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Recipe of the week: Eritrean zigne with ajibo and teff injera

06 August 2020

Taken from Feast With Purpose

This is a traditional Eritrean dish, which we serve at parties and family gatherings. Teff is a type of millet, and is the main grain that is used in Eritrea. It is gluten-free. The injera bread is delicious, a chewy and substantial texture. The zigne is a spicy tomato-based sauce, served with any protein that you like. I have used chicken here. You can also add a vegetable or keep it simple.

Stuff you'll need

Teff injera

  • 200g teff flour
  • 450ml water
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • 50g coconut oil
  • Salt

Ajibo

  • 1l buttermilk

Zigne

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1tsp chilli powder, or more to taste
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5cm fresh ginger, grated
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 400g fresh boneless chicken, chopped into 5cm dice
  • Seasoning
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs

Salad

  • Cucumber
  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • 2tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2tbs olive oil
  • Chopped fresh green chillies, to garnish

Get stuck in

Mix together the flour and water until it is smooth and well blended. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover and set aside to allow the mixture to make a "sponge".

The dough can be cooked straight away, but if you prefer the full, malty sour flavour, leave it for 24 hours.

Ajibo

Put the buttermilk in a pan and simmer for 45 minutes until it separates. Ensure that it is not boiling when it separates. Sieve the curds and whey through a sieve, and allow the ajibo to cool in the sieve. Set aside in a serving dish.

Zigne

Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a pan and fry the onions until golden. Add the chilli powder, stir in the tomatoes and then add the garlic and ginger. Add the ground nutmeg if using. Stir in the chicken, season well, and simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.

Peel the boiled eggs, add to the stew and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Peel and dice the cucumber and add to the tomatoes. Spoon over the lemon juice and olive oil.

For the teff injera

Mix in the baking powder. This will make the mixture go flat.

Heat up a large frying pan. Put some coconut oil on a piece of kitchen paper, and immediately wipe all over the base of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low.

Pour on one quarter of the batter, tilting the pan as you go to get an even spread across the base. Cover the pan with a baking sheet or lid, and allow to cook for five minutes. Check occasionally and if the base is burning, reduce the heat.

Bubbles will form on the surface. When the surface is dry, the bread is cooked.

Set the injera aside on a piece of baking paper. Repeat with the coconut oil, and cook the remainder of the batter, storing each bread between baking paper sheets. Serve the zigne with the ajibo, salad, green chillies and injera flatbread.

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