Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shelf Gleaning - Injera

Who needs rusks when you've got injera?
Poor low-carb dieters.  It seems to me a fundamental break from the human condition to forgo grains - the staff of life reaching across continents and across the millennia.  A reliance on a staple grain, be it rice, corn, or something else, unifies all of the world's cuisines.  I also find it interesting that modern nutrition recommends eating a wide variety of grains, when so much of the world's population subsists, and even thrives, on one main grain only.  Still, when you have the choice as we do in Footscray of broken rice from Vietnam, jalebi's golden, wheaten squiggles, and tangy, spongy, sorghum-based Ethiopian injera, why not branch out and try a new grain today?

You can buy injera for 80 cents a round from Footscray's specialist injera bakeries.  I recommend Mesnoy Injera Bakery and Mama Rosina's - here, the lovely Ruta will be happy to give you cooking tips for the spicy wats or curries of her homeland.  Mesnoy are also so friendly, and there you have a choice of savoury (wheat), non-savoury (a blend of corn, rice and wheat) and "brown", made from sorghum flour.  Injera back in Ethiopia is made from teff, a native grain forbidden for export, so expats have to make do with various blends.  Injera is not "baked" in the Western sense, but made into a batter that is first left to ferment for a day or more, before being cooked like a giant pancake on a large griddle.  It isn't flipped, leaving its uppermost surface pockmarked with lots of craters, so that it acts just like a giant sponge when topped with juicy, oily curries!

Mesnoy and Mama Rosina's (as well as the many other Ethiopian groceries in Footscray) also sell berbere and niter kibbeh (traditional spice paste and spiced, clarified butter).  In coming posts, I'll show you how you can use these to make your own delicious and surprisingly easy Ethiopian meals.  Stay tuned!

Mesnoy Injera Bakery (map)
77 Irving St, Footscray 
Phone: 9687 8855
Hours: 8.00am - 6.00pm, Mon-Sat

Mama Rosina's (map)
253A Barkly Street, Footscray
Phone: 9687 8191
Hours: 10.00am - 5.00pm, Mon-Sat


  1. I love eating injera out at restaurants, but had no idea you can just buy them from bakeries - brilliant!

    Do you ever reheat yours at home?

  2. Hi Cindy! I am in the "happy with cold injera" camp so I just eat as is, but it would be very easy to either whack in the microwave, or perhaps put in a slow oven, wrapped in foil. Enjoy!

  3. Injera can get a bit dry after a couple of days (as if it would normally last that long without someone eating it...), and can be quickly 'freshened up' with about a minute in a steamer on top of a cloth.
    the cloth will aid removal from steamer.

    I cooked Doro Wot 2 nights to serve on the injera...

    A friend got me some more injera last night from Footscray (4hrs drive away)

  4. Hi Speedy - that is a good friend! Good to know about the stale injera. A friend once told me that the lady in the shop told her that she liked to leave it for a few days before eating it, but I have tried that and it just gets all brittle and stale. Much nicer to be so pliable and fresh. I have seen recipes, too, that are kind of a mash of the stale bread with tomato and chilli.

  5. Thanks this is great to know! I want to go to an Ethiopian cooking class

  6. banana, I have a couple of recipes on here for two great recipes - a lentil stew with berbere and a cabbage and carrot fry up. You can search for them under 'berbere' and 'niter kibbeh'. Sooo super yummy. A friend also told me that he freezes his injera and when it's defrosted, puts in a low oven for a little while wrapped in foil and it turns out good as new.


I love getting your comments! They're what make blogging worthwhile. Unfortunately, the amount of spam I get is obscene and it is so tiresome to have to moderate every comment, so I have had to turn on annoying word verification. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but please know how much I love you having your say!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails