I noticed that lots of restaurants, bars, clubs and whatever are now serving Mexican food. I started the trend when I opened Havana Restaurante. Yes, I am guilty to be the original creator of Havana located on Woodvale Grove in Westlands. I had then a Mexican friend, Anna, living in Nanyuki wanting me to have Mexican food on Havana menu. Cuban and Mexican foods are very different. I believe that Cuba is part of the Latin world but Mexico … hmmmm!
Also, Mexican food was fun to learn since my next door neighbor, Jorge, was Mexican. The tallest Mexican which I ever met on the planet. He was a former cook and an absolute Mexican art aficionado. This is how I started appreciating the art of Frida Kahlo. You must know Frida Kahlo’s life in order to appreciate her art. I had a large poster of her hung in one of Havana’s dining area.
The first thing Anna showed my cooks was to prepare tortilla. It is the basis for lots of Mexican style recipes. Yes, thanks to my friend I will take the credit for introducing Mexican food to Kenya like the quesadillas and the fajitas.
Do not attempt making corn tortilla. Corn tortilla are made with a flour called masa harina which is not available in Kenya. The proportions are for about a dozen tortillas.
- Rolling pin
- 225 gr or 2 cup of flour
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 tbsp. of vegetable fat
- 120 ml water or ½ cup
- In a bowl mix the flour, salt and the vegetable fat until it looks like breadcrumbs. Slowly add the water to obtain a soft dough
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes
- Make a ball and let the dough rest in a bowl for 15 minutes
- Divide the dough and shape into golf balls size
- On a lightly floured surface roll out each balls into paper-thin 15 cm rounds. Use a small plate for guide and to cut a nice round tortilla.
- Without oil, on a griddle or frying pan heat up the tortillas 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
- They are ready when the color is light brown and sometimes have blisters
- Keep the tortillas between clean towels
Tips – always sift the flour. Also, it is nice to let any dough rest. The length of time is according to the recipes. You can eat them like chapatis.