Sunday, January 22, 2012

Faux Injera

I love Ethiopian food, and Andy and I have been eating it semi-regularly. It's also a really good thing to cook for guests, because a lot of people haven't tried this cuisine, or at least they don't have it often. Plus, it's yummy, so people tend to like it.

In an effort for authenticity, I bought some very expensive teff flour ($12 for 500 grams!!) in November so I can make injera. But at that price, I'm afraid to screw it up - so I haven't actually opened the pack yet. I am aware that it's been more than 2 months, and I should get over my fears and just dive in. But in the mean time, we had people coming round for dinner and I was serving mesir wat, and I wanted something *like* injera to serve with it.  Here's what I came up with - easypants, gluten free, and spongy like injera. They were missing the sour undertones of teff-based injera, but these chickpea breads were a good accompaniment for those of us who haven't tackled proper injera yet.

1 c. chickpea flour
1 c. water

That's all. I told you they were easypants. In a bowl, mix these two things together. The batter should be like crepe batter - thinner than pancakes, thicker than milk.

Heat up a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Brush the pan with a tiny bit of oil. The idea is to cook these quite slowly, so they cook through (because raw chickpea flour tastes terrible) but don't get crispy. Using a ladle, pour a scoop of batter into the pan and immediately spread it out with the back of the spoon. Cook it until bubbles appear and the top is basically completely set. Just like cooking pancakes, but without the browning.

Flip the bread over, and cook for another minute or so before transferring it to a plate.

I had two plates - one for the bread that's just come out of the pan, and one for cooler ones.

After removing the first bread from the pan, start a second one. When it's ready to flip, roll up the one on the plate and put it on plate 2.

Hopefully that makes sense. Letting them cool just a bit before rolling makes them more pliable and less likely to crack.

Once the breads are all cooked, and then fully cooled, wrap them up and store them until the rest of the meal is ready.


Kari said...

This was a very timely post Theresa...I bought some chickpea flour a little while ago and the fact I haven't used it yet (for no real reason, especially as it isn't as dear as your teff flour!) is starting to nag at me. These are going to be my solution I think :)

dreaminitvegan said...

These look wonderful! I use chickpea flour when I make savory crepes.

Mel said...

I love your faux injera, they look like the real deal apart from colour! Chickpea flour is so versatile, I use it often in so many different ways. And I'm right with on Ethiopian food, it's so delicious!

It's a shame that teff is so expensive, I have only used my packet twice. The second time was for a recipe test and the injera didn't work out so I was really disappointed. :(

Emily said...

Nice! I always wondered how they make that bread. I think I would prefer the non-sour version...haha. I enjoy the spongy texture though.

Carrie™ said...

There are no Ethiopian restaurants near where I live, so I've never been able to try it. Whenever I'm in Toronto, we always seem to be in the mood for something else. I see references to injera everywhere and teff flour is available at the bulk food place I frequent. I also keep reading how delicious the food is so I'm adding this to my list of cuisines to explore.

Cindy said...

Awesome! I love injera. I used to use a cheat's recipe that was equal volumes of plain flour and soda water, but I really like the idea of using chickpea flour instead.