In Ethiopian cuisine, this spongy, sour bread is used to pick up and sop up all sorts of fragrant, saucy stews. The main ingredient is teff flour, which is ground from a tiny ancient grain (and just so happens to be gluten-free). It’s mixed with water and fermented overnight (or longer) to produce a distinctly tangy batter that you cook in a skillet much like a pancake.
Makes: About 6 large rounds
Time: About 1 day, mostly unattended
2 cups teff flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
Neutral oil (like grapeseed or corn) for coating the pan, if necessary
1. Put the flour in a large bowl and whisk in 2 1/2 cups water until smooth. Cover with plastic or a kitchen towel and let the batter sit at room temperature at least overnight, but ideally 24 hours (the longer the batter ferments, the more it develops its trademark sourness).
2. After the batter has fermented, gently stir in the salt. Put a large pan over medium-high heat. If it’s nonstick, you don’t need any oil; if not, drizzle a little oil into the pan and spread it around with a crumpled paper towel (this helps cover the entire surface of the pan and soak up excess oil).
3. Ladle about 3/4 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom. Cook, undisturbed, until bubbles appear on the surface (like a pancake), just a minute or two. Cover the pan and continue to cook until the top of the injera is dried out and slightly glossy, the edges begin to curl, and the middle is cooked through, another minute or 2. Invert the pan so the injera falls onto a platter or cutting board (use a rubber spatula to help it out if necessary). Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm or at room temperature.