Teff Loaf with Red Bell Peppers and African Spices
Teff revisits its Ethiopian roots in this recipe, where its cooked with traditional vegetables and spices. Beyond being delicious, slices of this loaf are beautiful, with a colorful mosaic pattern. Ethiopian Sunshine Stew is the perfect partner for this dish.
2 teaspoons fenugreek seed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 /12 cups teff
1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
4 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
Toast the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cloves in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder or seed mill and grind until powdery.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, teff, and chile flakes and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the teff is coated with the oil and the aroma of garlic and chiles fills the air. Lower the heat, then slowly pour in the water. Stir in the ground spices, bell peppers, and salt. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the teff is tender and all of the water is absorbed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.
Pour the mixture into a standard loaf pan and let stand for about 30 minutes, until set up. Slice into pieces about 1 inch thick and serve immediately. If you don't want to wait, you can serve scoops of the mixture piping hot. It will have a texture like mashed potatoes, as it only sets up after cooling a bit.
Fenugreek seeds are rich in protein and in some cultures both the leaves and seeds are consumed as a food. As a seasoning, the seeds are used whole or ground in a variety of ethnic cuisines.
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