Teff is the smallest grain in the world. Native to Africa and an integral part of Ethiopian cuisine (it’s used to make their national bread, injera), it can be white, red, and even purple. The most common variety is chocolate-brown. It’s a nutritional powerhouse, full of iron and protein, and a good source of fiber and calcium.
Teff’s rich, distinctive flavor is reminiscent of hazelnuts to some, and artichokes to others. Its toasty-nutty flavor goes well with ingredients both sweet and savory, like apples, winter squash, root vegetables, chicken, onions, corn, and brown sugar. It can also stand up to spicy foods.
Teff can be found at many supermarkets, in health food stores, and online.
Whole teff can be cooked into a dark brown polenta, which can be sweetened and eaten with fruit as a breakfast porridge. You can also let it set up, cut it into wedges, and grill or sauté it to serve with savory foods. Teff flour, which is gluten-free, imparts its nuttiness and dusky cocoa shade to piecrusts, waffles, and other baked goods.
Whole teff can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a year. Teff flour will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three months, or frozen for up to six months.