In Ethiopia, Tella, a traditional alcoholic beverage, is very popular. It can also include spices. It is made from a variety of grains, including barley, corn, wheat, millet, or Teff. For fermentation, shiny-leaf buckthorn leaves that have been dried and powdered are utilized.
Tella and beer are comparable; the fermenting process is the key distinction. It is made without the use of yeast. The only yeasts used to manufacture the beverage are those that are naturally found in the cereals and equipment.
How Tella is Made Traditionally
Tella is prepared in a clay pot that has been grawa-washed, rinsed, and weyra-smoked for around ten minutes. There are three stages to the preparation.
The first, referred to as Tejet, is used to make the malt (Bikil): The grains of cereal are soaked in water, allowed to germinate for at least three days, and then dried in the sun. After that, a flour is made from the Gesho shrub’s leaves and stems (Rhamnus prinoides).
Enkuro, a type of barley flour, or Kita, a type of unleavened bread that is broken into pieces and allowed to ferment for a week, are both added in the second phase (Tenses).
The final stage (Difedef) involves the addition of water and a new fermentation that lasts 12 days. Wood ash is added to the beverage to balance out its acidity.
Where to Find Tella
Tella is frequently prepared at home or offered at Tella houses (Tellabet), which are bars that only sell this beverage. However, since several industrial breweries have recently opened, Tella is no longer consumed as it formerly was informally, in social settings, or at significant events like weddings and celebrations. The traditional taverns known as tellabet are now quite uncommon in Addis Abeba.
What is the Alcohol Content of Tella?
Unfiltered Tella typically has an alcohol concentration of 2 – 4 volume percent, while filtered Tella has a 5 – 6% alcohol content.
Ingredients Required to Make Tella
- 1 kilogram of dried Gesho Kitel and Gesho Enchet (hop plant leaves & stems)
- 1 kilogram of millet flour and Teff flour
- 1 kilogram of Bikil (ground wheat malt)
- 4 kilograms of Enkuro (roasted barely flour)
- 40 liters of water
How to Make Tella (Step-by-Step Tutorial)
- Prepare a clean large pot to make your Tella, then add 6 liters of water as well as half of the Gesho Kitel and Gesho Entchet. Mix them well, cover your pot tightly, and let the mixture sit until it ferments, which should take around 3 days.
- When the mixture ferments, and 12 more liters of water, half of the millet and teff flour, as well as half of the remaining Gesho Kitel and Gesho Entchet. Then mix them together thoroughly, cover the pot tightly, and let it sit 3 more days.
- Next, prepare Enkuro by roasting 4 kilograms of barley flour on a separate pan till it changes color to dark brown, while being sprinkling it with water.
- Let the Enkuro cool before mixing with the remaining Gesho Kitel and Gesho Entchet, as well as the remaining millet and teff flour. Again, mix well, cover, and let the mixture sit for 3 days.
- After the third day, add the remaining 22 liters of water to the mixture and cover it again. This time let the mixture sit for 5 more days.
- On the sixth day, filter your Tella and serve.
Equipment Recommendations to Make Tella
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