Quick and easy injera with berbere sauce

Posted on 20 May 2020

Injera (a type of flatbread) and berbere are both staples in Ethiopian cuisine. While injera takes days to ferment, we’ve created a ‘cheat’ variation to make it quicker by replacing teff (traditional flour) with a combination of ground polenta and wholewheat flour.

Recipes & styling Chiara Turilli

Image by Samantha Pinto, styling by Chiara Turilli


Serves 4–6

For the injera:

4 cups warm water
1 cup polenta, blended until fine
½ cup wholewheat flour
1T sugar
1T dry yeast
4 cups cake flour
2T baking powder
4t salt
¼ cup brown sugar

For the berbere spice mix:

2t coriander seeds
1t fennel seeds
2T dried chilli flakes
2T paprika
1t garlic powder
½t ground cinnamon
½t ground ginger
¼t ground cardamom
¼t allspice
1t salt
½t ground black pepper
1 onion
2 large tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
3T olive oil
2 fresh mangoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced

1. For the injera, blend all the ingredients until smooth.
2. Place the batter in a large bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for about 2 hours until bubbles form.
3. Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Pour a ladleful of the batter onto the pan spreading from the centre outwards in a circular motion. Cook until it forms little brown spots (no need to flip).
4. Repeat the process until batter is finished.
5. For the berbere spice mix, place the coriander and fennel seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Toast them until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
6. Once cool, place in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder and grind into a fine powder. Add chilli flakes and grind again. Stir through the remaining spices, (except the bay leaves).
7. Blend the onion, tomato and garlic until smooth.
8. Add the oil to a pan over low heat and fry 3T of spice mix and bay leaves. Add the tomato mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.
9. To serve, place warm injera on a plate and serve with berbere sauce, mango and onion.


Wrap the injera in wax-proof paper if you want to prepare them in advance. Serve elements separately so everyone can build their own plate.

Also see: 

Burnt butter kitfo and Ethiopian honey bread


This article was first published in the March 2020 issue of Getaway magazine.
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All prices correct at publication, but are subject to change at each establishment’s discretion. Please check with them before booking or buying.


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