Last Thursday, Vegan Crunk was a stop on the blog our for my blogger bud Kittee Berns' Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking. I declared it "the best vegan cookbook of 2015." And I'm so serious about that. I can't put this book down.
For my review, I made five dishes from the book — spicy red lentils, stewed cabbage, braised green beans, citrus salad dressing, and a fava bean stew. You can read all about those dishes here. I also tried to make Kittee's quick teff crepes, the injera bread shortcut. But my dumbass confused whole teff grains for teff flour, and I messed them up.
Rather than try again, I went to the Ethiopian restaurant down the street — Abyssina — and purchased a GIGANTIC bag of their injera. You can't tell in this picture, but this bag has about 12 whole injera in it. It weighed about 10 pounds, and it's currently taking up an entire shelf in my fridge. They won't sell you just a little bit. It all or nothing. In the past, I've rolled and frozen the extra injera. But I figured if I stuck with recipes in Kittee's book for a few days, I could use it all up quickly.
For the past few days, I've been eating the injera with my leftovers from last week. But today, I got creative. For breakfast, I made Kittee's Ye'tofu Enkkulal Firfir (Tofu Scramble).
It's a tofu scramble seasoned with Ethiopian berbere spice, as well as coriander, nooch, and homemade Ethiopian-spiced vegan butter. I served it over injera and used extra injera to scoop up the tofu. No forks! That's the best part of Ethiopian cuisine. You can eat with your hands!
On the side, I tried another use for injera — Katenga (Toasted Injera Brushed with Spicy Seasoned Oil).
This is really just reheated injera — warmed in the oven — spread with Kittee's Ye'Qimem Zeyet (a vegan spread made by simmering margarine with berbere, onion, garlic, and other spices). Once it's toasted, the injera is rolled up and sliced into pinwheels. The toasting makes it extra chewy and soft, and the spiced butter adds a great flavor. It was great for breakfast just like this, but you can also spread Katenga with Ethiopian Hummus (from the book) or a leftover wot before rolling into pinwheels.
Tonight, I tried yet another use for injera! Who knew there were so many ways to eat injera? Apparently, it's eaten at every meal in Ethiopia, so it's a good thing the bread is versatile. I made this Ye'lewuz Fitfit (Small Pieces of Injera Soaked in a Peanut Sauce).
This is a sort of bread salad with a simple peanut sauce (made from peanut butter and water, that's it!) and tossed with tomato, jalapeno, and green onion. Like bread pudding, the injera soaks up all the liquid. But it doesn't get soggy. Just super soft. At first bite, the sourdough flavor of the injera and the peanut taste don't seem to mesh well. But as soon as that bite goes down your throat, something happens and you start salivating for more. Seriously. It's some kind of voodoo.
The only thing that could have made these recipes better would have been if I'd used Kittee's recipe for homemade injera. The traditional kind — she includes recipes for traditional injera and the quick cheater injera — takes days and days to ferment. But I will plan better next time and try again soon. I will succeed at injera. It will happen.