Mexican cuisine can seem eccentric to some, but there are a lot of similarities with it and other cuisines, making it more approachable. One fine example is tortillas. These are made with a fried flat dough which is common in many cultures. They are primarily eaten with dips like salsa fresca, another Mexican staple that's pretty much a fresh tomato sauce, also common in the world. Today's recipe will show you the simple way of making wheat tortillas with salsa fresca.

For this recipe, it's best to start things off with the salsa, not only because it's the easiest to make, but also because it's the hardest of the two when it comes to preserving the fresh taste.

The salsa and tortillas are best used right away, but the fresh vegetables in the salsa are timider especially when combined with acids. Making the dip is pretty simple, as it only requires mixing everything in a bowl. Make sure to seal the bowl tightly and refrigerate it before moving onto the tortillas.

Next up are the tortillas, which are also pretty simple. For the best results, however, the secret is to keep them very thin. Therefore, baking powder is out. It might give the tortilla an airy thickness that some might love, but that kind of ruins what a tortilla is supposed to be: perfectly flat.

In terms of water content, I use a 2:1 ratio of flour to water for the dough. This recipe will yield tortillas that are neither too moist nor too dry. Just right. Also, remember to cut the tortillas into shapes before frying them on the skillet. This part comes after forming and shaping the dough when it's done proofing.

The recipe

Salsa ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium sized onion
  • 1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 green chillis
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Black pepper as needed

Tortillas ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water

The directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss around a bit. Seal and refrigerate until it's time to fill the tortillas.
  2. In another large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and oil until slightly crumbly. Make a well in the center of the mixture and slowly add the warm water while stirring. keep stirring until a dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out on a flat surface and knead it for 2 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, seal and let rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into eight equal portions and roll them into balls. Flatten each ball into a very thin disc and cut into 6 equal wedges.
  5. Heat more oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the wedges in 6-piece batches on the skillet, one at a time for just 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel to dry and cool.
  6. Use the tortilla chips immediately with the salsa fresca or seal them with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The tortillas will last this way for a few days.

Serves: 8 tortillas

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