I hope you all enjoyed the class and spend the rest of your lives making injera and dosas at every single opportunity.
…like for the 4th of July? Now onto the notes. I’ve typed some stuff up below, and you can find the class handout (and the handout from my Ethiopian class) over to the right.
Yes, injera was tough, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to give up! It’s a tangy, untamed beast that cries out for you to domesticate. Remember: Practice and proper viscosity make perfect.
I usually make injera with a sourdough starter, a 50-50 teff-white flour split, and 12 hours of waiting. You should also mix in some baking powder just before you start cooking the injera, it helps with the lift and bubbles.
If you’d like a sourdough starter, you can buy one from King Arthur flour or make your own! I was asked in class whether you could just make the batter and let it sit around like the dosa one and let it naturally ferment. My answer: probably! I’ll assume it’ll take 24+ hours though.
I’ve also attached the handout from one of my Ethiopian cooking classes.
All you really need to make injera is teff flour, which you can buy from some grocery stores under the Bob’s Red Mill brand, or get it from the ever-wonderful ethoipianspices.com. I know the Whole Foods in Tribeca has it!
Injera training video
My favorite injera-making video! Skip ahead to 2 minutes in to see the injera-pouring process.
Remember: err on the side of a thin batter and a hot pan!
I realize I didn’t say this in class, but when you try to make this at home I have a big secret for you:
You should always use a shallow spoon to spread. If you use a normal, half-sphere ladle, you’ll always catch clumps from the bottom because of the small pushing-stuff-around surface area. I bought those spoons special for our class from a restaurants supply store, but a normal spoon can work well, too.
The dosa recipe for less effort and best return is 3 cups rice flour + 1 cup urad dal flour + 4 cups water + 8-12 hours of waiting. You’ll probably want to add more water before you pour it onto the griddle, too.
You can find the potato filling recipe on the New York Times. I substituted in sweet potatoes, left out the asafoetida, and probably made another few adjustments here or there. It’s forgiving!
If you’re making the batter the traditional method by grinding up rice and lentils, use rice that is short grain, but not sushi rice. Medium grain should also be okay, but long grain or sushi have a different balance of starches (amylose vs. amylopectin) that make the texture different.
Sounds like everyone was real pumped to buy pre-made dosa batter! I promise the dosas y’all made with the sat-around-for-12-hours flour were pretty good, too. Either way you’ll need to get some shopping done. Here are the ingredients you can maybe only get at an Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi/etc grocery store:
- Rice flour
- Urad dal flour (I’ve also seen it mislabeled as “Udad dal”)
- Curry leaves
- Mustard seeds (black)
- Cumin (you can buy cumin anywhere but this stuff is probably better)
- Asafoetida if you’re feeling crazy
You can Yelp around for Indian grocery stores, but a few recommendations are:
- Patel Brothers (Jackson Heights, Queens) is an absolute dream and huge and you should definitely visit it at some point in your life
- Patel Grocery (Sunset Park, Brooklyn) is small but well-stocked and a great option if you don’t live in Manhattan or Queens
- Kalustyan’s (Murray Hill, Manhattan) is chock full of everything, buuuut you’d probably need to visit the smaller neighboring stores to find the dosa batter. If you find out, let me know!
- Mannat Supermarket (1227 Fulton St, Bed Stuy, Brooklyn) is one of a small collection of Indian subcontinent groceries in Bed Stuy - they’re hit or miss but worth a shot if you live nearby
Dosa training video
My favorite dosa spreading video! It’s shaky, pixelated, but damn does it do a good job showing you spreading.
Be sure to spend what feels like far too much time wiggling around in the beginning, and slowly slowly slowly use your ladle to push the batter outwards. The slower you go the harder you can press - if you go too quickly while pushing hard the batter will clump and stick to your spoon.