Teff is a tiny grain that originated in Ethiopia and remains a staple crop today. The word actually translates to "lost" because the small seeds were so easy to lose. The grain size makes it harder to harvest, which accounts for why the grain is more expensive than other comparable grains. Additionally, the yield per acre, similar to quinoa is low, so production costs are high.
Teff is a valuable gluten-free whole grain which is high in protein and carbohydrates as well as a good source of calcium and iron. The grain is a bit chewy with a sweet, nutty flavor. Teff benefits from being pan toasted before cooking or it may be boiled briefly then allowed to stand afterward.
As of 2019, the U.S. is studying the viability of growing teff in the desert regions of California. If the experiment works as planned, then it could become a successful crop.
The grain can be cooked and eaten as a breakfast cereal or combined with larger grains and prepared like a pilaf or used in stuffing. Always pan toast teff before use. One of the most common traditional uses for teff is to make a flatbread named injera. The bread is topped with a sauce made from fermented tofu and spinach.
For 1 cup teff needed you can substitute:
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This basic recipe is for preparing the grain for a pilaf. You can substitute vegetable or chicken stock for the water if you wish.
Teff is not quite as main-stream in the U.S. as quinoa or some other wheat-alternative grains. Look for this whole grain at Whole Foods and sometimes you'll find it at Trader Joes. You can purchase Bob's Red Mill brand online at Amazon.com. Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Teff.