Injera is a fermented Ethiopian flatbread with a pleasing, sour flavour and a spongy, sauce-soaking texture. As with other fermented breads (such as sourdough and dosa), injera dough usually requires a starter culture, which can take days. Today’s recipe is the cheat’s version, soured with yeast and vinegar, which is still very satisfying to eat and make, but not quite the same as the original. Injera is usually eaten with misir wot, or spiced lentils, but this sweet spiced beetroot also works very well with the sourness of injera.
Spiced beetroot with 60-minute injera
Prep 15 min
Rest 1 hr
Cook 25 min
For the injera
250g teff flour
80g plain flour
7g dried yeast
1 ¼ tsp fine sea salt
2 ½ tbsp cider vinegar
For the beetroot
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
6 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seed
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 finger chilli, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
500g beetroot, peeled and grated
1¼ tsp fine sea salt
50g desiccated coconut (or 10 tablespoons)
Put the teff, plain flour and yeast in a large bowl, add 400ml hand-hot water (I add 150ml freshly boiled water to 250ml cold tap water), then beat with an electric whisk for a couple of minutes, until lump-free and creamy. Cover with a tea towel and leave for an hour, in which time it should rise nicely.
In the meantime, cook the beetroot. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat and, once hot, add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Cook for a minute, until the seeds pop, then add the onion and fry for five minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and chilli, cook, stirring, for a further three minutes, then add the tomatoes, beetroot and salt. Cook until the water evaporates and the mixture turns quite dry, which should take about six minutes, then stir through the coconut. Take off the heat and leave to one side while you make the injera.
Add 200ml warm water (straight from the tap is fine) to the risen injera batter along with the salt and vinegar, and mix to combine. Rub the surface of a nonstick pan with oil using kitchen paper, then set it over a medium heat. Keep a spatula and a plate to hand. Add a ladleful of batter to the pan, swirl it around into a circle and wait until the “eyes” (ie, the little holes) have mostly disappeared and the batter has turned dark brown (around 30 seconds). Put a lid over the top of the pan for a minute, until the whole injera has turned darker (around another 30 seconds), then lever out of the pan and on to the plate, and keep warm. Add a drop more oil to the pan, if need be, and repeat with the remaining batter.
To serve, gently warm up the beetroot, bring everything to the table and let people serve themselves, tucking a spoonful of the beetroot into a folded injera.