Recipes for Life

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Spiced Teff Porridge

pouring teff

I typically make this warmly spiced porridge for breakfast, but it can also be used as a side dish or enjoyed as a snack.

Rich in iron, calcium, fiber and protein, bronze-colored teff is the smallest cereal grain. Though uncommon in the American diet, this gluten free grain is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine. Traditional preparations include a flat sourdough bread called injera. This uniquely light and spongy bread is rolled up, cut into lengths and used to scoop up food in lieu of utensils. Teff can also be added to other dishes or cooked alone as a  side dish  or porridge. 

Prep time:

20 minutes

Soak time:

Overnight (8-12 hours)

Cook time:

15-20 minutes



Sauce pan


1. Spice-infuse the water

Add water and spices to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out the spices, return liquid to the saucepan.

Boiling spices

2. Cook the porridge
Return the water to a boil and whisk in the teff. Bring to a boil whisking occasionally to prevent lumps. Simmer until the liquid reduces to form a porridge consistency. Salt the porridge to taste.

3. Garnish and serve
Spoon the porridge into bowls. Garnish with a pat of butter and nuts, seeds or other additions if desired. Serve hot and eat immediately.

Teff Poridge

Time-saving overnight version:
This version helps free up time on busy mornings. Overnight soaking also shortens the porridge cooking time and enhances digestion of the teff.

The night before, infuse the water, remove the spices and whisk in the teff. Let stand, covered overnight in the saucepan.

In the morning, whisk to remove lumps. Bring to a boil and simmer until the porridge is done as described above.