Savoury Teff Porridge

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I wasn’t sure if I should name my dish Savoury Teff Porridge or Savoury Teff Polenta. I’ve decided to go with the first version because there is a confusion between polenta (the dish) and corn meal. So, this savoury Teff porridge has the same consistency as a polenta, it’s not as creamy as a porridge. It can be made quite easily, taking only 15 minutes for the Teff to cook.

Firstly I should talk a bit about Teff though. Teff is an ancient grain, cultivated in Abyssinia and then in what is modern day Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is considered to be one of the first plants to be domesticated by humans. Today Teff is grown in Ethiopia and Eritrea as one would expect, but also in the US, in Idaho.

Teff can be made into a flour that is used to make bread. Or, as a grain to make this porridge-polenta that I’ve made. The grain is small, similar to quinoa. Because it has a mild flavour it can be both savoury or sweet. I plan to buy some more Teff and make a sweet version too.

Teff is also very healthy. If you use exactly the same quantities that I’ve mentioned in my recipe, you’d get from one serving a very tasty meal, filling, and also a high quantity of B1, B2, B3, B6, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Zinc. On top of that, 100g of uncooked Teff has 8g of fibres, that alone adds up to half of the recommended daily intake (140g/portion), without taking into consideration the vegetables I’ve added in my dish.

Savoury Teff Porridge

To make the Savoury Teff Porridge I’ve used Ethiopian spices. As Ethiopia is landlocked, I’ve used mined salt and not my usual sea salt. Besides, I’ve used basil for the mushrooms and peas, as an alternative to Ethiopian basil called Besobela. Cumin is called Tikur Azmud, but it is a black variety. Ginger and turmeric are also used in Ethiopian cuisine.
I’ve paired it with mushrooms and peas because I love these, but it will work nicely with any kind of shallow fried vegetables. I haven’t put the quantities for spices because you can add as little or as much as you like. Taste and add some more if you want.

Ingredients for 2 servings of Savoury Teff Porridge:

– 280g Teff
– 1l water
– 300g fresh mushrooms
– 170g boiled peas
– 2 spoons of oil
– salt
– cumin
– ginger
– turmeric
– basil

To make the Savoury Teff Porridge, start by boiling the water. Add the Teff grains and leave to cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir from time to time so it doesn’t catch the bottom of the pan. When is almost done, add the spices and stir.
Meanwhile, wash and chop the mushrooms. Heat some oil in a frying pan and toss in the mushrooms. Cook them at high heat. Add the peas when they are almost done, sprinkle salt and basil and stir. Take the vegetables off the heat.

Savoury Teff Porridge. Close up

Take the Teff pan off the heat and leave it to cool down for 5 minutes. After that, transfer the porridge in two bowls, make a well on a side and put the veggies in that well. The dish is ready to be served.

Have you ever had savoury Teff porridge before? Or any kind of Teff dish?

7 thoughts on “Savoury Teff Porridge

  1. That’s a new food product for me, haven’t heard of it or tried it. I like some of the older grains like farro, but not keen on quinoa at all, and they put it into everything these days.
    Teff has an interesting texture. Is it dark like that, or is it the spices that made its colour darker?

    1. The Teff is dark. Its colour is pretty much the same as the one the porridge has. I should have taken a picture with it before cooking it.

      1. I’ve now spotted it in Holland & Barrett, haven’t bought it yet. I wonder if you can use it in baking, when it’s like this and not as a flour.

        1. It should work, but it depends on the recipe. It took 15 minutes to boil on the hob, so in the oven it would need a longer time, but I don’t see why not.

  2. This is a genius idea, Anca! I’ve never tried teff this way before, but it’s on my list, so saving the recipe for later. Thanks 🙂

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