Teff? Where to get it in Canberra?

By 27 February, 2011 11

Anyone know where in Canberra I can buy Teff flour, in order to make Ethiopian “injera” bread?

Many thanks in advance.

Injera is a traditional Ethiopian flat bread which can be made from several types of flour depending on the location of the bread baker. Injera is also called enjera, laxoox, lahoh or canjeero. Some of the flours used in making injera are teff, whole wheat flour, barley, rice, and/or corn meal. Teff is the flour of choice for injera. However, since the growing of this iron rich grain is limited to certain elevations and a particular amount of rainfall. Teff can be hard to come by and also very expensive.

Injera is cooked on a large clay plate (called a mogogo) over a fire although electric skillets are also used. A very large crepe-like bread is created. Injera is only cooked on one side and is not allowed to brown on the cooked side. Since this bread is so thin, both sides are cooked in the final product.

Injera is almost never eaten by itself. The large flat bread is placed on the table and other food is placed on top of the injera. Injera becomes the plate, the eating utensil, and the food. Pieces of injera are ripped off the main bread and used to scoop or pickup the other foods such as stews and salads. The injera soaks up the juices and flavors from the food placed upon it. As the meal continues, the table becomes empty of all food.

If you are a guest at a meal in Ethiopia, don’t be surprised if someone tries to feed you some food. This is done as a sign of respect.

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11 Responses to Teff? Where to get it in Canberra?
#1
switch12:27 pm, 27 Feb 11

Maybe the spice shop in Mawson? Not the Cedars of Lebanon, the other one; seems to have more African stuff. Although wouldn’t hurt to try Cedars if you’re there and can’t find it.

#2
trevar12:53 pm, 27 Feb 11

A quick google revealed this AU website, which lists teff flour, but says its temporarily unavailable. I also found this American site that may help.

#3
Pommy bastard4:48 pm, 27 Feb 11

Thanks both.

I pass by Mawson occasionally, I’ll check it out.

#4
neanderthalsis7:15 pm, 27 Feb 11

You could swing by the Ethiopian place in Civic or Dickson and ask where they source their flour.

Mrs Neanderthalsis and I had dinner at the one in Civic last week, on the back of JB’s <$10 lunch review and had Injera bread, it was most interesting, almost tasting like it had hops in it.

#5
The_Cassowary11:49 am, 28 Feb 11

I’ve been to the Global Cafe a couple of times now (after the lunch review), and I asked the lady behind the counter there how she made her injera bread. She said that she used sourghum flour, as Teff was too expensive and too hard to get here. My (limited) research suggests that the only way to get Teff in Canberra is shiped from interstate, @ about $18 per 500g. I’m planning to go back to global cafe and seeing if she’ll relinquish the injera ‘starter’ recipe.

#6
EvanJames12:56 pm, 28 Feb 11

When you google “Injera recipe”, google puts up suggested searches and most are variations of Injera Without Teff. Teff sounds quite hard to come by, it’s a tiny gluten-free grain grown in Ethiopia. This is a recipe without Teff http://www.whats4eats.com/breads/injera-quick-recipe where they say using lemon juice gets you the sour flavour you get with Teff.

#7
MattT2:36 pm, 28 Feb 11

I did an Ethiopian cooking course a few years ago, one of those adult education things at Erindale College. The instructor was from one of the Ethiopian restaurants, I think the southside one. She said teff was almost impossible to get outside Ethiopia so they used a mixture of plain, corn and sorghum flour. You can get the last two at most Indian grocers. They sorghum flour is called jowar and its used to make roti. Mix it all up with water, add a tiny pinch of yeast then leave it out uncovered for three days. The recipe makes injera exactly like the stuff they serve at the markets. You keep some of the batter aside to make your next batch so you don’t need to wait three days for it to ferment. I can probably find the recipe at home. I think I have the yellow lentils recipe too if you’re interested and maybe the mixed cauliflower carrot cabbage thing too.

#8
EvanJames2:53 pm, 28 Feb 11

MattT said :

I did an Ethiopian cooking course a few years ago, one of those adult education things at Erindale College.

What was the word on peanuts? Is it greatly used in Ethiopian food?

If anyone east-side needs a good Indian food market, there is one in Queanbeyan called Patel’s, in the Aldi carpark, they have a very good range of flours.

#9
emd9:43 pm, 28 Feb 11

If you really want teff, you can buy it online from the USA:
http://www.iherb.com/Bob-s-Red-Mill-Whole-Grain-Teff-Flour-Gluten-Free-24-oz-1-lb-8-oz-680-g/8926?at=0
It’s not on their list of products banned for sale to Australia.
Teff is actually grown in Australia, it grows well in some parts of Queensland and is a weed (not a noxious weed, just a weed). It is useful as a stock feed, but it is not approved for sale in Australia as food for humans. Doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it, just means nobody has considered there to be a commercial market to justify the effort of having it approved for use as a food here. Hemp seeds (which can be used to make a milk alternative for people who don’t consume dairy) are in the same position here – can legally be traded, just not as a food.

#10
troll-sniffer4:29 pm, 08 Mar 11

It’s very important to ask for your ‘t’eff in the correct manner. The t is explosive, not the way we say t at all. Bit hard to describe, excep that the t is accompanied by a sharp rush of air as the tongue comes away from the top of the mouth.

You’ll get better service if you address the vendor as a ‘k’orr ‘k’orr fassam lij. This is a standard pleasantry in Ethiopia nd will win you lots of friends.

#11
I-filed8:01 pm, 08 Mar 11

emd said :

If you really want teff, you can buy it online from the USA:
http://www.iherb.com/Bob-s-Red-Mill-Whole-Grain-Teff-Flour-Gluten-Free-24-oz-1-lb-8-oz-680-g/8926?at=0
It’s not on their list of products banned for sale to Australia.
Teff is actually grown in Australia, it grows well in some parts of Queensland and is a weed (not a noxious weed, just a weed). It is useful as a stock feed, but it is not approved for sale in Australia as food for humans. Doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it, just means nobody has considered there to be a commercial market to justify the effort of having it approved for use as a food here. Hemp seeds (which can be used to make a milk alternative for people who don’t consume dairy) are in the same position here – can legally be traded, just not as a food.

Best to know your facts when giving advice! I assure you, you cannot get teff suitable for injera in Australia. The teff sold by Bob’s Mill out of the US is red teff – very crude and strong tasting, makes dreadful injera, so don’t waste your time. There are dozens of varieties of teff grown as cattle feed. You can only get teff injera if an Ethiopian friend or contact will spare you some white teff flour after a trip over there. White teff – the one used for injera – is so sought after that Ethiopia doesn’t like to export it. There simply isn’t enough to go around.

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