While on a recent trip to Washington DC, I went a little injera-crazy and bought my very own large pack of spongy, soft, tangy injera. For those not already in the know, injera is the national bread of Ethiopia, made from teff flour that is mixed with water and allowed to ferment, like sourdough, which gives it it’s deliciously tangy flavor. It is used as the plate for food and as the utensil with which to eat the food. Most importantly, it is incredibly appealing in both taste and texture.
Because I am only one person, and my friends don’t love Ethiopian food as much as I do, I only ate ⅕ of the package I brought home and had to put the rest in the fridge. Injera stays good in the fridge for a while and comes back to life once heated up in the microwave or with a bit of steam, but it’s not the same as when it is fresh and spongy. So what to do with 7 large round sheets of injera?
I remembered a delicious snack I had at one of Marcus Samuelsson’s fusion restaurants in Harlem, Red Rooster, which had pieces of crunchy injera mixed with spices and nuts. Turning the now semi-hard flatbread into crunchy spicy morsels seemed like the obvious choice.
4-5 Rounds leftover injera
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil (Organic Olive, Avocado or Peanut all work well)
2 Teaspoons Berbere seasoning, plus more to taste
Salt to Taste
Step One: Pre-heat your oven to 275 degrees. Lay your injera on parchment paper lined baking sheets, holey side up, keeping them as whole as possible.
Step Two: Mix together the oil and powdered spices and a pinch of salt, stirring well to remove any lumps. Taste the spice mix and make sure you are happy with the spiciness and concentration of flavor, add more to your taste.
Step Three: Using a paint brush (or a pastry brush), lightly paint each sheet of injera with spice mixture, making sure to stir the oil to emulsify before each use. If desired, sprinkle a little more salt on each piece.
Step Four: Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Allow the sheets to cool completely on a wire rack before breaking them up into smaller pieces.
These are more chip-like than cracker-like because of the oil, but you could easily bake these sans oil and get a nice flavorful cracker, kind of like the sourdough rye Finn Crisp crackers, really good!
If you don’t have berbere spice you can make your own spice blend using whatever you have on hand, for example: coriander, paprika, chili powder, cumin and turmeric (note- turmeric will make your fingers yellow, so be sure to use napkins that you don’t mind staining.)
Whether you go cracker or spiced chip, they are delicious with a bowl of soup or as an appetizer alongside fermented nut cheese.