Making Tef Flour

Around the town are a number of milling houses where people can bring the tef they have harvested or bought to get it ground up into flour. This can save a lot of time and avoids doing it by traditional methods. This is the only part of the process which we have seen that is mechanised, as we saw before in the harvesting and threshing and winnowing phases it is all done using traditional techniques. The milling houses seem to be open all hours and are quite dusty and noisy once inside. They were also grinding chili peppers in the same building to make a local chili powder called ‘berbere’ and the dust can easily make you want to cough or sneeze. Once the tef has been ground into flour it is then mixed with water to make a batter, which ferments for a few days and then is made into the large injera pancakes.

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