the Ethiopian and Norwegian connection, and I found it at Target!
If you follow my blog, you see that I push you over to my wife’s quite a bit and as you know if you have read her blog she has been fervently researching Injera and the proper techniques to make it here in the states for a long, long, long time now.
Well we made a local Ethiopian friend who came over to eat our attempts at Ethiopian food and we passed the “test” but we learned there is a cooking utemsil called a “mitad” that is required to cook injera. According to the Ethiopians there are only 2 places to buy this wonder grill, Seatle and DC. Now we started to look for the ellusive mitad and could only find one web site that sold it and it was $190. Really steep for what we wanted, especially as the one in DC is only $90.
Well a freind of our found a site that sold it on line, for about $90 but we had no idea what we would be buying, as it was sold in a box, and the pixture was of the box it came it.
So I started to do some digging on the site, and found the company that made the Mitad, then went to that company’s site, but they didn’t have anything out there about a mitad at all. So I looked up the product code and it matched an electric grill they make, specifically a Lefse Grill.
So now I dig into the world of Lefse, a potatoe based crepe from Norway, that happens to be made on the same cooking device as Injera is…. WOW!!!!!
Yes, you read that right, just drive right down the road and walk into Target and buy an electric Lefse Grill and you have half the battle done with your Injera. Now the big kicker and all the oil lovers will hate me on this one, if you ever use any form of oil on this grill it will never correctly make your Injera ever again. You have to use rape seeds and a clean cloth to “oil” the surface when you cook the injera, but if you really want to make the injera, then this is for injera, and injera ONLY. Cooking other products on this surface ruin it for what you want it for, but just like a wok, you never need to wash it either. Just run water and clean it with a clean cloth allowing the residue of the rape seeds to remain and create “character” on the teflon surface. If you use oil then you have altered the surface of the pan forever! Period, there will always be a residue on the surface and it will not perform correctly for you. Hey, this isn’t my stuff, I’m just playing the parrot and repeating what I read. You could go with the non teflon as well, but the Ethiopians prefer the teflon as it’s a bit more like the ceramic mitad back home. Of course you could buy the $190 mitad, as it is ceramic.
Now you also have to have a lid for your mitad, so swing by the pots and pans and pick up a 16″ pan cover as well, and you will need a decent blender as well. But you know, some secrets are best left up to the women to divulge, so I will keep you injera scientist on the edge of your seats and make you wait for Heather blog entry about how the blender plays into the Injera……
When we told our Ethiopian friends that Target sold a Mitad they couldn’t believe me, in fact I’m not sure they do now, but I looked at the bottom of theirs and sure enough it is the exact same thing that Target sells. In fact as far as I can tell Bethany house is the ONLY manufactor of this product at all! You can buy one all over the place and you will find 3 names for it, Aluminium, Silverstone, and Heritage Lefse Grill. The aluminium is just that, no teflon coating on it, and apperently the best one for Lefse. The Heritage and the Silverstone are actually the same thing, the true Bethany House name for it is the Silverstone Heritage Lefse Grill.
Now all this and no, we don’t have one yet, but Christmas is around the corner….
Personally I was just blown away as this is the exact same grill sold as a mitad in the Ethiopian stores in DC and Seatle, but it has a different name elsewhere. Not that I think that there is truly more Norweigan influence on the online market place than Ethiopian, but I guess the guy who marketed it first was hungry for some lefse not injera. Who would have thought that the Norwegian and the Ethiopians would have developed a cooking style with any similarities at all?
And who would have thought that it would be the crazy hippie ferenj that discovered that Target sold a Mitad?