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Recipe for Injera

INJERA (Bread)

Yield: 5 9-inch pancakes


Combine: 1 cup BUCKWHEAT PANCAKE MIX
1 cup BISCUIT MIX
1 EGG
Add: 1 Tbs. OIL
1 1/2-2 cups WATER to obtain an easy pouring consistency.

Bring a 10-inch skillet or a handled griddle pan to medium heat uniformly over the flame. Do not let the pan get too hot.

Spread 1/2 tsp. OIL over the pan with a brush.

Fill a measuring cup (with spout) or a large cream pitcher with batter.

Pour the mixture on the hot pan or griddle in a thin stream starting from the outside and going in circles to the center from left to right. As soon as it bubbles uniformly all over remove from heat. Pancakes should be 9 inches in diameter.

Place the pan in an oven at 325' for about 1 minute until the top is dry but not brown.
Arrange the five pancakes overlapping each other so as to completely cover a fifteen-inch tray, thus forming the Injera "tablecloth."

This unleavened bread of Ethiopia is really a huge pancake made by the women in special large pans with heavy covers. The Tef batter is saved from an earlier baking and added to the new batter to give it a sourdough quality. It is poured at a thin consistency and baked covered so that the bottom of the pancake does not brown. The top should be full of air holes before the pancake is covered. The heavy cover steams the pancake so that when it is finished it looks like a huge thin rubber sponge. Since Tef is not available here, we had to find a way to simulate Injera in our test kitchen. The combination of buckwheat flour mix and biscuit mix seems to produce the closest substitute. Making it is easy, but getting the Injera texture takes a bit of experimentation, first, because not all pancake mixes are alike and secondly, it is important to cook the pancake at just the right temperature. This takes a bit of practice.


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IAB

Cottage Cheese and Yogurt
Yield: 1 quart


Iab is a white curd cheese very much like the Greek feta. Special herbs are added (and sometimes chopped vegetables) which give it its characteristically acid taste. Since the cheese used in Ethiopia is not available here, this recipe is an attempt to simulate lab.

In a 1-quart bowl:
Combine: 1 Ib. SMALL-CURD COTTAGE CHEESE or FARMER CHEESE
4 Tbs. YOGURT
1 Tbs. GRATED LEMON RIND
1 tsp. SALAD HERBS
2 Tbs. CHOPPED PARSLEY
1 tsp. SALT
1/4 tsp. BLACK PEPPER.

The mixture should be moist enough to spoon but dry enough to stay firm when served. Drain off excess liquid. One or two heaping tablespoons of lab is placed on the Injera before each guest.

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DORO WAT
Chicken Stew
Yield: 8 portions


In Ethiopia, about 4 tablespoons of Ber-beri, Ethiopian red pepper, is used in each recipe. It is extremely hot. In our adaptation, we use cayenne pepper and paprika (which is not Ethiopian) to bring it to the characteristic dark color and flavor. Even cayenne pepper should be used sparingly.

In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or heavy stewpot:
Brown 3 cups BERMUDA ONION chopped finely, without fat, until quite dark, stirring constantly.

Add: 3 oz. BUTTER or OLIVE OIL
1/2 tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
1 tsp. PAPRIKA
1/2 tsp. BLACK PEPPER
1/4 tsp. GINGER.
Blend the seasonings into the onions.
Add 1 cup WATER.
Soak: 1 3-lb. CHICKEN cut in 1-inch pieces, bones left on and including neck and gizzards, in
2 cups WATER to which
1/4 cup LEMON JUICE has been added, for 10 minutes.
Drain the water from each piece of chicken.
Add chicken to onion mixture, stirring it through. Cover.
Simmer over low heat until chicken is tender.
Add more water, if necessary, to bring to stew texture (or if Wat is watery, thicken with 2 tablespoons of flour dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water).
Add 8 PEELED HARD-BOILED EGGS a few minutes before serving.

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SEGA WAT

Ethiopian Lamb
Yield: 8 portions


Proceed as above but use 2 Ibs. of lamb (from leg) instead of chicken and only 1 cup of chopped onions. The lamb is cut in l/2-inch cubes, the water is not added, and the lamb is sauteed on all sides until quite dry and well done.

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KITFO

Ethiopian Tartar Steak

Yield: 8 portions
Chopped beef should be freshly ground just before serving. It is served raw.
In a 9-inch skillet:
Melt 2 oz. BUTTER.
Add: 1/4 tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
1/4 tsp. CHILI PEPPER
1 tsp. SALT and stir through thoroughly.
Add 1 1/2 Ibs. LEAN ROUND STEAK, freshly ground,

Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately. Do not cook.
If your guests prefer the Kitfo cooked, saute it over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

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CHEF KURT LINSI'S QUEEN OF SHEBA SALAD
Yield: 8 small salads

Chef Linsi serves this salad when he prepares an Ethiopian dinner, as he feels that a salad is lacking in the Ethiopian presentation. It's pretty hot too, so be careful with the hot-pepper sauce and hot chilies.

In a 1-quart bowl:
Combine: 1 1/2 Ibs. FIRM TOMATOES, cut in tiny wedges with seeds removed
1/2 cup SWEET ONIONS, finely chopped
1 clove GARLIC, finely chopped
1 HOT CHILI PEPPER, finely chopped
1/2 cup PEPPERONI, thinly sliced (optional).
Sheba Sauce
Combine: 1 cup KETCHUP
1/4 cup VlNEGAR
1/2 cup OIL
1/2 cup SWEET WHITE WINE (Muscatel or Madeira)
1 tsp. WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1 tsp. SALT
1/4 tsp. BLACK PEPPER
few drops TABASCO SAUCE.
Marinate the tomato mixture in the sauce. Serve in sauce dishes without lettuce or drain well and place in the center of the Injera.

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DABO KOLO

Little Fried Snacks

They will look like flat peanuts, and are served as a snack or with cocktails; and like peanuts, once you start eating them you can't stop.
In a 1-quart bowl:
Mix: 2 cups ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1/2 tsp. SALT
2 Tbs. SUGAR
1/2 tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
1/4 cup OIL.
Knead together and add WATER, spoonful by spoonful, to form a stiff dough. Knead dough for 5 minutes longer.
Tear off a piece the size of a golf ball.
Roll it out with palms of hands on a lightly floured board into a long strip 1/2 inch thick.
Snip into 1/2-inch pieces with scissors.
Spread about a handful of the pieces on an ungreased 9-inch frying pan (or enough to cover bottom of pan). Cook over heat until uniformly light brown on all sides, stirring up once in a while as you go along.
Continue until all are light brown.

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VEGETABLE ALECHA


Vegetable Stew
Yield: 8 portions


The Copts in Ethiopia have many fast days on which they are not permitted to eat meat. Vegetables Alechas and Wats are substituted on these days. (The Wat differs from the Alecha in that it is made with a spice called Ber-beri or Awaze.)
In a 4-quart saucepan:
Saute: 1 cup BERMUDA ONIONS in
4 Tbs. OIL until soft but not brown.
Add: 4 CARROTS, peeled and cut in 1-inch slices
4 GREEN PEPPERS, cleaned and cut in quarters
3 cups WATER
1 6-oz. can TOMATO SAUCE
2 tsp. SALT
1/2 tsp. GROUND GINGER.
Cook for 10 minutes covered.
Add 4 POTATOES cut in thick slices.
Plunge 2 TOMATOES in boiling water, remove skins, cut in 8 wedges each, and add to stew.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add 8 CABBAGE WEDGES, 1 inch wide.
Sprinkle with SALT and PEPPER.
Cook until vegetables are tender.
Correct the Seasoning.
Place in an attractive bowl and portion out uniformly.

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TEJ

Honey Wine

Yield: approximately 1 quart
Tej is the Ethiopian wine made from "honey raw with comb" cooked with hops (Gesho), and it takes a special talent to make it. We simulated Tej for our Ethiopian dinner as follows:
Combine: 1 pint WHITE WINE, light, neither dry nor sweet.
1 pint WATER
4 Tbs. HONEY.
Chill and serve in 1/2-cup decanters or wine glasses.
Be sure it is very cold. Whatever white wine you use should not have strong characteristic taste of its own. A mild white wine of the Soave or Riesling type thinned with water and to which honey is added is as close to Tej as one can get without going through the fermentation process. (You may be able to find honey wine ready to use. Ask at your local liquor store. If not available proceed as above.)

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Extracts from: Bea Sandler. The African Cookbook. Diane & Leo Dillon (Illust.). New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993.
To order a copy of The African Cookbook, please contact:
The Carol Publishing Group
600 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022