Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Grain of the Week -19 - Brown Teff Grain

Do you know Teff? I bet most of you do as it is the main ingredient in the injera bread. But did you know it has the distinction of being the world's tiniest cereal grain? Grown predominantly in Ethiopia and Eritrea it is smaller than even the poppy seed in multi-colors from red, white to dark brown. Its popularity is on the rise these days given that it is gluten free and teff flour is used as a substitute for wheat flour from bread to pasta to cake and cookies. High in protein and dietary fibers it has all the qualities of today's requirement for a super grain. It is also rich in calcium and other minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc. What is not to like?

While I have enjoyed the injera bread I never gave the teff grain a minute more thought. Shame on me for having missed this nutrient powerhouse.

Once I read that teff is that tiny I was curious to know how teff is harvested and was not surprised when the translation for teff was 'loss'. How very appropriate. A lot of grains get lost I bet while harvesting. In the US farmers are beginning to grow teff and since it can grow in pretty much any weather condition they are fair game I guess. Here is an article about how some Kansas farmers are trying their hand at growing teff.

The whole grain teff can be used, cooked as in a porridge - Check out this recipe here. I am going to (you guessed wrong) try making injera with it and not dosai. I have been wanting to make injera for a long time. Buying this grain has given me the chance now.

Where bought? MOM's Organic Market

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