Remember Space Jam? Remember Michael Jordan’s Secret Stuff (his “special” water)? Well let me introduce you to my Secret Stuff. Although the effects aren’t as psychosomatically powerful as MJ’s brew, my stuff does a pretty convincing job. When the GPS tracker says I’m mozying along at a speedy 6 mph, teff porridge says “Nonsense! This is the ambrosia of the running gods!” And suddenly, I’m related to about 5 different Ethiopian ultra marathoners in 7 different ways. And they all say go faster.
Teff (or tef) is an ancient North African grass that produces hundreds of thousands of nutrient packed (20% of daily iron) seeds. Teff means “lost” in the Ethio-Semitic language, due to its minuscule size. It is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine and is also cultivated across the world because it is an extremely hardy and fast growing crop. How does it taste, you ask? Duh-licious. Toasting the seeds brings out their hazelnut-ty flavor and aroma, which I like to bring out with a generous dollop of Nutella.
Nutella Teff Porridge
Serves 2, Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
1/2 cup teff
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Nutella
1/4 cup sugar (plus more to taste)
Place the teff in a in a skillet over medium high heat. At the same time, bring the water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Listen for the little -pop- -pop- sounds that teff makes when it’s toasting, after 4-5 minutes. As soon as you hear the poprocks go off, carefully pour the teff into the boiling water. If you dump it in the water all at once it will spatter so add the teff slowly. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sugar and uncover the teff. Depending on the desired consistency, cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes or if you like your porridge thinner, take the pan off the heat. Stir in nutella and adjust sweetness to your liking.