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Ethiopian Pancakes §

Fancy a decadadent flubbery pancake topped with lavish vegan actrouements? Then this injera, mesir wat, timatam and ye'abesha gomen is the dish for you. Injera recipe from Meera Sodha and all other recipes are from Michael Zee's Symmetry Breakfast.

Prep time: 1 hour 20

Cooking time: 1 hour

Makes: Enough for 4

Ingredients Injera:

250g teff flour

80g plain flour

7g dried yeast

1 ¼ tsp fine sea salt

2 ½ tbsp cider vinegar

Rapeseed oil

Ingredients Wat:

2 onions

2 garlic cloves

2cm ginger (peeled)

3 tbsp ghee (or oil)

2 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

250g lentils

500ml water

Ingredients Kale:

2 tbsp ghee (or oil)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or a cardamom pod)

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp chilli flakes

3 garlic cloves

1 onion

Juice of 1 lemon

200g kale

Ingredients Timatim:

60ml olive oil

30ml white or cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves

(optional) 1 tsp berbere

4 ripe tomatoes

1 chilli - deseeded

1/2 onion

1. Injiring love of this bread

The injera flat bread needs to ferment in order to get those signature eyelets - this is usually done for 6 days. But ain't nobody got time for that! This recipe only takes one hour to prove, easy, peasy, nice and speedy.

Start by mixing 250g teff flour (or buckwheat flour), 80g plain flour and 7g yeast. Add 500ml tepid water. Beat with a whisk. Marvel at the weird wall paper paste consistency, somehow both solid and liquid. Once it's unlumpy, tuck it in by covering the bowl with a tea towel and leave to the side to have an hour long nap.

2. Timeatim to make the timatim

Get cracking with the timatim whilst your injera is having its little rest.

In a bowl, mix 60ml olive with 30ml white wine vinegar, the juice of 1lemon, 2 cloves of garlic minced and 1 tsp of berbere (berberé, bērbere? The injery is still out on pronounciation), give it a stir.

Roughly chop 4 big tomatoes, 1 jalapeno or a green chilli and half an onion. Mix it into the dressing. Put to the side until you're ready to serve.

3. Wat to do now?

To get started on this dahling mesir wat chop 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic and a 2cm chunk of gingér. You can either blend this in a blender or chippity chop it really small like we did.

Heat 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok. Once hot add 2tsp turmeric, 1 tsp hot paprika and 1tsp cayenne pepper (hold back on this if you're not a spice fiend). Cook for 2-3 minutes, let it get fragrant and spicey.

Then add your chopped or pureed onion mish-mash. Cook for a cool 10 minutes.

Next add 250g of split red lentils (they've obviously been under the same pressure as us all through covid, and split) and 500ml water.

Cook for 30 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. (It will definitely need salt - insert image of Samin Nosrat rubbing here hands together gleefully here).

Make sure you stir it occasionally throughout this time, adding water if it gets too thick and dry.

3. Inkale and exkale, it's time for another dish

While the wat is simmering away, make your ye'abesha gomen.

Start by heating 2tbsp vegetable oil. Once hot add 1tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp chilli flakes. Yes that's a lot of spices, you better have a pretty kitted out spice rack by now! Cook this for 3-5 minutes until fragrant, but not catching.

While it's cooking chop a medium sized onion. Once the spices are done cooking, having made you feel slightly proud that you decided to invest in the entire supermarkets array of spices, add your chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic minced and the juice of 1 lemon. Leave to cook for 5 minutes.

You can do the injera in this time. But keep track of the time, when the five minutes is up you need to add 200g kale roughly chopped. Then cook it for 5-7minutes with the lid on.

4. Try to answer the age old question: bread or pancake?

It should have been around 1 hour since you started resting your injera. Check on it, it should be live and bubbly, like a foamy mattress.

Add 200ml warm water, 1 tsp salt and and 2.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar and give it a mix.

Heat a medium sized frying pan on a high heat. Rub a neutral oil onto the frying pan with some kitchen roll so there's not too much oil.

Ladle one ladle worth of batter into the pan. Spread around the pan with the bottom of the ladle like your name is jean-pierre and you're a professional crêpe maker.

Cook for 30 seconds and then put a lid on the saucepan, cook for another 30 seconds. Slide out of the pan onto a plate and keep warm in a warmed oven. Keep making them like this until your batter's all used up.

5. Watvengers assemble!

Check on all of the various components. Give the wat a stir, it should be nice and lumpy and beige (We wouldn't have it any other way). Give the kale a stir as well, it should have steamed down into a beautiful flavoursome mush.

To plate up, lay one injera on a plate and top with a large spoonful of wat, a helping of timatim and a spoonful of the ye'abesha gomen. Roll up another injera and slice width ways, position facing upwards for added beauty. You can also go wild and added cucumber, feta and a boiled egg if you wanted. These all compliment the dishes here beautifully (chef's kiss). But would obviously make it not vegan!

Then get stuck in with your hands and have a messy dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "I have had injera on my mind since making this. Everyday I wake up and think “today is an injera day” (which it rarely is because I need some kind of variety in my life now that food is the only inconstant!). I used buckwheat flour instead of teff flour, because it was hard to source - but it worked really well, even if it did smell and look like dirt whilst it was proving. It was the ideal texture and thankfully didn’t take long to make at all. The wat was very spicy, but very nicey, and the coolness of the tomatoes in the timatim offset this very well. I used some leftover spinach for the ye’abesha gomen (plus I’m strongly of the opinion that kale sucks) and it worked delightfully well. The four different elements worked together better than a symphony orchestra (does this make me the pretentious conductor with the floppy wig - probably). 10/10 "

Kate says: "My favourite types of meal are ones where there are lots of little bits with different taste so each mouthful is a contrasting flavour, and this Ethiopian feast certainly delivers on that. I added an egg and cheese for more flavour combo choices but to make it totally vegan those can be left out. Teff flour is a medium which I've never worked with before but now I've got some left over maybe I'll try something new (NB: it tastes less earthy than it smells). I need some more practice forming the injera and getting the heat right but overall not bad! It's fairly easy considering how professional the outcome looks. I would definitely make again especially if I was looking to impress someone with my skillz, 9/10 "

9.5/10 Gasps


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