How To Make Homemade Corn Masa

In the Spanish language, masa means dough. As with many of the baked goods in Latin American culture’s, corn is a forefront ingredient. But you can’t have masa without making it! By grinding corn and letting a lime solution break down the tougher to digest ingredients and make it into a flour-like material. Let it dry out and just add water to create homemade corn tortillas, tamales, pupusa or sopes for a truly homemade Latin meal.

Follow along with our online culinary school chef as he shows you how to make homemade masa. Once you’ve learned how to, the recipes are endless!

Nixtamal (Corn Masa)


4 cups Dry white or yellow corn

4 Tbsp. Calcium Hydroxide (cal)

8 Cups of water


1. Place the corn in a colander and rinse under cold water. This step just helps rinse away any dust pesticides that might be coating the corn.

2. Prepare the lime mixture; add water to a large (at least 4 quart) noncorrosive pan.  Place the pan over high heat and add the lime (Cal) and stir until it is dissolved.

3. Boil the corn; add the corn into the lime water, stirring gently. Use a slotted spoon and remove any kernels that float to the top of the water.  Allow the water to boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, allow boiling 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the corn to soak. Allow soaking, covered, overnight.

4. Wash the corn; this step is very important. If you don’t rinse and clean the corn properly your dough will be yellow and taste like lime. Pour the corn into a colander and place it under cold running water. Use both your hands and rub the corn between your hands to loosen any hulls still attached to the corn.

5. Grind the (Nixtamal) you may use your food processor.

 Tip: You can find calcium hydroxide (Cal) at any Hispanic supermarket in the spice section.

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