World Food Challenge

Day 57: Eritrea and Injera

Good evening, Raffies!

Today we are going to make a dish that I have been looking forward to trying at home for a very long time: Injera
This is a quite common dish in most of Eastern Africa.

It all begins with the injera, the traditional flatbread, made out of sourdough. I prepared the dough yesterday to leave it to rest and ferment. When I came home from work today, it had developed some kind of foam, like when you leave yeast to rest in water and sugar.
Then I started my marathon for the berebé paste and the different side dishes. Luckily, I had feared it would take me longer, but I was done within 2 hours..also thanks to my husband who was upgraded to chief onion and garlic chopper.

First things first, injera presents itself as flatbread with different dishes and sauces on it. The traditional injera is not only an important part of a meal in Eastern Africa, but it is also a fundamental utensil. It is used to grab and scoop the sauces and side dishes.

I had decided to make 5 side dishes and obviously the fundamental berberé sauce. As it seems, this sauce is fundamental for most Eritrean dishes.
I have taken inspiration for the side dishes from these great websites:

To give you an overview of injera buzzfeed.com
For some great vegetarian dishes: thestar.com

And I can definitely see myself making this for some dinner party! It was incredible!
I would love to try it in Eritrea or with some great people from Eritrea and learn more about this incredible dish!

The recipes I have used are the following:

Ingredients:

2 shallots, minced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp ginger, grated

3 tbsp peanut oil

water

12 cardamom pods

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp cayenne

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp fenugreek

1 tsp allspice berries

6 cloves

1/3 cup chili flakes

In a pan, mix all the spices together and toast them until fragrant and their aroma unfolds.

In the same pan, fry the shallots in the oil and add the garlic. Stir well and remove from heat before they brown.

Now either using a mortar or a blender, pound or grind all the spices, the ginger and the shallot-garlic mixture.

If the sauce is very dry, add a bit of water to it. Mix it well.

You can now keep it in the fridge in an air-proof container for years. Be careful, because this sauce is strong, so handle with care! 🙂

Ingredients:

250 g red lentils

1 tbsp peanut oil

1 onion, minced

2 tbsp Berberé sauce

1 can tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground cardamom

3 cloves of garlic, minced

salt

pepper

Start by frying the onions in oil, until tender and golden brown. Add the Berberé sauce and then everything but the lentils. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes. It is time to add the lentils and about 300 ml water. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

  • Tsebhi Sga

3 red onions, diced

1/2 cup kbe or butter

1/2 cup chili paste or d’lk (or chili powder mixed with water and cumin and cardamom powder)

1 cup canned tomatoes

500 g breef, cubed

water

Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the onions until soft. Add the chili paste and mix well.

If needed, add some water. Now add the tomatoes and cook for about 15 minutes on a low heat until you have a nice sauce. Add more water, if the sauce is dry.

Add the beef and cook until the beef is fully cooked and soft, approximately 30 minutes. Add more water, if needed.

Add more butter and serve.

400 g greens like broccoli leaves, spinach, chard, etc., washed and chopped

2 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

1-2 onions, chopped

1-2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp allspice

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

salt

Boil the greens with some water until soft. Rinse and set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil and stir fry the onions until soft and golden brown. Add the garlic and the greens. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Add some water, if necessary.

Add the green pepper, the lemon juice, the spices and ginger. Cook for about 10 minutes and season with salt.

1/2 cup olive oil

4 carrots, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1/2 cabbage, chopped

5 potatoes, chopped

salt

pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

In a big skillet, heat the oil and fry the carrots and onions, until the onions are soft and browned. Add the salt, cumin, turmeric, pepper and stir well.

Add the cabbage and the potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes. If necessary, add some water and cook until soft.

1 can chickpeas

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 cup water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 tsp mustard

1/2 lemon, juice

salt

pepper

Start by blending all the ingredients in a blender. Set aside.

1/4 cup teff flour (if you can’t find it, plain flour or rye flour are also acceptable)

3/4 cups wheat flour

1 cup water

salt

peanut oil

Mix the teff flour and the wheat flour in a bowl. Slowly add the water and mix well to avoid lumps.

Put the mixture aside and let it ferment for a day or overnight. You should see that it started bubbling. If not, add some yeast.

Stir in salt and heat a pan.

A drop of water should dance on the surface of the skillet. Now add a thin layer of batter in the pan. The injera should be thicker than a crêpe, but thinner than a pancake.

Wholes should appear on the surface of the injera. Once it is dry, remove from the heat and proceed with the following injera.

It is finally time to assemble the dish. Ideally, you should have one big injera, but if your skillet is smaller, you might have several small ones.

Place the injera on a serving plate and put the different side dishes and sauces on top of the injera.

Everyone will be helping themselves from the common dish, using the injera like a spoon and plate.

Have you ever tried this? What do you think of it?

Love,

Raffi

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