Native to Northeastern Africa and Southwestern Arabia, teff is now gaining popularity around the world for its health benefits. Teff also serves as an easy substitute for what in many gluten-free recipes.

Adding this small cereal grain to your diet is so easy and can yield delicious (and nutritious) results.

How to Cook Teff

How you cook teff depends on the texture you wish the grain to have. To achieve a poppy seed-like texture, cook the teff for 6-7 minutes, using one cup of teff and one cup of water. For a creamier feel, cook the teff for 20 minutes, using one cup of teff and three cups of water.


Traditionally, Ethiopians ground the teff into flour and fermented it to make a spongy, sourdough bread called “injera”. This bread provided a base for which the main dish of the meal could be served on. People would then eat the food by ripping off pieces of the bread and wrapping the food inside of it. You can make this delicious bread yourself by following these instructions:

  • Use 1 1/2 cups ground teff or teff flour and mix with 2 cups water
  • Cover the mixture and let stand overnight in the refrigerator
  • After letting it stand, stir in 1/8-1/4 tsp salt
  • Pour mixture onto oiled skillet, set to medium heat
  • Spread mixture around the entirety of the skillet and cook it only on one side
  • The bread is done when holes begin to form on the top of it and the edges start to separate from the pan. This could take several minutes.
  • Remove the injera and repeat the procedure using the same amount of batter until it is all gone.
  • Use this bread as a “serving plate” for your main dish


  • Add 1 cup of cooked teff to a pancake mixture to give it a nutritional boost
  • Toast the grains to create hot cereal. You can also add fruit for more flavor


  • Cooked teff can be used as a substitute for pilaf rice, as well as other small grains, nuts, or seeds in cooking or baking
  • Sprinkle cooked teff on vegetables or salads
  • Add cooked teff to soup or stew to thicken it


Teff flour is a wonderful substitute for wheat flour in baked goods, such as cookies and cakes.
Sources: Gluten Free Cooking; Versagrain