Cooking is an art as much as it is a science.
The magic behind injera is fermentation. It transforms healthy grain-like seeds into more digestible and more palatable nourishment.
In Ethiopia and Eritrea, Teff flour is the main ingredient of this age-old flatbread but it can be hard to get and quite expensive so I used what is more local to Kenya but has the same nutritional profile, look and almost the same flavor.
Some people even confuse finger millet with teff which look alike but they are two different plants.
Finger millet is also gluten-free, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Both plants can flourish in high altitude as well as low altitudes. They don’t need a lot of water and they are naturally resistant to many pests and diseases, especially if farmed with traditional organic farming methods like mulching, mixed farming.
Finger millet is dirt-cheap and most importantly it tastes great.
It is not as pliable as teff and it can get some whitish color on top but I just have to compromise because it is so hard to make gluten-free bread that tastes great and is affordable.
Here is the simple recipe
1. Mix 1 cup of sifted/sieved wimbi/finger millet flour with a pinch of salt, a pinch of active dry yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water. The commercial yeast will act as a starter and invite wild yeast from the atmosphere to the ”party”. The yeast will multiply and make the bread more digestible, more flavourful and it also improves the texture. Leave it gently covered with a cloth, leaving a small space for the wild yeast to come through. Leave it in a warm place, like a cupboard, or in a turned-off oven. At least 24 hours. You can take some, cook and add more wimbi flour to the starter, to feed the yeast. The older the starter, the tastier the bread. Some bakeries in France claim to have starters as old as from the Napoleon Era.
2. Mix the starter with a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of honey. The sweetness will counter the strong sour flavor and bring balance. without the sweetener, I find the bread having just a one note that is so boring. You can also use sugar syrup. About 1/4 cup sweetener to 3/4 cup starter then add two tablespoons of wimbi/finger millet flour
3. Heat your nonstick pan or cast iron pan on medium low. I used cast iron so I added a little extra virgin coconut oil and sprinkled some ugali flour, like salt bae hehe, the flour and oil make it very nonstick although preseasoned cast iron pans are usually nonsticky, I just had to take insurance.
4. Using a cup, pour the batter from the center and let it just ooze outwards forming a round-ish bread. This is my 3rd time making injera so I have not really mastered but I’m getting there. Cover quickly and turn off the heat. Let if finish cooking slowly, cast iron hold on to heat beautifully and does not emit nasty fumes like regular nonstick pans. It can also last for over 100 years, amazing pan.