Eating with injera

Injera is both a flatbread, an eating utensil, and a plate. Pieces of injera are used to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. When the entire “tablecloth” of injera is gone, the meal is over. Utensils are optional.

Injera is a sourdough-risen gluten-free flatbread with a slightly spongy texture. It’s traditionally made out of tiny, iron-rich teff seeds, which are ground into flour. It’s the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea and central to any meal in the region.

Teff production is limited to certain middle elevations with adequate rainfall, and, as it is a low-yield crop, and is it is relatively expensive for the average household. To make injera, teff flour is mixed with water. The fermentation process is triggered by adding ersho, obtained from previous fermentations. The mixture is then allowed to ferment for an average of two to three days, giving it a mildly sour taste. The injera is baked into large, flat pancakes. The production of teff dates back a few thousands years.

Selam is an Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant. Join us at 812 Bloor St W in Toronto. We’re a 4 min walk east of Ossington Subway/Green P. 416-915-7225

Enjoy a coffee ceremony at Selam

A coffee ceremony brings relatives, neighbours and visitors together in Eritrea and Ethiopia. It’s a mark of great respect to be invited.

Green coffee beans are first roasted over an open flame in a pan then ground, boiled in a clay jebena jug, put through a sieve, and then served. Popcorn is offered as a snack. Traditionally loose grass is spread on the area where the coffee ceremony is held but we use a round grass plate.

We usually serve coffee from yirgacheffe. It’s not like other coffees. It has a distinctively fruity flavour profile and a bright, floral aroma. It is consistently ranks among the best coffee in the world, and certainly the among the best in Ethiopia itself. It’s widely considered to be from the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia is the motherland of all Arabica coffee. When coffee was taken to other countries, people had to find ways to adapt it to the local climate. That’s Arabica coffee grows best in places that have climates similar to that of Ethiopia: mountainous, tropical, with moderate wet and dry seasons.

Selam is an Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant. Join us at 812 Bloor St W in Toronto. We’re a 4 min walk east of Ossington Subway/Green P. 416-915-7225