What is Injera?

Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Although preparing it requires a considerable amount of time and resources, it is a national staple that is eaten daily in virtually every household. Injera is served with a variety of stews and sauces and accounts for a substantial quantity of an average Ethiopian’s food intake. Unusual for yeast bread, the dough has sufficient liquidity to be poured onto the baking surface, rather than rolled out. In terms of shape, Injera compares to the French crep and the South Indian dosai as a flatbread cooked in a circle and used as a base for other foods. The taste and texture, however, are quite unique.

What is it made out of?

The most valued grain used to make Injera is from the tiny, iron-rich Teff (Indigenous to small parts of Africa) However; its production is limited to certain middle elevations and regions with adequate rainfall, so it is relatively expensive for the average household. Because the overwhelming majority of highland Ethiopians are poor farming households that grow their own subsistence grain, wheat, barley, corn, and/or rice flour are sometimes used to replace some or all of the Teff content. There are also different varieties of Injera in Ethiopia, such as nech (white), kay (red) and tikur (black). 100% Teff Injera is not only expensive but almost impossible to achieve in the climatic conditions in North America. The fermentation of the yeast requires a precise temperature and humidity control that is makes it very difficult to achieve high quality standards on texture and consistency in the summer and winter months.

While we are working on developing a controlled environment to achieve 100% Teff Injera, we are currently producing a premium quality with a unique mixture of Teff, whole wheat, rye, barley, and buckwheat. Our Injera recipes are wholesome, healthful and absolutely delicious.

How is it made?

In making Injera, Teff flour is mixed with water and allowed to ferment for several days, as with sourdough. As a result of this process, Injera has a mildly sour taste. The bottom surface of the Injera, which touches heating surface, has a relatively smooth texture, while the top will become porous. This porous structure allows the Injera to be a good bread to scoop up sauces and dishes. The Injera is then ready to bake into large flat pancakes, done either on a specialized electric stove or, more commonly, on a clay plate (Amharic mittad, Tigrinya mogogo) placed over a fire. These traditional clay plates are very difficult to use, produces large amounts of smoke, and can be dangerous to children. Because of this inefficient cooking method, much of the area's limited fuel resources are wasted.  In 2003, a research group was given the Ashden award for designing a new type of stove for cooking Injera. The new stove uses available fuel sources (including dung, locally called kubet) for cooking Injera and other foods efficiently, saving the heat from the fuel. Several parts are made in the central cities of each country, while other parts are molded from clay by women of local areas. This technology made it possible for woman to avoid health hazards related to the making of Injera.

 Zelalem Injera, has helped further innovation by being the first to purchase the only technologically advanced Injera machine built by Dr. Wudneh Admassu a professor at University of Idaho and Chairman of Department of Chemical Engineering.  This machine not only enables high sanitation standards, it also ensures consistency in product quality. It has also helped as become the nation’s largest distributors of Injera as our production capacity increased tremendously as a result.

If you’re interested in purchasing this automated Injera Machine for mass production in North America or Ethiopia, please contact us today. Tel:703 628 5716 Email: info@zelaleminjera.com We’ll be happy to guide you through the process of ordering.