Making Nixtamal (allow 18-24 hours)
By Luz Calvo
- 2 cups dried dent corn
- 2 tablespoons cal (slaked lime)
- 6 cups water
- Rinse 2 cups dried dent corn.
- Use a large non-reactive pot (stainless steel, glass, or clay are all good). Read about non-reactive cookware here: http://www.thekitchn.com/food-science-explaining-reacti-73723
- Add 6 cups cool water to the non-reactive pot.
- Mix in 2 tablespoons “cal” to the water to create a “slurry”
- Add rinsed corn to the slurry. It will look like this:
After 45 minutes, turn off the stove and cover the pot. Allow the corn to soak in the pot overnight and preferably for about 24 hours.
Fill a deep bowl or pot with cool water. Add the corn and using your hands, rub the corn vigorously between your palms. You are trying to remove the outer layer of skin (the hull)—it should fall off pretty easily. Do NOT attempt to clean each kernel one at a time. That would be insane. Just use your hands to massage the corn. It might seem like nothing is happening because the skin is pretty thin but you should begin to see little bits of skin floating in the water.
Pour off the top of the water along with the little pieces of skin that have been removed. I repeat this step about 10 times, until the water I pour off is almost completely clean. Strain the corn one last time.
Now, you are ready to grind the corn. Put a pan under the grinder to catch the masa. Put the strained corn in your grinder. I run my corn through the grinder a second time to get a softer dough.
This is what the freshly ground nixtamal corn will look like:
Form balls about the size of a golf ball (or a wee bit smaller). I have found that this recipe (2 cups of dried corn) produces about 1 dozen medium sized corn tortillas.
Prepare your tortilla press and heat your comal(griddle). You want the comal hot when you put the first tortilla on. After the comal is hot you can turn the heat down from high to medium high.
You now have a raw tortilla on your hand. (Kind of embarrassing that I used a Whole Foods plastic bag. I swear, I hardly ever go there. But their bags really work for this purpose. Ha!)
After the edges of the tortilla start to turn up slightly, flip the tortilla. Continue cooking for a few minutes. You can flip the tortillas a few times until they look done.
Put the finished tortillas between a folded clean dish towel. Don’t worry too much if you think the tortilla is still slightly raw in the inside. Make more tortillas and let them rest together in the clean towel. They will continue cooking on the inside. By the time you serve them they will be perfect. ENJOY!
Before bring trying this at home, I suggest you also read this informative blog post: