Marcus Samuelsson Just Shared a Simple Trick for Making Injera in Half the Time
You’ll be cooking Ethiopia’s staple dish (plus a few extras to enjoy with it) in no time.
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If you’re anything like me, the thought of cooking a new cuisine for the first time can be a little intimidating. No matter how much time I spend researching the dish or sourcing special ingredients and equipment, I still find myself wondering if what I cook will be close enough to traditional that it demonstrates the admiration and respect I have for the dishes and traditions shared at tables around the globe.
Luckily, there are a lot of chefs who understand — and who want to empower curious cooks everywhere to try something new.
When I came across Marcus Samuelsson’s Injera class on the Food Network Kitchen app, I knew right away that I was in good hands. Chef Samuelsson starts the class by asking a question that’s on all our minds, "How do you interpret a dish, authentically, when you don’t always have access to the ingredients?"
He doesn’t come out and answer the question right away, but rather, offers plenty of tips, tricks and solutions throughout the class. By the end, I felt sure that I could make a few Ethiopian dishes.
After a quick explanation of the most important elements of the cuisine, Chef Samuelsson talks about the importance of injera, a sourdough-like flatbread that is eaten every day in every Ethiopian household. The batter is usually left to ferment overnight but he has a simple trick for getting around that if you’re short on time. You can get a similar flavor in a fraction of the time if you add a little yogurt to your batter.
And, the confidence-boosting tips don’t stop there. Chef Samuelsson tells you what to look for as the injera is cooking and even acknowledges that the first flatbread is always the trickiest to make — so you know exactly what to expect before you start.
After making a few injera he says, "Imagine right now, in Ethiopia, there are millions and millions of people making injera like this — much better, much faster. It’s the staple we use most in our country. It’s what defines us when you go to an Ethiopian restaurant; you know you’re going to eat with your hands. You’re going to eat with your friends. You’re going to share a meal. You’re literally breaking bread."
When I heard that, I knew this was a recipe I had to try. And knowing a little more about the cuisine (including tiny tweaks that I can make when I’m cooking it) makes me feel connected, and less intimidated.
If you’re ready to give a new dish or cuisine a try, this is a great place to start. You’ll learn how to make an Ethiopian staple (injera), as well as ayib (a simple, fresh cheese made in a matter of minutes with just a handful of ingredients) and tibbs (stir-fried beef) to serve with it. Best of all, you’ll feel confident doing it.