Ethiopian Inspired Lunch | What is Injera? | The Rise Cookbook | Marcus Samuelsson | Grilled Portobello Steaks

An Ethiopian Inspired Lunch! I was so delighted today. I have so many wonderful memories surrounding Ethiopian food- from college days to my goddaughter’s baptism. To me, Ethiopian food means joy and celebration. I miss getting together with my Ethiopian friends to enjoy these happy moments.

For many years I was too intimidated to even attempt Ethiopian cooking. My friend gave me some Berbere spice in college and when I asked her how I can make my own, she partly laughed. lol. I get it, there’s a LOT that goes into it. I was so proud to cook some Mexican-Ethiopian fusion. I made incredible tacos with that Berbere. I’m still intimidated to cook Ethiopian, but I wanted to start with a seemingly simple recipe that is a cornerstone of Ethiopian food- Injera.

Injera is a flatbread. It’s typically made with Teff flour (gluten-free), but I made it with Whole Wheat flour. I started it 3 days ago (you can see it in my Live) and let it ferment. It’s just two ingredients: flour and water. Then, I cooked it like a crepe for a minute or two. I have a long ways to go to perfect my injera but it was a beautiful flatbread to go with lunch. It’s slightly sour like a sourdough bread.

I’ve seen injera often served almost like a canvas, with a couple different side dishes placed on top. Then, you rip and dip with the injera, similar to eating with a tortilla in Mexican cuisine.

I had a great time making this recipe from The Rise Cookbook. I paired it with the leftovers (not typical Ethiopian cuisine) I had in the fridge- Ikarian Baked Beans, Chermoula (highly recommend) and Grilled Portobello Steaks (they taste like steak, recipe below).


Adapted from The Rise Cookbook (still perfecting)

Ingredients (makes 5-6): 

  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour or Teff flour (gluten-free)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (optional)


Mix together and let sit 2 days (I went 3 days with the last day in the fridge). Then, pour off excess liquid and the batter should be thicker than crepe batter.

Heat a nonstick pan with or without butter, then spread 3 Tbsp. batter and spread thin. Let cook for 30-40 seconds or bubbles start to form. Then, turn off the heat and cover. Let steam 1 minute. Keep warm in towels to steam.

Go ahead and save this recipe. I know I will. I served this to fellow meat eaters and they admitted it tasted like meat. I’m telling you folks, this is a winner!

Grilled Portobello Steaks

Ingredients (for two):

  • 2 portobello caps
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  • some cracked pepper
  • a few cherry tomatoes (optional)


  1. In a baking dish, mix all the ingredients except portobello. 
  2. Score the portobellos with a knife in a criss-cross pattern (don’t cut all the way to the bottom). 
  3. Place mushrooms in the marinade for 30 minutes, turn over every 10 minutes. 
  4. After 30 minutes, heat a saute pan or a grill with a little oil, cook portobellos on a medium heat, top side down first. Flip after it is well browned (3-5 minutes). Lower the heat.
  5. Cover partially with a lid after 5 minutes so it can steam and soften a bit. Continue to cook on a low heat for 12-15 minutes or the mushroom is very soft and less rigid and flat. It shrinks a little.

More African Inspired Recipes: 

To your wholesome & healthy life, 


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