American Indian Corn Cakes

cornbread1horseheader11.jpgGood Morning!

Well, I’m a little late this morning — doing taxes all day yesterday — hopefully you’ll forgive me and understand that my mind has been a little pre-occupied. 

This is really a Pueblo recipe.  Here goes:

Start with 2 large handfuls of masa organic cornmeal  (to make masa cornmeal, take some dried corn, put it through the grinder — or buy organic cornmeal — and soak for 7 hours with pickling lime water.  To make the water, pour about an inch of pickling lime in a 2 quart jar and add water — shake and let sit for a few hours.  After 7 hours, dry the cornmeal in either the sun or if you have dehydrator, dry in the dehydrator.  If no dehydehydrator and you are in a cool or humid environment — dry in the lowest setting of your oven until all the liquid is gone.)

Native Americans always traditionally soaked their corn in wood ash or lime (the mineral, not the fruit) — but the pickling lime has the same effect as wood ash.

To the 2 large handfuls of cornmeal add 4 eggs, lightly beaten.

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Lard or butter or coconut oil.

Mix this all together with enough water to form a stiff batter.  Then simply shape into cakes aboaut a half inch thick.  Fry in hot fat and let rest on a paper towel.

These are delicious, by the way and good for you.  The soaking of the oorn changes the amino acid balance of the corn and makes it into a fully balanced protein.  Native Americans were pretty smart.adam-beach.jpg

And hansome!

And here’s another recipe that I thought you might like:

This is from the cookbook Cooking With Spirit, North American INDIAN Food and Fact by Darcy Williamson and Lisa Railsback.

green-bean-casserole-11“Pueblo Greens and Beans

Small picese of chopped mutton fat

1 lb. tumbleweed

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups cooked pinto beans

Cook mutton fat until crips.  Add greens, onion, garlic, water and salt.  Cook until greens are wilted and add beans.  Heat through.”

I would add to this recipe to be sure to soak those beans overnight, being very careful to drain all the water before you use them.  All seeds, nuts, grains and beans contain anti-nutrients — called phytates.  These anti-nutrients block your body’s enzymes from working properly.  They are a protective mechanism of all seed, nuts, grains and beans.  Think of it — cows have 3 stomachs — these help to digest these grains.  But we only have one stomach — so the soaking of them overnight — and even fermenting then (using salt and/or whey) for 24 hours, makes them digestible for us (it starts the digestive process).  I’ve noticed that doing this with all beans avoids gas.  🙂

Have a terrific day!

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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6 thoughts on “American Indian Corn Cakes”

  1. The corn cakes sound yummy. Will be fixing them when I get back from vacation.
    The pueblo greens and beans may be a bit difficult, there isn’t any tumbleweed to be had in our neck of the woods.
    Take care.

  2. Interesting recipe, Karen. Makes me remember that my grandmother told me about her mother making hominy by soaking corn in lye water made from wood ashes. She would use her hands to rub the skin off the kernels after they swelled.

    In our part of the world, we can buy masa, but I think you could dry the hominy and then grind it.


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