Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cooking a Staple?

For Dominicans the base of any meal made is plantano (plantain). Most people think its rice and beans for all Latinos but, for Dominicans (rice and beans is a very close second though) plantains is the main food source (if you will). We can cook it at any stage it comes and any color-- green, yellow, speckled will have a meal on your plate in a jiffy. I love plantains!

I just figured out the reason why I don't enjoy cooking is because I don't really care that much about food... However, in my house there were very few times we fought over food but, one of those times was when my mother was making plantano maduro (sweet/ripe plantains). This was a treat because I was raised in Cleveland and it was difficult (and expensive) to get plantains and when she did, they went just as fast! Now, I live in DC and the culture is so diverse, I can get plantain anywhere, I think I've even seen it at 7-11 next to the Big Gulps.

I don't fight my little brother for my plantano maduro anymore but I still love them. Does this mean I cook them? Of course not, silly...well, not too often that is. LOL So, the staple of the Dominican culture is plantain and the staple of the Ethiopian culture is injera. Uh, OH, although I love (and always have loved) Ethiopian food you know I can’t make it and I’m a little concerned about trying to make injera because it has a taste that you don't want to mess up. But, I want to make sure that I can make it before Baby I comes home. I keep looking in the Safeway aisles for it and they don't have it. Something tells me they won't be getting injera anytime soon. Hey, maybe I should ask them next time I go. What do you think they will say? That would probably be funny. I’ll keep you posted on this one. LOL Maybe this weekend, in my free time (yeah right) I’ll have my first try at making injera and a little snack to go along with it. What do you think about this recipe that someone sent me? I'll let you know how it turned out. Wish me luck.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
2 Tbsp canola oil

1. add the yeast to the flour and slowly add the water and stir it well to form a thin batter; cover and let it sit in a warm place for 3 days; stir the batter once a day
2. when ready to make the injera, add the baking powder and salt to taste, stir well
3. heat a large non-stick pan/griddle, brush it with some canola oil, set heat at medium-high
4. take about 1/2 cup of batter and pour it on the pan and swoosh it around to spread the batter into a thin layer on the pan (sort of like making crepe)


MM said...

Tami, I've heard we mama's should just buy injera in stead of try to make it (and word is it freezes well). Hey, I grew up outside of Cleveland and all of my peeps remain in Euclid and Mentor. Your growing up stomping ground?

Katy said...

If you hate cooking, then you will probably really hate cookng injera. I love cooking and will probably never try to make injera again. I can buy it in Boston. My Ethiopian friend told me that very few people in Addis make it themselves. She also told me it is like magic and only certain people can do it right. Maybe you are one of them. Good luck!

Tami said...

MM- I was raised between Shaker and W. 130th.

Katy- then I know I can buy it here. I need to go to the Ethiopian Market and check it out. I think I'll try to make it just for the fun of it though. :-)

teresa said...

tami--there's supposedly a place in DC on New Hampshire Ave. (close to the maryland border) where you can get it. an ethiopian friend taught me how to make shiro wat. but she brought the injera. and there are a bunch of places to get it in VA as well. I'll try to find out where. --Teresa

Tracey said...

There are plenty of places to buy it in Silver Spring. Heck, the Korean-owned market/beer and wine store in the Four Corners shopping center sells it. How's that for mulitcultural? Plus, there is a baby and kids' consignment store in the same shopping center - intersection of Colesville and University, before the Trader Joe's.

She is... said...

I'm not one to discourage a sister from trying but I have Ethiopian family and a restaurant owner who showed me how and the process is hard and painful. Making the starter is what is most laborious and you need starter to be successful.

A pointer I received is to mix 1/2 teff and 1/2 barley flours. Since Teff is more expensive and harder to come by, the barley flour stretches it.

chou-chou said...

I've heard the key to injera is using teff (instead of regular flour). Now, where you can find that, I do not know... but maybe it can be ordered online?

p.s. I love plantains!

Rebecca said...

I want to know how it went!! I've thought about attempting it as well. I wouldn't say I'm the best cook, we'll see!

haze said...

Yeah, I've heard it's difficult to learn how to make injera and I don't see having the time to make it myself. I also think you need a special injera cooker to make it 'properly.' There are few shops in Calgary that sell injera and you can also purchase it from restaurants, which I plan to do. I will be teaching myself how to make various wats (stews) to go with it. Yum!

How did your recipe turn out?

p.s. I also like plantain. My mom used to make it for us.