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What is Injera?

Injera is a traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean flatbread made using the flour from Teff grain. Teff has a symbiotic relationship with yeast, which allows the flour to be used as a starter, or in Amharic “Ersho,” without yeast additives. Many renditions of this simple starter use yeast, baking powder, mineral water, or even beer to speed up the process or enhance the results. 

Below is the traditional method using just water and Maskal Teff® flour.

Click here for printable recipe.

Step 1: እርሾ | Ersho | Starter

How to Make an Injera Starter?

The injera fermentation process is very similar to that of sourdough and requires a starter (ersho) to be created approximately three days before mixing the batter. This time frame is an average and may differ depending on location and ambient temperatures. We suggest using a clear container when making the injera starter for the first time to observe the daily changes. Use our guide below to determine your starter’s peak readiness to get your starter to the desired stage.

What You Will Need



  • Medium-sized, non-reactive container with lid
    – preferably clear and a wide opening for easy access
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cup or scale
  • Spoon

This recipe makes about 5-7 injera that are 16 inches. If you want to make less, the recipe works just as well when halved.

Maskal Teff, TeffCo, injera, teff, Ethiopian bread


Day 1

  1. Combine 1 cup of Teff flour with 2 cups of room temperature water in a container. (see Tips & Tricks for increasing or decreasing quantity of starter.)  
  2. Whisk until there are no clumps of flour and ingredients are thoroughly combined. You should see a thin foam film develop on the top.
  3. Seal the container store in a dark, dry room at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer the room, the faster your starter will ferment. 
  4. Observe fermentation throughout the next three days, but do not touch or disturb the container.
Maskal Teff, TeffCo, injera, teff, Ethiopian bread.

Approximately 3 Days Later

  1. Open the container. You should see a foam film on the top as well as a layer of murky water above the settled flour.
  2. Discard the murky water layer and stir the starter making sure it is thoroughly combined.
  3. Your starter is now ready to use.
  4. To store, add water (about 3/4 cup for this ratio) and store in the refrigerator.

Refrigeration slows down the microbes and lessens their need to be fed. However, do not neglect your starter. If you don’t make injera frequently make sure to be adding teff flour periodically to maintain 

When is the Injera Starter Ready?

  • The dough is at its highest level of activity. If you nudge your starter, little air bubbles should shoot up to the top.
  • The water has separated, and foam has gathered on the very top.
Maskal Teff, TeffCo, injera, teff, Ethiopian bread
Maskal Teff, TeffCo, injera, teff, Ethiopian bread

Step 2: ሊጥ| Leet | Dough

What You’ll Need



  • Large sealable container 
  • Measuring cup or scale 
  • Mixer (or use hands)
Maskal Teff, TeffCo, injera, teff


Ethiopian bread

The dough will soak up some of the top water over the course of the fermentation. This will result in consistency changing from dough to a thick batter. Because of this keep dough as thick as possible while mixing.

  1. In a large sealable container (we suggest clear for the first time), mix the starter with the flour. You can also mix in a large bowl and then transfer to a sealable container. 
  2. Gradually pour 3-4 cups of water, one cup at a time, while mixing either by hand or with a mixer. You may not need the full 4 cups as you want the dough to be a thick consistency.
  3. Knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes, until it is very thick but smooth. The dough should peel off the bowl sides easily.
  4. Press the doughy batter into the bottom of the container. 
  5. Use the remaining 3-4 cups of water to clean off the container’s sides. Be sure not to mix the water with the dough, as the layer of water (aka “top water”) is just meant to keep mold from growing on the surface of the pressed dough. There should be a thick layer of the dough and a layer of murky water above when done.
  6. Put a tight lid on the container and store in a dry place at room temperature for 1-3 days based on desired sourness (one day being less sour and three days being very acidic). You may also discard the top water and place new water of the same amount daily to reduce sourness as well.

Step 3: አብሲት | Absit | Gelatinization

What is Absit?

Absit is the gelatinization process, and one of the many steps that create the right texture, characteristics, and bubble formation (eyes) in injera. In gelatinization, starches are hydrated to produce a gel-like texture. Some of the starches are also broken down by the heat to produce simple sugars – additional food for the microbes in the batter. 

After several days of fermentation, a small amount of batter is removed (or you may use raw flour) and cooked for several minutes in hot water. The mixture will thicken into a pudding-like consistency. Add it back to the main fermented batter after it cools and then make the injera in the next few hours or up to a day later.

What You’ll Need


  • 2 cups (473g) water
  • 1 cup (274g) batter
  • 2-4 cups (473g-946g) of room temperature water


  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cup or scale


  1. After 1-3 days, open the container with the batter and discard the top water. The dough will have become more like a thick batter than a dough. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil then turn the heat down to a medium-low. Add about 1 cup of batter to the water while whisking to avoid clumping. Then turn heat back to medium-high to bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Once it has bubbled, add the mixture into the batter and dilute with 1-2 additional cups of water until desired consistency is reached. The batter should be thick enough to lightly coat the spoon but not so thick that you cannot see the spoon.
  4. Ensure the batter is the right consistency as no pure water can be added after the final fermentation is complete.
  5. Seal with the lid and leave in a dark and dry room until small bubbles form towards the surface, anywhere from 1-4 hours. We have found 2 hours in the fridge works well. 

If recipe is halved, after mixture has boiled, take off the burner and add 1-2 cups of cold water into the saucepan and stir well. Set to the side and wait 20 minutes for mixture to cool, then add back in to the batter.

Step 4: እንጀራ መጋገር | Injera Megager | Cooking Injera

What You’ll Need


  • Prepared injera batter


  • Mitad or flat frying pan (non-stick or add oil prior cooking and as needed).
  • Ladle
  • Measuring cup or anything you can pour from easily
  • Flat mat (sefed) for lifting injera
  • A plastic or parchment paper covered placemat


  1. Once the small bubbles develop, your batter is now ready to cook. Remove any water that has separated and set aside to add back if needed for desired consistency. Do not add pure water, as you will dilute the fermentation. (Don’t want to cook injera right away? Check out our Tips & Tricks for how to store it in the meantime).
  2. Heat your non-stick cooking surface to medium-high. If using a 16″ Wass Mitad/Mogago, we have found 215°F works well. Some, however, prefer 350°F so just test your cooking surface until you find the right temperature for you.
  3. For the first injera, use less batter to check the bubble formation (aka “eyes”) – about 500ml-600ml of the batter is equal to 1 large 16” injera.
  4. Once about 80% of the eyes have formed, cover with a lid.
  5. Remove lid once steam starts to develop. The edges of the injera should have started lifting off the cooking surface.
  1. Slide a thin mat under the injera and use it to lift the injera from the grill.
  2. We suggest using parchment paper or a plastic surface to help the injera cool. Wait for the injera to cool down entirely before stacking to avoid sticking.
  3. Top with desired stews and enjoy!

If you do not have access to a mitad, a crepe pan, or flat skillet with a lid, should work just as well but expect a smaller size injera. Heat can vary depending on stove and material of pan. We recommend trying a test run to be sure you have a ideal temperature.