When we first tried Ethiopian food, we were surprised at how similar it is to Indian cuisine. The food is spicy and there are a lot of stir-fried vegetables/green leafy vegetables and even a kind of ‘dal’ along with meat/poultry.
Traditionally food is eaten from a common plate and the staple carbohydrate is a crepe/ dosa called ‘injera’ which is basically eaten with all the gravies/meat/vegetables.
The injera is broken by hand into bite sized pieces and dipped into the several side dishes that accompany a meal just like a roti/dosa. Some places serve the side dishes on the injera itself (which looks like a thin porous grey cloth/napkin on a tray/plate), but we asked for it to be served on the side as it tends to get soggy after a while.
Injera is made from locally grown millet called ‘teff’. Like most millets, it’s a tiny round grain with no gluten and rich in calcium, iron and fiber.
The making of injera is a long process. The teff is first ground into flour, and then mixed with yeast and water and left aside to ferment for 2-3 days. After it is fermented it is poured in circular motion (just like dosas) onto a hot flat iron pan. Due to the fermentation, the injera has a slight sour taste.