Not just any ol’ corn flour
The Spanish literally translates into “dough flour.” This is a specially processed corn flour that’s used to make Mexican tortillas, tamales, and other Latin American food items. The preparation involves soaking dried corn in a mixture of water and lime, which makes the corn more palatable or easier to digest. The wet corn dough gets ground into a powder that’s sold as masa harina. Cooks cannot substitute regular corn flour for masa harina and vice versa. Adding water to masa harina creates the new dough necessary to make tortillas, enchiladas, etc. Have you ever tried to cook with masa harina?