Dirkosh, aka micro-injera, is teff goodness in all its glory. This crunchy snack isn't a cracker and it's not a chip, it's just, well, Dirkosh.
Brought to you all the way from Ethiopia, this ancient civilization known for its beautiful people with ageless complexions, relies heavily on teff. In fact most locals eat a teff based fermented pancake called injera for three meals a day alongside servings of vegetables and legumes.
While the original name Dirkosh refers to injera that has been baked out in the sun, we've taken it, perfected the recipe, and came up with something entirely new. But for the sake of tradition (and because it's a really fun word to say), we still proudly call it Dirkosh.
Typically injera is fermented 3-4 days before it is cooked creating a mild sour taste. Even once it's sun baked and turned into dirkosh, it retains its bitter flavor. And although we love the tiny bubbles that fermentation causes, we didn't like the squinty puckered face we got when eating dirkosh.
That's why we created our own unique recipe that lessened the time of fermenting and created a more suitable flavor for our taste buds.
After a few more tweaks, we made it lighter and crispier resulting in the perfect snack. Our Dirkosh is teff love with an extra side of crunch.
Simplicity is best. Our original flavor is great flying solo or dipped in something delicious like salsa, guacamole, or a tasty bean dip.
Like it hot? We do too. We used the popular local Mitmita spice to pack some major heat into this dynamic spicy crunch. Finally a crunch that actually delivers on its promise to light your taste buds on fire.
Inspired by one of the most popular Ethiopian dishes, Shiro, this Dirkosh is loaded with tomato, garlic, and onion flavors to create a savory mouth sensation.
We like to keep it simple. That's why we use just a few ingredients. In fact, maybe it's better to begin by listing what's not in Dirkosh.
That's right, Dirkosh is all natural, gluten free, low-fat, vegan goodness.
In fact, besides teff, we add just a pinch of volcano salt. Even our flavored Dirkosh only has a few added local spices. Nothing you can't pronounce or find in a typical Ethiopian kitchen is in our snack.
I grew up eating injera my whole life. I think every Ethiopian will agree that if we don't eat injera that day, we don't feel complete. I always liked it because it tasted good, never realizing how much calcium, iron, and protein is in it.
Now that I am aware of teff's benefits, I think everyone in the world should have access to it. They might not like eating it the same way Ethiopians do, but they can enjoy it in different recipes. For example, a lot of people in the West like crunchy foods. That's why we adapted dirkosh to make it into a crispy snack that more people would want to eat.
As teff gets more awareness in the media, I know there will be a huge demand for it. Not everyone who supplies it will have the right motives though. That's why I want to be there when teff becomes big because I know I can do a better job at using it to help the community than others. I want to see the farmers who grow it and the women who make injera actually benefit from it.
By bringing Dirkosh to the world, I know I can make a difference.
Although I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana I've called Ethiopia home for the past two years. Something about this beautiful East African country has got me hooked because I love living here and don't have any plans of moving back.
During my time here, I've also transitioned to a plant based, low fat, vegan lifestyle which has changed my health dramatically. One thing I miss though is chips. I think chips and dip are everybody's favorite snack. But for me finding a chip that was low fat and didn't have oil in it was impossible (even when I'm back visiting in the US). That's when I stumbled upon dirkosh as the perfect option. It's so delicious and filling at the same time.
One of the reasons I wanted to take my new passion for plant based foods into a business is because of the social impact we can have in Ethiopia. I actually have a master's degree in social work and after living here I noticed that creating jobs in a conscious capitalism kind of way is one of the best ways to make a difference. I know that if we receive funding, we will be able to do just that and everyone who contributes to our campaign will play a role in that development as well.
Unapologetic about our love for Ethiopia, we will do everything we can to promote this beautiful East African country. We are even going to put a unique fact about this lovely culture on each new batch of Dirkosh. Why? Because stereotypes matter, and it's time for this country's image to be updated.
More than that though, we are creating sustainable jobs which is what African countries, including Ethiopia, need to move out of poverty. Experts believe that Ethiopia has more agricultural potential than most countries in the world, yet they profit little. Why? Because even if a farmer produces a crop that can be sold to Western countries, it is sold in bulk and processed and packaged outside. This creates little impact on the community.
Dirkosh is different. Everything, including the processing and packaging, will be made within our community using local skills. And to be honest, there are not a lot of great options for packaging currently available within the country. That amount gets even smaller when we focus on making it green friendly and up to international standards. So we're turning to the entrepreneurs, even those as young as high school, to enter a contest to create something for us. It's just another way we can help encourage entrepreneurs.
More than that, we are going to partner with local non-profits who work with vulnerable individuals such as women coming out of prostitution, single mothers, and the disabled to offer them first priority to join our company. We will also engage with women farmers and understand how we can better support their work.
All this to say, we have a lot of plans to turn Dirkosh into a platform that will help the Ethiopian community while providing healthy food to a globe in need.
A: Good things come in small packages. This teeny tiny grain, no bigger than the eye of a needle is packed with nutritional gluten free goodness. It's a whole grain that is full of fiber, calcium (1 cup of cooked teff offers about ½ cup of calcium found in cooked spinach), manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, thiamin, and vitamin C.1
Teff can even help you lose weight. No wonder why celebrities like Gwenth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham are fans.Q: Why is Dirkosh oil free?
A: We love chips and dips! But you know that feeling you get after eating a whole bowl of potato chips? Yuck, right? Even the healthy ones still provide about 7 grams of fat per serving, and let's be honest. Who actually eats only one serving? Chips are additive.
That's why we made ours oil free so you can eat as much as you want and still look good and feel good afterwards.
It's more than though-- oil is processed and we don't believe processed foods are great for our bodies. If you want to know more about a low fat vegan lifestyle that leads to weight loss, better cardiovascular system, and a lower chance of cancer, check out Forks Over Knives, Engine 2, Starch Solution, or Raw til4. Dirkosh-- the first oil free, low fat chip.
A: Yes, the rumor is true. Dirkosh is topped with a pinch of volcano salt (or “white gold” as it is referred to here) to bring out the flavor. It comes from the foothills of the Danikil Depression which is considered to be the largest salt reserve in the world, and it has been cultivated by caravans for centuries.
There hasn't been enough research on it yet to conclusively state any specific benefits, but locals swear by its healing benefits to detoxify the body and eliminate fatigue. Better yet, it's unbleached and free from the nasty processing that occurs in most salt.
That's not the only reason we use it though. We believe in making the biggest impact possible in Ethiopia which means sourcing all of our ingredients from the country so that the community gets as much benefit as possible.Q: Where will Dirkosh be sold?
A: Definitely the United States! We even hope to make it to Canada, Europe, and Australia too. We want Dirkosh to be sold all over the globe in stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, local health shops, and online at Vitacost.
Our biggest challenge will be raising enough funds to get the certificates we need to sell at these stores. Which is why we are first aiming for $50,000 USD which will get our first shipment to those stores in the US. After that we will begin slowly expanding.
If we fall short of that goal, we won’t stop. Raising $20,000 would allow us to sell independently on our website and to Ethiopian restaurants and grocery stores in the US. Anything below that will give us enough to sell locally in Ethiopia until we can make enough profits to start exporting.
Everyone deserves a healthy and tasty option to crunch, and we hope we get to bring it to you.Q: Is Dirkosh Organic? GMO Free?
A: Essentially yes. However, since we are still in the initial stages of fundraising we have not yet received certification pronouncing us officially organic or GMO-free. So legally we can't say we are. However, please know that we source all our ingredients from local farmers who we believe are organic, GMO free, and refrain from any nasty chemicals. We don't want to eat that stuff either.