Teff, an edible seed known for its high nutrition and gluten-free, whole grain status, is a rising star among people concerned with healthy eating. But not everyone enjoys the texture of teff porridge or has the time to make injera, a spongy flat bread used in Ethiopian cooking. If this sounds like you, you may be interested in this simple technique for using teff as a garnish for salads instead!
Crunchy cooked teff seeds are a wonderful way to add texture and a little extra nutrition to salads, soups and baked goods.
When researching teff for our post about making teff porridge, I discovered this unusual, new-to-me method for making teff that allows it to be sprinkled on salads and on top of baked goods, or used as a garnish for soups or stews.
This method cooks teff in much less water than porridge, allowing the tiny grains to stay separate and remain crunchy. Think poppy seeds, only with a little more nutrition and nutty flavor.
How to Make Toasted Teff
The method is simple and quick to make 1 cup of toasted teff. Toast 1/2 cup of teff over medium-low heat in a frying pan until you hear it start to pop. Add some salt and 3/4 cup of water, stir and cover, and cook over low heat. The teff is done when all the water is absorbed, about 5 to 8 minutes later. Let it sit, covered, to steam a little. Finally, spread it out to cool and that's it! Crunchy teff!
What Can You Do With Toasted Teff?
I love sprinkling this teff garnish onto salads. It also works well sprinkled on top of quick breads and muffins before baking or sprinkled over stews and soups for a little crunchy texture. (To preserve the texture, sprinkle just before serving.)
You can use as much teff garnish as you want. I usually sprinkle about 1 tablespoon over an average-sized salad and about 1 teaspoon on top of a muffin. Extra teff can be kept in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for about a week.
(Image credits: Dana Velden)