Love injera but don’t dine out at Atlanta’s Ethiopian restaurants as often as you’d like? Enjoy this spongy and tangy bread at home!
Freshly made injera is available to buy at Merkato Mart on Buford Highway. It’s a small store that’s easy to miss, but once inside you’ll feel like you hit the jackpot with its selection of locally made injera.
Even if you’ve never had Ethiopian food, injera is well worth a taste. Injera is a large, spongy flatbread that looks like a French crepe and tastes like sourdough. It’s made from teff, a gluten-free grain that is high in calcium, iron and protein.
In Ethiopian cuisine the injera is both the plate and the utensils; dishes like doro wat and gomen besega are placed on top of the injera and picked up using a torn off piece of the bread. One side of the injera is smooth while other is porous, ideal for soaking up sauces.
Though it may look simple, injera is difficult for most home cooks to make (trust me, I’ve tried and failed several times). That’s why you’re better off leaving it to the experts who have family traditions of making the bread.
About half a dozen kinds of injera are available to buy at Merkato Mart, all made in the Atlanta and Decatur area. The injeras vary in taste, color (grey to brown), and texture (small to large pores). Each bag costs $4 and contains eight to ten large pancakes. Buy two or more to figure out which style you like best. The injera keeps for 3 to 4 days on the counter.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy injera at home. It’s great for sandwiches as substitute for wraps and can accompany stews or soups. One taste of the injera and you’ll want to serve it with everything.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Merkato Mart sells all the necessary spices to make Ethiopian food at home. Though after my experiences making injera, I’ll keep enjoying these richly flavored dishes at Ethiopian restaurants.
Merkato Market is located at 3300 Buford Highway Northeast in Atlanta.
Related: A Family Favorite – Ethiopian Food