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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ethiopian and Eritrean Green Fields of Lovegrass

Teff is the seed of a grass native to Ethiopia and Eritrea known as lovegrass.

What is Injera bread? What is Teff?

Delicious vegetarian banquet on top of Injera bread photo by jodigreen
Injera bread is a flatbread traditionally eaten in the African countries of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Injera bread is thicker than a crepe but thinner than a pancake. In making Injera, teff flour is mixed with water and fermented over several days however, wheat flour or all-purpose flour can be used however, the taste and texture changes.

Eating with Injera bread is a stable in some African households in order to eat dishes of vegetables, meats and stews.  Injera bread is used in place of utensils using pieces of Injera to pick up bites of food. Injera bread is eaten daily in all most every Ethiopian and Eritrean household. The Ethiopian dish Spicy Red Lentils goes perfectly with injera.

Teff Grass also known as lovegrass by International Potash Institute
Teff is a grass, small sized fine grain that grows mainly in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The grain is tiny and has a very mild, nutty flavor. Due to its very small size teff cooks quickly and is naturally gluten-free. Ground into flour, teff is used to make the traditional bread, injera. The teff crop’s history traces back thousands of years as a reliable staple crop. 

According to the BBC Ethiopia currently has a long-standing ban on exporting the teff grain, either in its raw form, or after it has been ground into flour. Instead, entrepreneurial Ethiopian companies can at present only export injera and other cooked teff products, such as cakes and biscuits.

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