31 comments

Authentic 1-Day Ethiopian Injera: Gluten-Free 100% Teff Flatbread

This was one of the most challenging recipe creations that I have ever taken on, but definitely worth every attempt—all 5 of them. The goal was to make a gluten-free, yeast-free, 100% Teff Injera flatbread, which is traditionally served with Ethiopian stews and dishes like Chickpea and Sweet Potato Wat or Ethiopian Lentils with Berbere Spice. 100% Teff Injera is a fermented, usually yeast-risen, iron-rich flatbread that is prepared in a pan, like a thick crepe. It has a mildly sour taste, and in this recipe, it is gluten-free and yeast-free. If you don’t want to take time to ferment the batter and make it sour, you can prepare this recipe right away—still delicious.

I like to keep already-made Injera in the fridge and spread it with raw almond or cashew butter for a quick snack. I bet it’s great with raw honey or Date Puree as well.

Makes: 4-6 Injera
Time: 1 day to ferment, about 30 minutes to cook

Tools:
Large glass bowl
Cheesecloth, muslin or kitchen towel with a thin weave
Parchment paper

Ingredients:
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
1 1/2 cups teff flour
2 cups pure water
1/2 tsp baking powder
Coconut oil for pan
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste

 

Let’s get started.
Place Teff flour in a large glass bowl, add water and stir well.

Cover with a cheesecloth or towel and place on the counter and let it sit for 1 day/24hrs. Do not agitate or stir the batter, just leave it be.

After 24 hours, you’ll see that your batter is alive and fermenting. Every batch I made looked a bit different, some were brain-like (below) and some were less puffy.

Bring a pan to medium heat, and very lightly, coat the pan with coconut oil.

Stir in the salt, and season with more taste if you like, until you can barely detect the saltiness. Also stir in the baking powder. Your batter will deflate when you stir it.

Now pour enough batter into the pan to fill entire surface and cover with a lid, or if you don’t have a lid, use a cookie sheet. It’s important to keep a lot of moisture in the pan or the Injera will crack. You don’t flip Injera, and you aren’t supposed to brown it’s underside, but I like the taste of it browned so I tend to overcook it a bit. It takes about 5-7 minutes to cook Injera. You’ll see the top bubble like pancakes and start to dry out. When the top is dry, and the edges begin to curl/dry, use a spatula to remove the Injera from the pan.

Place on a plate and repeat, layering cooked Injera with parchment paper until you use up all the batter.

Serve with this week’s upcoming recipes Chickpea and Sweet Potato Wat or Ethiopian Lentils with Berbere Spice.

I have successfully prepared this recipe without fermentation many times—its just not sour. If you want to prepare it this way, just skip the fermentation step, mix all ingredients in a bowl and cook. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge.

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  1. Lizzie

    This recipe looks awesome – I can’t wait to make it!

  2. YUM! Now this is something we would love. Never played around much with teff.

  3. Angella

    Where is a good place to find teff flour?

    • You can usually always find Bob’s Red Mill in the gluten-free flour/baking section at Whole Foods. You can buy it online, too. If you don’t live near a Whole Foods, ask your local health food store to order some for you. Good Luck!

  4. Vicki D

    Love Ethiopian food, can’t wait to try this!

  5. I order from the Teff Company as Bob’s Red Mill isn’t really considered safe (certified GF). They sell both ivory and dark teff ( grain & flour). I’ve been using it for 4 years and never been sick from it. Quick shipping too.

    This recipe is wonderful – off to try it now! Thanks so much for the inspiration :)

  6. I really like a strong sour taste. Is that accomplished with only 24 hour fermentation or have you fermented the batter for longer than 24 hours?

    • The best results I came up with were with a 24 hour fermentation. The Injera was sour enough, but when I fermented longer than 24 hours, the batter flattened out on me. I think this was due to the lack of yeast/gluten. Maybe split the batch and experiment, see if you like the sour-level after 24 hours or 48 (if you go longer try not to stir the batter as it sits). Let us know what you discover.

  7. Lisa

    Just made this flat bread (fermented) and am enjoying it with a salad. I love the taste and sponginess. I think mine is a little thick-about 1/4″. How thick should it be?

  8. Thanks for another great recipe Heather! Love this stuff. Always wondered how they were made. Demystified, time to go grocery shopping for teff flour.
    :) Sharon

  9. Zak

    Hello Heather – great looking recipe! One question, I don’t use baking powder in things. Is there a good substitute or can I leave it out? Thanks!

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi Zak,
      Can you use baking soda? If so, use that and 1/2 tsp lemon juice to activate. Tthe baking powder leavens and is naturally activated, but this new combo will work as well. You can always leave it out and see if it works—be sure to let us know if it does.

  10. Onolicious

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It is one of the only ones I’ve come across that uses 100% teff flour, plus your method is really easy and your directions are spot-on. I used a ceramic non-stick pan with an inverted wok acting as a cover and it works really well! I’ve eaten 2 injera rolls smeared with fermented hummus and they were really delicious, despite being cracked (these were the first two I had made before I re-read your directions about immediately covering to prevent cracking.) I’ve stacked the remaining between parchment paper and may try freezing them for later.

    As a side note, for those looking for the best price on flour, I purchased my teff whole from Amazon and used my Vitamix dry container to grind it down to a flour likety-split!

  11. Carrie

    Is it normal for the batter to smell really bad. I know it was fermented, so it might smell a little, but my kids have nose plugs on right now as I’m trying to cook this.

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi Carrie,
      That sounds a tad extreme to me——it should smell sour and earthy without being putrid or offensive. How long did you let it ferment?

  12. Irene

    Thank you Heather for posting this recipe. I just made it and we tried some with ricotta and a little honey. It was delicious. My batter was slightly sour but didn’t rise at all and didn’t have any bubbles. I live in Australia. Can I ask what size cup you used as my batter seemed a bit wet. Many thanks. Irene

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi there Irene,
      Not sure I’m following you about the cup size (tell me more!), but you can always add a bit more flour to the batter (1 tbsp at a time) if your first crepe needed a bit more volume—every batch is slightly different because we’re fermenting and in different parts of the world at differing elevations and climates. I’m so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, use it as a base to improvise and play around. Report back with your discoveries! x

    • Tara

      Irene,

      A cup is a unit of measurement used in North America. It’s equivalent to about 240 milliliters. Hope that helps. (I’m assuming the confusion was due to metric measurements vs. non-metric.)

  13. I must try to make these! Thank you for this awesome recipe! I have always loved injera, but have yet to attempt to replicate at home. Could you please tell me the type of pan and size of pan that you use?
    Thank you

  14. Eric T

    It’s been a long time since I had injera so, I’m not quite sure how well it came out for me. lol But the texture is pretty good and I like the taste. I guess I’ll chalk it up as a win. It could not have been easier. I did however discover I was out of coconut oil so, I used canola and I cut the cooking time down to 3 1/2 minutes with my gas cook top being on a 3 out of 8 setting.

  15. git

    Stacking the “cakes” sounds like they would get soggy. What’s the best way to preserve them for later and then when you want to use them, what’s the best way to warm them up from the fridge?

    • Heather Crosby

      Git,
      Stacking the cakes with parchment in between actually keeps them from getting soggy and from drying out. You can warm them in a skillet with a bit of coconut oil. Enjoy, H

  16. Gabriella

    I’m making this recipe and accidentally put the baking powder in before I let the batter ferment. Do you think I need to start over? I made a huge batch and don’t want to waste all that teff! :-(

    • Heather Crosby

      Gabriella, I don’t think it will ruin the batch at all, you may not get as much fermentation action, but the taste should still be delicious. Let us know…

      • Gabriella

        They did turn out pretty well, but, just like you said, there wasn’t as much fermentation. Thanks for the recipe!

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