African Spiced Teff and Vegetable Loaf







Teff revisits its Ethiopian roots cooked with African spices. Beyond being delicious, slices of this meaty looking loaf are beautiful with a colorful mosaic pattern.

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  1. Toast the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cloves in a small dry skillet over medium heat, for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and seeds begin to pop. Turn off heat. Transfer to a spice grinder or seed mill and grind until powdery.
  2. Heat the oil in a 6-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, poblano pepper, spices, and sea salt. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
  3. Add teff and grated yams, and sauté for 5 minutes until the teff is coated with the oil, yams brighten in color, and the aroma of garlic and spices fills the air.
  4. Lower the heat and slowly stir in the boiling water. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the teff is tender and all of the water is absorbed.
  5. Add and stir in the rainbow chard. When the chard turns bright green, taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.
  6. Pour the mixture into a standard loaf pan and let stand for about 30 minutes, until firm.
  7. Slice into pieces about 1 inch thick and serve immediately. (If you do not wait for the loaf to set up, you can serve it piping hot, like mashed potatoes. It only sets up after cooling for a while.)

Variation: Substitute 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes for the poblano pepper for a spicier loaf.


  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Maskal Teff grain, brown or ivory
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped and seeded poblano pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 2 ½ cups yams, peeled and grated
  • 4 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups rainbow chard, sliced

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