and next time we will try a mixture of the light and dark teffs.
It kept comin'. We kept eating. The kids loved it.

There is something incredibly satisfying about making injera for our kids. Meazi kept raving, "I can't believe you made injera!" She'd run out of the kitchen, and then run right back in to rip off another piece. She took the injera with some leftover Shiro in her lunchbox today. Earlier on Monday, she had told me how her family made injera in Ethiopia. She gave me some pointers. We live 15 miles from Little Ethiopia. We are incredibly lucky to have access to injera and other products, but now we know that no matter where we are, we can recreate this incredible gift of food, culture, family- living and departed- and friends.

Here is a lovely article about Meghan, Mulu, and their book. All proceeds go to building and improving health clinics in Ethiopia. Great idea. Invaluable resource. Delicious injera. Here's the link again.

Happy Fermenting.


  1. I cannot WAIT to get ours and give it a try. Looks amazing : )

  2. Awesome! I have injera close by also, but I have been so intimidated by making injera...I might just need to try this!

  3. We too are surrounded by wonderful Ethiopian restaurants, less than 10 minutes away. But I bought the book with the expectation that someday, we may not be so close. I am so happy to hear it's not as insanely hard as it sounds. For now though, I am content to leave it on the shelf, and head to Desta when we need our injera fix.

  4. Mmmmm... will go order immediately!

  5. Congratulations! I got the book. I have the Bethany mitad. I did everything it said - except I used brown teff, whole wheat flour, and white flour instead of barley flour because I didn't have barley flour. I am hoping that that was the problem because there was a HUGE problem. It was inedible. This makes me hopeful that the lack of barley was the problem and that maybe I, too, can make injera. Jealous.

  6. yummy injera and a rockin' party! Fun! I have a big nonstick griddle; can I make injera on that? Or, should I just order it from our Eth. restaurant...? I will say, you make a convincing argument.

  7. Sigh...what I would do for a kid who would eat one single bite of injera. I know it will come, but for now, Muntashe will not let a bit pass through his lips. Grrr... Great pictures, great job, Julie & Steven!! Well done.

  8. Awesome!!! You are such a rockstar. My kids LOVE injera, but I'll keep buying it for 75 cents a piece at the Ethiopian restaurant.

  9. OK, have the book, but haven't tried, mostly because the damn pan is so expensive. I feel like I want the pan....thanks for reassuring me it can be done.

  10. AWESOME....just had some injera in the house from a restaurant and thought "oh this will be great for Tessa"....poor kid has already developed very American tastes. Wouldn't touch it. perhaps as she grows older I can get her more exposure. for now it is granola bars and torillas as a favorite. boy, I need to work on this!

  11. hey y'all - I have lots of feedback about the book :) I spent months testing this recipe with quite a few mix ups. You can 'like' the FB page "You Can Make Injera" for some feedback on your questions. Katy, self-rising flour (white) will really change the recipe. Scooping it up, you can use any pan - just find a pan that is new and won't be used for anything but the injera. The FB page is a great resource - we can help you succeed. Plus, I get to 'meet' all of Julie's cool friends :)

  12. Thanks so much for posting this, I think I just found our Father's Day gift for this year!

  13. Im still intimidated. Will you make some for us?
    (kidding!) I think you need to say some Ethiopian prayers over the injera. Like abracadabra. When I was in Addis I asked to help make the injera at the orphanage. I got the biggest steam blister you ever saw from lifting the lid too fast OUCH!