homemade corn tortillas

Table of Contents

In addition to yoga and fitness, I LOVE to cook. By myself, cooking is a kind of moving meditation for me (with delicious conclusions!). With my family, it’s a celebration and a time for connection, learning and giving to each other.

I’ve had the opportunity to cook “with” chefs via zoom recently and I LOVE it. Cooking is something I simply enjoy. Chopping, mixing, smelling, tasting as I sway to some music is a happy place for me.

Here’s something I got to play with recently – adding edible flowers to my homemade tortillas! (Thanks to @chefmarcela for the idea of adding flowers!) Have you ever made handmade corn tortillas? They are dreamy and not that difficult to make.

the recipe and process

If you’d like to try making this, you’ll need a tortilla press and some masa harina (finely ground corn flour that’s been flavored with lime) and of course some time and willing parties to consume them.

  • 2 c masa harina
  • 1 ½ c hot water (or as hot as you can handle with your hands)
  • Option: edible flowers (marigold, cleaned up squash blossoms, etc)
Mix the masa harina and warm/hot water in a bowl with your hands. Ok, that wasn’t long enough. Knead for about 5-10 minutes. If it’s too dry, the dough will be crumbly. If it’s too wet, it will be too sticky. The ratio of water to masa sweet spot is that you can “clean up” the bowl with the masa as you knead (as you roll the masa easily gets picked up). After kneading, roll into a ball. Wrap the masa tightly in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes on the counter.
Take a golf ball to tennis ball size bunch of masa into the hands and roll until there are no seams or edges - nice and smooth - then create a disc out of it. Place the masa disc into a tortilla press that’s lined with sturdy plastic (I use a zip top bag that I cut the sides on but not the end - I wash and reuse it all the time). The masa should be covered by the plastic, not touching the press. Press into a 2-4” circle (⅛”-¼” thickness), making sure it’s even on all sides. You can even twirl it around to ensure even pressure. This is where you’d add the edible flowers or petals to 1 side.
Preheat a nonstick pan to medium heat. Take the circle out of the plastic as you lay it into one hand; carefully place the masa circle onto the heated pan. (If using the flowers, start with flower side down.) Cook 30 seconds. Flip it (hands if you’re a seasoned cook, thin spatula if otherwise) and cook 1 min 30 seconds. Finally, flip one more time and let cook 30-60 seconds. It should puff up which means that you have a great amount of moisture in the masa and now the tortilla is being cooked on the side. The puffing part is so fun to watch. Please use a timer for all of those steps. 

I recommend a legit tortilla warmer purchased from your Mexican or Latin American grocery store to let them keep warm while you continue making them.

Now you have fresh corn tortillas for making tacos and enchiladas. But the tortillas likely won’t last that long. Most kids (like me) and adults -ok, that’s everyone- eat it plain or with some salt and butter. If you’re slightly more patient, you could add refried beans and cheese to it. ¡Buen provecho!

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