Adventures in Cooking: Make home-made tortillas a 2021 resolution

Majida Rashid

My 2021 resolution is that I will never again buy tortillas.

What’s your new year resolution?

My unintentional resolve started a couple of weeks prior to January 1, 2021 when Houston’s overcast skies shed drizzles from time to time. To enjoy the weather I heated a store-bought tortilla and fried a sunnyside-up egg for my most favorite mid-morning coffee break. Then I sat down, enthusiastically broke a slice of tortilla, took a piece of egg white and put it in my mouth.

The morsel had a taste of egg white interspersed with something flavorless and saltless, similar to a piece of cardboard. Not that I have ever eaten or tasted cardboard, but this is how proverbial cardboard must taste. My tastebuds reacted so strongly that I spat everything out right away and rinsed my mouth. I was disappointed to say the least.

Driving to the closet store, parking the car, walking to the store and searching for the shelf where tortillas are displayed seemed like time and effort spent uselessly.

So I surveyed the kitchen not knowing what to do. My eyes caught sight of the corn flour packet and the tortilla maker that I had bought earlier with the intention of learning to make tortillas. Placing them on the counter, instead of tucking them away in the pantry, was my way of reminding myself to use them someday.

A manual tortilla maker has two round weighty disks hinged at one side and a long handle attached to the lower disk opposite the joint.

I walked to the counter, opened the flour bag and put some in a bowl with a pinch of salt, a few spices and made tortillas. In two weeks I made five batches of tortillas of various flavors and textures.
Confession: Some of the initial tortillas could have been used to teach geography lessons! But with practice it became easy to make round ones.

Caution: They are addictive and the sky is the limit with regards to flavors, textures and stuffing.

Wouldn’t you like to treat yourself to home-made tortillas instead of wasting time and effort to purchase some, not knowing if they will be flavorful? If so, then here is something for you.

Fresh Corn Tortilla

Serving 6 – 8 tortillas


1 cup corn flour

A pinch of salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander and red crushed peppers

1/2 teaspoon dried pomegranate

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

1 cup warm water


Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour warm water, a little at a time, and mix until a soft and pliable dough is formed. It’s important to slowly add the water as this helps control consistency of the dough. Knead for a few minutes, cover the bowl and leave aside.

Meanwhile, cut two rounds pieces of wax paper to fit the circumference of the tortilla maker. Alternatively, a plastic bag that we put vegetables and fruits in before purchasing can be used.

Place a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Put the tortilla maker on the counter, in front of you, with the handle extending to your right if you are right-handed and vice versa.

Place the wax paper over the disk with the handle. Take a small piece of dough, the size of two walnuts, and roll between your palms until a smooth sphere is formed. Keep it over the wax paper. Put the other wax paper over the sphere and bring down the top disk of the tortilla maker. Lift the handle, bring it over the disks and gently press. This flattens the sphere. Then open and rotate the wax papers, close the top and this time firmly press the handle.

Lift the top disk, carefully remove the wax paper, taking care as to not tear the tortilla.

Place the tortilla on the palm of one hand and slowly peel off the other wax paper. Put the tortilla in the hot frying pan and cook over medium low heat until the color changes.

Flip over and cook the other side. Use fillings to make quesadillas, tacos or something else.

Oh, my Mexican friend was surprisingly impressed and said that she will start making tortillas at home. Would you?