Romeo Regalli, the owner of Awash, explains the multi-step process behind a batch of the restaurant's injera as such: First, you add water to two separate batches; one with wheat flour and one with teff flour (a strictly gluten-free version is also available at the restaurant). Both mixtures ferment for three days -- this is what gives the injera its characteristic, tangy flavor -- before they are mixed together in one larger vat. Baking powder is added to help create a porous, sponge-like texture, and then the batter is poured over the mitad, a large, round hot plate, to cook.
Once it’s ready to go, the real artwork begins. The kitchen at Awash will build your order on top of the injera, as if the bread itself were a platter (don't worry: the staff gives you a bowl of rolled injera on the side, too). From there, you can customize it however you want: perhaps with a combination of vegan sides like key sir (beets and carrots stewed with garlic and ginger), shiro (spiced, ground chickpeas), and gomen (stewed collard greens with onion, garlic, and herbs); or flavor-packed meat options like the tibs wat (beef strips stewed in a berbere spice blend), or yebeg alicha (a buttery, onion-forward lamb stew). It’s hearty and delicious, but don’t forget to wash your hands. Not only will you be eating with them -- you’ll want to lick every finger, too.