Teff is an annual cereal grass whose use can be traced back to around 3359 BC. It’s a staple crop and an important source of nutrition for over two-thirds of Ethiopians, but largely unknown in many Western countries. The grain is found in different colours, ranging from white, dark brown and red, and is a very fine grain – around the size of a poppy seed – so cooks more quickly than other grains. Teff is a hardy crop, able to withstand both waterlogged soils and drought, so is a dependable staple. Its small size makes it almost impossible to process, which means it is almost always found as a whole grain.
- Gluten free
- Contains high levels of calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, aluminium, barium and thiamine
- Good source of essential fatty acids
- Good source of phytochemicals such as polyphenols and phytates
- High in resistant starch, which feed beneficial bacteria in the microbiome
Culinary uses of teff:
- Mainly used to make injera, a traditional Ethiopian bread. Finely ground grains are slightly fermented, then made into a savoury flat bread, which is described as soft and porous.
- Can also be used to make porridge and traditional alcoholic beverages