Ethiopian Injera

By DK on Feb 01, 2010
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
For last few months I am in pursuit of happyness (guess I am watching too many movies) this Ethiopian delicacy called Injera. HOW MANY BOOKS have I researched, how many online resources have I waded through, is too brobdingnagian to elaborate here! Most of the resources contradicted each other. Many were more adept at giving shortcuts for a better taste than the real one. I mean no one would make such a dish classic  if it tasted THAT bad right!? Or would they? That's where so many questions arose. More than 6-7 sources claimed that Injera was made purely only with Teff flour. Made sense. So I eliminated many of my notes which carried recipes made with "self rising flour","wheat flour","rye flour??!","all purpose flour" etc.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Few other resources assured me that the highlight was the lengthy yeasty starter which made the spongy bread. Thus I eliminated few other notes which carried words "Baking powder" and "baking soda"! And now comes the problem! I did not have any recipe to work with! Either the starter had "other flours" in it or the starter was Teff but it had other flours in the main recipe!!! (May be they were talking about other Injera! I wudnt know!) It was confusing indeed! I even tried searching for someone from Ethiopia, without success! My husband actually even started doubting if he married a sane wife! Who gets fanatic about a silly flatbread and that too from somewhere called Ethiopia which in his mind is synonymous with Masai Mara? (Husbands - Go figure!) I am not even going to elaborate how much he probably freaked out when I made a stinker in the kitchen (not me - the starter did it!) ;)
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
I finally zeroed on to two sites - The Bread Chick and Apple Pie, Patis and Pate (Thank YOU!!!!) whose recipes  made sense and looked totally logical from what I had read. According to the former link - I had to prepare a stinker Starter which was a 5 day long process! But I was determined. Once the starter is done, the rest of the process is a cinch! Yes, you can finally remove that cloth from your nose ;) And the bread - it was everything I was promised - Soft and Spongy! Only such a treatment could have made Teff flour taste this good

recipe courtesy for the starter from bread chick and the making of the bread from apple pie, patis and pate

Basic Information
Prep Time: 2+ days
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 2 people
Yield: Makes 2 cups Starter and the batter (uses only 1/4 cup of starter) makes about 4-6 injera. Using all the starter will make around 30 Injera
  • For the starter - Takes five days. If you want to have some starter left over to make injera again, wait seven days.
  • 3/4 cup water, room temp. (70 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup teff flour
  • A pinch active yeast (about 1/8 tsp)
  • For the Injera
  • 1/4 cup teff starter
  • 1-3/4 cups water, at room temperature
  • 1-3/4 cups teff flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
* although Apple pie, Patis and Pate mentions using wheat/white flour starter if making Injera for the first time, I went ahead with teff and I am not dissapointed.

Lets start with the starter first! (Duh!) I followed Bread chick's instruction to the tee

Day 1:

Combine ingredients for the starter in a bowl.

How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Loosely cover the starter with the lid/cloth and ferment for two days on the counter or someplace that is about 70 degrees. You should see some rising in about four hours. Let alone for 2 days.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe

Day 3:

Stir the starter. This is when the stinker effect starts. The starter has a very yeasty and grassy smell. You will also notice that small bubbles on the surface now.

How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe

Feed the starter 1/3 cup teff flour and 1/2 cup water and loosely cover with the lid. Let alone for 2 days.

Day 5:

Starter should have separated into distinct layers. You would think that something has gone wrong with it - what with watery layer on top and dense muddy flour at the bottom! But that's exactly what we are looking for :) Stir starter, it should be slightly fizzy and have a very strong grassy aroma. Feed with 1/3 cup teff flour and 1/2 cup water. Loosely cover and allow to sit alone for at least 4 hours before using to make Injera. You should have about 2 cups of starter by now.


If you go to Day 7, follow Day 3 instructions for Day 5. You will have left over starter to make Injera again in the future this way.

( I just realized that I have forgotten to take a picture of my day 5 starter! Guess that stink got to me! )

Now lets go to the Injera recipe (verbatim from this link) Uses only 1/4 cup of the starter. If you want to use all the 2 cups of the starter increase the flour, salt and water accordingly

Mix. Place the starter in a bowl. Pour the water over the starter and stir to dissolve.

How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Add the teff flour and mix until the batter is smooth. It will have the consistency of thin pancake batter.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Ferment. Cover and let stand for 5 to 6 hours at room temperature. Reserve 1/4 cup of the starter for the next batch.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Add the salt and stir to dissolve.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Heat a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat (you’ll also need a tight-fitting lid). Using a paper towel, wipe the skillet with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Pour about 1/2 cup (for a 10-inch skillet) or 3/4 cup (for a 12-inch skillet) of batter in the center of the skillet.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Tilt and swirl the skillet immediately to coat evenly.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Let the bread cook for about 1 minute, just until holes start to form on the surface.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Cover the skillet with the lid to steam the injera.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
Cook for about 3 minutes, just until the edges pull away from the sides and the top is set.
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
The first 1-2 Injera's might be a slight disaster - Don't worry. The rest of them will be pillows! See 1 and 2 of mine down here? Sad :(
How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
But from the next ones it will be amazing.Promise. You don't have to turn the Injera. Just cook it on one side. It does not get the spongy texture immediately. But let it rest for 3-5 minutes and it suddenly gets that amazing texture. There is no muddy, bitter taste of Teff either. Serve it with any spicy dish. Spicy dish goes very well this. I served it with some hot tomato stew. Great for scooping the side dish!! How to make Ethiopian Injera Bread - Gluten Free Recipe
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6 members have made this recipe!
Did you make this recipe?Please click below to share your experiences while you were making this recipe. Thanks for your input!
188 Responses to “Ethiopian Injera”
  1. Guy

    Thank you for this Recipe. I will make it very soon. Can I please ask, when you write “1-3/4 cups” do you mean between 3/4 cup and 1 cup or do you mean one and 3/4 cups?

    one AND 3/4 cups –DK

  2. Renee

    Hi DK,
    Back on Feb 28, 2015, Dawn asked what to do with the leftover starter…and if it should be put in the refrigerator. I didn’t see you or anyone else answer that question. Please help…as I am not proficient with working with starter. Thank you.

  3. Regina

    Wow. The description of your research and first attempts sound like mine. I gave up my quest for good homemade injera, but now I am inspired again. The smell from my first attempt at fermentation made me think I had done something wrong and I was afraid to proceed. Now I know what to expect. I will let you know how my next experiment turns out.

  4. Giusi

    Did not work whatsoever. I followed all the instruction and when I cooked it it did not make any bubble or rise or anything. It tasted horrible too.

  5. Jamie

    HELP! I was planning on making this today, but the link to the recipe with measurements is not working! It doesn’t take me to an injera recipe. What do you do after day five when you are ready to make the injera? How much teff, water, salt, etc. Thanks.

  6. bethan

    I am increasing the recipe amounts as i’m making it for a large group. Is 1-3/4 cups, one AND 3/4 cups or between 1 and 3/4 cups?

  7. Where do you store the remaining starter batch? do you put it in the fridge?

  8. susan

    a friend says he just sits the mix of teff flour that he grinds himself with water and salt on the counter overnite and the next day, it has fermented. he proceeds to make the pancakes. how could this be so simple?!

  9. gg

    I hope my first post went through from minutes ago.

  10. gg

    Dear Friend,
    Thank you for the information and the potentially successful recipe. I want to get all the right items together before I even attempt to experiment. When I do, I will leave a comment of the results. It is a fantastic blog that updates its users of responses.

    In the meant time, Happy Holidays to DK of the chef in you ( author of the blog), friend and all other commentaters here.

  11. Friend

    You can order bulk Teff on line. Google Teff Idaho. Mix equal parts teff and water (nothing else). Let sit for 5 days. Peel off top layer of yuck and discard. Whisk what is left w water salt and baking soda (experiment with these three) to get proper thickness and result. Cook between a 1/2 and 1/3 cup on a 10-12″ square non stick pan/griddle (covered). Enjoy one of the best foods on the planet

  12. gg

    Joseph’s comment from June 29th, 2013 on 6:28 pm -That is how I remember Injera “ersho”/Amharic ( starter or as in yeast being made from teff flour). Have small quantity of the ersho to ferment, set it aside for 2-3 days mix with teff flour, bring to good batter consistency and bake. From that very mixture, save some for a couple of days while the baked injera is used; keep up with the cycle as Injera is used in Ethiopian homes daily and year round. I find this recipe after some confusion of other suggestions with a mix of wheat, self rising flour etc., These days you don’t find 100% teff recipe. Fortunately my memory got refreshed. I usually buy Injera from Ethiopian stores, but for diet reasons, need to avoid flour. The reasonable healthy mix could be barley and teff if done right. Whole foods sells teff flour as well as Ehtiopan stores. I will atlast experment this time.

  13. Martin

    I lived in Ethiopia and was shown how to make this by an old lady in my village but had forgotten the details. Finally managed to lay my hands on some teff back here and after lots of searching the web, your site is the most authentic recipe around I could find! As you found, lots of people presume to make additions or add self raising wheat flour etc. So thank you.

    Just a couple of ideas. They would not usually ever have covered the pan as a huge round hotplate would have been used. The technique usually used for pouring onto the pan was a close -ish spiral pour (rather a big dollop) from the centre which I guess would ensure an even cook on a relatively dry pan for a spongy mixture. Lastly, they used your technique of leaving a ‘starter’ behind to restart for the next batch. However, they would usually have cooked a batch every 3 days and so slightly quicker than above. Each batch cooked would somehow become more sour and slightly dry by day three and so thet everyone would be keen for the next days batch of fresh injera. Thanks again. Martin

  14. Thabile

    :lol: My Daughter has an Ethopian friend now,and she will come home from a visit and talks about eating Injera and it seemed like the dish that was eaten all the time hence my curiosity of this Injera Dish thanks for a nice read i’m not trying that anytime soon two Days is long for Moi

  15. Tina

    I have made this dish. Made the starter over a week actually and when we made the bread we made the dough sligthly thick and flipped the breads over (it takes a bit of skill). They were awesome! Best Gluten free and also eeg free bread recipe I’ve seen. I guess because it is not an adaptation of something else but because this is how these breads are supposed to be. thanks a very much for the recipe :)

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