Teff, the traditional grain of Ethiopia, dates back to 4000 BC and is the smallest grain in the world. It’s produced in Ethiopia, India, Australia and – Idaho. We have a number of organic growers throughout the state and as close as Caldwell – so, yes, teff is now a local grain. Teff’s name is derived from the word “teffa” meaning lost, which is easy to do with this minuscule little grain, and one of my daughter’s favorite breakfast foods.
Rich red and brown color teff has a nutty sweet flavor. It is ground into flour for baked goods and fermented as a drink–and teff thickens really well. Use it to thick up soups, stews, gravies and sauces. Or eat it as sweet or savory porridge. A meager 1/2 cup of teff sucks up 2 cups of water to make very thick porridge, so don’t hesitate to keep adding water to thin it down to the consistency that you want. For fun, pop a little dry teff in a skillet over medium heat until little white puffs appear.