These pancake-like flatbreads originating in Somalia make for an adaptable accompaniment to almost any meal.
Canjeero, sometimes also called lahoh, are thin pancakes made from a fermented batter. They are similar to Ethipoian injera but lighter in flavour, smaller, and faster and easier to make. The pancakes are typically enjoyed for breakfast. You can spread canjeero with a little butter, ghee, or sesame oil and sprinkle with sugar, if you’d like. Serve with hot tea or, for a special treat, alongside cups of Shaah Cadays (Somali Spiced Tea with Milk). You can also serve canjeero with savoury foods in the morning or alongside lunch or dinner. They’re also great for scooping up stewed meats like Somali Beef Stew.
Makes 12 pancakes
- 1 cup finely ground white cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 5 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter (or canola oil)
- Place the cornmeal, yeast, and 2 cups of the water in a large bowl and stir together vigorously with a spoon. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until small bubbles appear on top and the mixture has risen slightly, about 1 hour.
- Add the remaining 3 cups water, the sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and stir well to combine. Whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth. Cover the bowl with the kitchen towel and let it sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours; the longer it sits, the more flavour it will develop. The mixture will have some bubbles on the surface.
- When you’re ready to cook the pancakes, place the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the skillet is hot, stir the batter well and ladle enough into the skillet to form a thin, even layer across the bottom, tilting the pan to coat the surface (the exact amount will depend on the size of your skillet but figure about 1/2 cup). Use the rounded base of your ladle to swirl batter to make some circular grooves on the surface. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until no liquid remains on the surface and the underside is barely golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pancake to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter (no need to add more butter after the first pancake). Stack the pancakes as you make them and serve them warm as they are or rolled up as in the photo.
In Bibi’s Kitchen: $45; penguinrandomhouse.ca
Reprinted with permission from In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.