Traditional Crops


Teff grains are white, mixed or red, with the white fetching the highest and red the lowest price. Teff accounts for about two-third of the daily protein intake in the Ethiopian diet and is mainly used for making different kinds of enjera (pancake-like flat bread), porridge and feed. Enjera is eaten in most households but it can require up to three days for the teff flour to ferment. Teff is also used in making a local alcoholic drink called arak'e or katikalla and a native beer called t'ella or fersso. The straw is used for reinforcing mud for plastering wooden walls of buildings and for livestock feed.  

Where it is found

Teff is a staple food crop of Ethiopia and Eritrea, having originated and diversified there. It has been introduced to South Africa where it is cultivated as a cover and forage crop while it is cultivated as a cereal crop in Northern Kenya. 

How to eat it

Traditional Ethiopian Teff Enjera (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:  3 cups ground teff; 4 cup distilled water; Himalayan salt to taste; Olive oil for the skillet. Makes 20 pancakes.  

Preparation: Mix ground teff with the water and let stand in a bowl covered with a dish towel at room temperature until it bubbles and has turned sour. The fermentation process will take approximately 1-3 days. The fermenting mixture should be the consistency of a very thin pancake batter. Stir in the salt, a little at a time, until you can barely detect its taste. Lightly oil a skillet that is 8 inches or wider. Heat over medium heat. Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the skillet; About 1/4 cup will make a thin pancake covering the surface of an 8 inch skillet if you spread the batter around immediately by turning and rotating the skillet in the air. Enjera is not supposed to be paper thin so you should use a bit more batter than you would for crepes. Cook briefly, until holes form in the enjera and the edges lift from the pan; do not let it brown, and don't flip it over as it is only supposed to be cooked on one side. Remove and let cool. Place plastic wrap or foil between successive pieces so they don't stick together. To serve, lay one enjera on a plate and ladle legumes/meat/vegetables over it. Serve additional enjera on the side. 

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