What is Teff?

What is Teff?
teff grain

Teff is a super tiny grain from Ethiopia and is known for making injera. What is injera? Injera, a flatbread with a spongy texture made with teff flour, an ancient gluten-free grain, is usually served underneath savoury Ethiopian dishes.

In Ethiopia, injera flatbread is used as both food and utensil. Traditionally you tear injera into pieces and wrap up bites of food in it, eating with your hands. Injera has a distinct sour taste that pairs well with the richness of long-simmered soups and stews.

Teff flour can also be used to make pancakes and gluten-free sweet treats with a smooth earthy and slightly sweet flavour. Due to its naturally high protein content, it is suitable for gluten-free bread baking: peanut butter cookies, and chocolate chip cookies.

Fun Facts About Teff

  • Teff grains produce more food on less land.  Teff has a higher yield per hectare than other grains like wheat and maize
  • Teff is quick growing. It needs only 36 hours to sprout. This is the shortest time of any grain
  • Teff is high in protein. Around 14%
  • Teff is easy to digest. Teff is a type of starch that is easier to tolerate than other grains.
  • Teff is an old grain. Originating in Ethiopia around 4000-1000 BC
  • Teff can thrive in unpredictable climates like Africa. It can grow in both waterlogged fields and droughts
  • Teff is the smallest grain in the world
  • Teff is high in calcium. It has the highest calcium content among the ancient grains. 1 cup cooked is 5 times more than whole wheat. Teff is very beneficial for the immune system as well as healthy bones and tissues
  • It’s a good source of vitamin B6, amino acids, zinc and a great source of iron and magnesium. Teff is also a good source of dietary fibre.
  • Teff is naturally gluten-free
teff flour

What does Teff Taste like?
Teff has a mild, nutty flavour and lots of calcium, protein and fibre.

What is Teff Grain Used for?
Whole grain teff is made into porridge, stews, and pilaf and flour is used in breads and baked goods.
Cooked whole grain teff makes a unique hot breakfast cereal similar in consistency and texture to wheat farina.
Teff can be made into polenta and added to veggie burgers, cakes, cookies, breads and injera (Ethiopian flatbread).

An interesting Forbes article about Teff.