In November 2013, I had a particularly fun book event for Vegan Chocolate at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ. It was exciting for me to see old friends and meet new ones, read from my book, answer questions, and of course, offer samples of recipes from the book. I was in such a good mood that I was not in a rush to get back to New York City. Well, lucky for me, a group of vegan friends told me we were going to have a post book party meal at Mesob, a very vegan friendly Ethiopian restaurant in town. I don’t like spicy food but I do love Ethiopian food, and used to eat it regularly when I lived in the Village. I’d heard raves about this one and I was hungry, so I was eager to go. I fell in love as soon as we entered the lovely room and were greeted warmly by (one of the owners). Our large group ordered lots of food, which we enjoyed as a community, tearing off pieces of the spongy bread known as injera. True injera takes time as the batter must be allowed to ferment. It is doable, and I have made it, but I was very curious about the quick injera in Kittee Berns new book Teff Love. Kittee has made a somewhat intimidating but much loved cuisine accessible. From foundations, through breakfast and then to dinner and dessert, there is much for those of us who enjoy Ethiopian food to make.
I made the Quick Teff Crepes using Bob’s Red Mills teff and chickpea flours. If you are expecting Injera, these are not that. But they are good tangy rather than sour crepes that’ll do the job of injera when time is short.
Quick Teff Crepes
Although these crêpes don’t have quite the same texture or pronounced sourness typical of teff injera, they make a good stand-in on days when you want Ethiopian food quickly and don’t have time for the fermentation process or access to commercial injera. They have a slightly spongy-stretchy texture, with a small bit of tang from the yogurt and vinegar, and work well for scooping up sauces and stews.
Makes 14 6-inch crepes
- 1 cup teff flour, any variety
- 1⁄2 cup chickpea flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoonsalt
- 2 cups carbonated water
- 2/3 cup unsweetened plain vegan yogurt
- 6 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Preheat a nonstick skillet (see cooking tip) over medium heat. Put the teff flour, chickpea flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk vigorously to combine and to beat out any lumps in the chickpea flour. Add the carbonated water and vegan yogurt and whisk well to combine. When the griddle is hot, whisk in the vinegar to combine. The batter will rise and foam, and the consistency will be thin and reminiscent of chocolate milk.
- Form each crêpe by using a 1/3-cup measure to scoop the batter from the bottom of the bowl and pour it into a disk on the hot pan. Use a spoon to quickly and lightly smooth the batter into a 6-inch disk, starting in the center and working in concentric circles until you reach the edges (keep the center of the crêpe the thickest and the edges the thinnest; the crêpe should be between 1/8 and 1⁄4 inch thick).
- Cover and cook for 1 minute. The crêpe should be dry on the top with a smattering of little holes over its surface. Uncover and continue to cook the crêpe without turning it for
- 1 to 11⁄2 minutes. The total cooking time for each crêpe should be 2 to 21⁄2 minutes. When fully cooked, the crêpe should be dry on top with a few air-bubble holes, and the bottom should be firm, smooth, and lightly browned. Depending on your cookware and stove, you’ll need to adjust the heat to achieve this result. Use a flat, flexible spatula to loosen and release the crêpe, and then quickly transfer it to a plate and cover with a clean, dry tea towel. Repeat the cooking process until all the batter has been used. As the crêpes are made, stack them on top of each other and keep them covered with the towel so they don’t dry out.
- As they cool, the crêpes will develop a spongy-stretchy texture. Let them rest until they’re room temperature, then wrap the stack loosely in a clean, dry tea towel and seal it in a ziplock bag until serving time. Be sure the crêpes are completely cool or the bag will collect moisture and they’ll spoil. If you notice any condensation, open the bag to air it out.
Cooking Tip: For the best success, I recommend cooking these crêpes on a flat, anodized griddle or pan. If you find the crêpes are sticking as they cook, mist the pan with a small amount of oil. Keep in mind, just as with traditional teff injera, the first one cooked is usually a throwaway or a treat for the cook.
Cooking Tip: Halve this recipe if you’d like a smaller yield, and for the best results, eat these the same day they’re prepared.
I have a copy of Teff Love for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight eastern time on March 11, 2015 U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!