Chic African Culture

What is Injera bread? What is Teff?

What is Injera bread? What is Teff Grass?


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

Teff is a grass, small sized fine grain that grows mainly in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Teff is a grass, small-sized fine grain that grows mainly in Ethiopia and Eritrea. 

What is Injera bread? What is Teff Flour?

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 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 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.


Teff grass in Africa and the United States


Teff is a staple crop in Eritrea and Ethiopia where it is a native annual grass species but is not widely known around the world. The very small seeds are cooked or fermented and have good nutritional content. Teff grass is a warm-season annual grass traditionally used as a grain and forages in Ethiopia it is adapted to the high-altitude tropics growing well at temperatures 50 to 85° but requires an 11 to 13 hours to flower.

Teff grass was introduced to the United States in the late 50s early 60s but still largely remains unknown. In the USA, teff grass is getting a lot of popularity as a late and for some very good reasons. Farmers in Oklahoma, Texas and New England were trying to look for alternative ways to make up for a fodder grazing and hay shortage. Teff grass is a warm-season grass with a very fine stem super high-quality hey type product. Horse people love teff grass because of his extreme palatability.

Because of its fine stem, Teff grass needs to have at least 65 to 70 degrees soil to plant. The seed size is very tiny so you cannot plant very deep or it's not going to grow. It grows extremely well in the heat has exceptional drought tolerance. Teff is a rapid drying grass, unlike sorghum. Teff grass grows so well in optimal conditions, in 23 days the grass can grow 20 inches tall. To see if Teff grass is going to be major forage crop in the USA, well it depends on how the market responds.

Farmers in the United States may be new to planting Teff however in other parts of the world it has been around for thousands of years. Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC; the seeds were discovered in a pyramid and 3359 BC. Since then the seeds have been widely cultivated and is used not only in Ethiopia but in neighboring African countries as well.

Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, and Djibouti use Teff grass to make flour. Teff flour can be used in a number of things such as cereal, bread, cookies, and other snacks. Today the African Gourmet will be teaching you how to make Ethiopian flatbread called injera bread. Injera is made using teff flour, this ancient grain has a lot of fiber and protein and iron in it and it is a great nutritional source. Now making Injera bread is an overnight process and for best results, a three-day process because you want to get a nice sourdough type flavor. You can use water in your recipe but you can use flat beer, specifically dark beer for a nice rich flavor.

Fermented foods prepared from major cereal crops are common in many parts of Africa. Some are used as beverages and breakfasts or snack foods. Injera is thin fermented bread that is usually made from cereal grass named teff. It could also be made from other cereals like barley, sorghum, and corn. The fermentation process is started by using dough saved from the previously fermented dough.

Injera is the most popular baked product in Ethiopia. The fermented bread has a very sour taste and is the undisputed national bread of Ethiopia. The baked product is referred to by different names depending on the locality of production in Ethiopia. It is referred to as bidenain Oromigua, taeta in Giragigua, and solo in Walaytigna.


Injera Sourdough Flatbread Recipe
Injera Sourdough Flatbread Recipe

History of African food is traditional such as homemade injera bread. How to make delicious Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea injera bread in African households comes with practice.


Injera Sourdough Flatbread Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups teff flour
2 cups of water or flat beer
¼ teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for coating the pan

Directions
Mix flour, water, and salt. Put the batter aside overnight or up to three days to ferment. The batter will start to bubble and obtain its well-known tartness. Heat a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients and lightly mix well. Heat a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Coat skillet with a thin layer of batter. Cook until holes appear on the surface of the bread flip and repeat cooking on the other side. Cover completed bread with a damp cloth.


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