International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Flax seed

(Ethiopian flaxseed beverage)

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Average: 4.2 (19 votes)

Telba is a healthy and refreshingly creamy Ethiopian beverage made from toasted, ground flax seeds. Flax is full of fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, but be careful how much you drink. Telba can have a a mild laxative effect.

4 to 6 servings


  • Flaxseed -- 1 cup
  • Water -- 6 cups
  • Honey -- 1 to 2 tablespoons


  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over low heat. Add the flaxseed and dry roast it in the skillet, stirring, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Place the toasted flaxseed in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Sift through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl.
  3. Add the water to the flaxseed, stir and set aside for about 10 to 20 minutes to allow solids to settle out.
  4. Strain the telba into a pitcher and discard the solids. Add the honey to taste and chill well before serving.

Telba Variations

  • Telba Fitfit: Mix telba with broken up pieces of injera bread and heat and serve as a sidedish.
  • Toasted, unhulled barley and sunflower seeds are sometimes added to telba for additional flavor.

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