ONE DAY INJERA
1½ cups teff flour
2 cups water
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
Makes 4 injeras. Takes 24 hours to ferment and 20 minutes to cook.
cheesecloth or thin towel
Add teff flour and water to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Cover batter with cheesecloth, or thin kitchen towel, and let sit in the open air for about 24 hours. This ferments the batter. Batter is fermented when surface cracks and bubbles appear. You can cook with the batter sooner if you wish, but you will get less of the customary sourness of injera.
Add baking powder and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until batter is well blended. Add ½ tablespoon ghee to pan. Use low heat to melt ghee. Add ¼ of the batter, about ⅔ cup, from mixing bowl to pan. Shake pan so that batter completely covers the surface of the pan. Batter should be somewhat thicker than a crepe. Cover and cook batter for 3-to-5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the top and the edges of the batter begin to curl. Do not flip the injera flatbread. Be careful not to brown the bottom of the batter. (Use your x-ray vision to check. If you fell asleep when your teacher taught how to do this, lift up an edge of the injera with a spatula and take a peek.) Repeat for remaining injeras.
Remove injera flatbread carefully with spatula. Serve with doro wat (chicken stew), siga wat (beef stew), sega wat (lamb stew), mesir wat (red lentil puree), or whatever you wish. Simply tear off pieces of injera and eat by hand. Alternatively. roll up injera and then eat by hand.
1) Injera is the national bread of Ethiopia.
2) One-day injera sounds a lot like “guantanamera” a famous song from Cuba.
3) A guantamera is woman from Gunatanamo, Cuba. So “Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera” means “Guantamo, Cuban woman, peasant girl, Guantanamo, Cuban woman.” It sounds a lot better in Spanish, doesn’t it?”
4) Guajira sounds a lot like “tequila.”
5) Guantanamera sounds a lot like “one-ton tomato.”
6) So the whole phrase seems to be “One-ton tomato, tequila, one ton tomato.”
7) Perhaps that is part of the original lyrics and the musically awkward refrain of “Guantamo, Cuban woman, peasant girl, Guantanamo, Cuban woman” is the misheard version.
8) It has to be. I mean if you’re a peasant farmer from Guantanamo, or any place for that matter, wouldn’t you want to grow a one-ton tomato? I know I would.
9) This desire to grow a huge, money-making tomato would naturally manifest in peasant song as any culinary psychologist would tell you.
10) This need to produce the world’s biggest tomato would find voice while drinking hard, native liquour. Hence, the inclusion of the word tequila.
11) Tequila is the muse of many of the world’s greatest songwriters.
12) Tequila is the muse of many horrible neighborhood singers. These cauterwaulers sometimes get shot. Hence the phrase, a shot of tequila.
13) So how did “One-ton tomato, tequila, one ton tomato” get corrupted into “Guantanamera, guajira, guantanamera?”
14) Simple, on Valentine’s Day, 1958, the beguiling, Juanita Albondigas sashayed by the handsome Pablo Desayuno. “Hola, Señor.” She batted her eyes. “Are you singing about me?”
Pablo, plastered enough to sing about a humongous fruit often miscalled a vegetable was sober enough to realize that a hot chiquita was hitting on him. “Ho, ho, I am indeed singing about you. You are the Guanatanamoan peasant girl of this song.”
Juanita’s peasant garb fell to the ground. The besotted Pablo fell to the ground as well. Choruses of “Ai, ai, ai” filled the air. A month later, they got married and set immediately to growing the first one-ton tomato. In early 1959, they produced the world’s first nineteen pound tomato. This incredible feat garnered them the cover story of the prestigious, “Tomato World.”
15) Juanita and Pedro became so involved in their efforts, they scarcely noticed the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and the Justin Bieber phenomenon of 2009.
16) Tomato enthusiasts report that the Desayunos are currently growing 983-pound tomatoes. The worthy farmers are growing old. They will very soon be turning over their quest to their many children and grandchildren. I wish them well.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.