At the bright yellow Makina Cafe truck, which has been plying the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens since last summer, the injera is buoyant in the hand and unapologetically sour, with an insistent, earthy tang and a thousand eyes.

By Ligaya Mishan (The New York Times) |

Injera is a certainty at every Ethiopian meal and the measure of every Ethiopian restaurant: floppy, featherweight flatbread as thin as a kerchief, with the sepia tinge of an old photograph. One side is smooth while the other has almost more holes than dough, from the bubbles that swell and pop as the batter settles on the mitad (griddle). In Amharic they are known as ain, or eyes, and the more of them, the better.

At the bright yellow Makina Cafe truck, which has been plying the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens since last summer, the injera is buoyant in the hand and unapologetically sour, with an insistent, earthy tang and a thousand eyes. It’s made of fermented teff, cut with a little wheat to account for New York’s troublesome changes in climate (which can make the dough too sticky), and delivered fresh every morning to the truck before it sets out for lunch service.

The identity of its maker is a prized secret. Eden Gebre Egziabher, the truck’s owner and chef, said simply, “I have a lady. She’s the best.”

Twenty years ago, war broke out between Ethiopia, Ms. Gebre Egziabher’s home country, and neighboring Eritrea, where her parents were born. The Ethiopian government expelled residents of Eritrean descent, even those who were Ethiopian citizens, and refused to allow her mother, who had been visiting friends in the United States, to return.

Continue reading this story at The New York Times
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