Savory Way Recipe: American Indian Hopi Blue Corn Mush

American Indian Hopi Blue Corn Mush 'Savory Way'

Savory Way Recipe: American Indian Hopi Blue Corn Mush
Region / culture: Native America, USA | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4


American Indian Hopi Blue Corn Mush 'Savory Way'
American Indian Hopi Blue Corn Mush 'Savory Way'

The American Indian Hopi Blue Corn Mush 'Savory Way' is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed for generations. This recipe offers a unique twist on the classic corn mush, incorporating the distinctive flavor and color of blue cornmeal. It's a simple, yet hearty dish that can be served as a main course or a side, providing a versatile option for any meal of the day. This guide will take you through the history of the recipe, cooking tips, nutritional information, and more to help you prepare this delicious dish.


The Hopi Blue Corn Mush has its roots deeply embedded in the culinary traditions of the Hopi people, a Native American tribe primarily living in northeastern Arizona. Blue corn, also known as Hopi maize, is a significant crop for the Hopi and other Pueblo tribes, not just for its nutritional value but also for its cultural and spiritual significance. The preparation of blue corn mush, traditionally known as "piki," has been passed down through generations, evolving into various forms, including the savory version we are exploring today.


How to prepare

  1. Boil water and add salt to taste. Whisk in the cornmeal.
  2. Reduce the heat and stir the cornmeal for 10 minutes. The coarser the meal, the longer the stirring time.
  3. Transfer the cooked cereal onto a cookie sheet.
  4. Allow it to cool, then slice it into pieces for frying.
  5. In a non-stick pan, fry the slices in butter or oil.


  • Sweet Version: Add a natural sweetener like honey or agave and a dash of cinnamon to the mush before cooling and slicing.
  • Vegan: Use vegetable broth instead of water and fry the slices in a plant-based oil or butter substitute.
  • Herbed Mush: Mix in finely chopped herbs such as cilantro or parsley into the mush for added flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For a smoother consistency, gradually whisk the cornmeal into the water to avoid lumps.

- Constant stirring is key to preventing the mush from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

- To add more flavor, consider using broth instead of water.

- For a crispier exterior, let the slices dry slightly before frying.

- Experiment with different thicknesses when slicing the mush for frying to find your preferred texture.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the fried Hopi Blue Corn Mush slices as a breakfast dish with eggs and avocado, as a side with your favorite stew or chili, or as a base for a savory topping like sautéed vegetables or shredded chicken.

Cooking Techniques

Boiling and constant stirring are crucial for achieving the right consistency of the mush. Frying the slices requires a non-stick pan and a moderate amount of oil to ensure they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Ingredient Substitutions

Yellow cornmeal can be used in place of blue cornmeal, though the flavor and color will differ.

- For a lower-fat version, bake the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet instead of frying.

Make Ahead Tips

The mush can be prepared and refrigerated before slicing and frying, making it a convenient make-ahead option for quick meals.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the fried slices on a platter with a garnish of fresh herbs or a drizzle of a complementary sauce, such as a tangy yogurt or a spicy salsa, to enhance the visual appeal and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair the Hopi Blue Corn Mush with robust flavors like grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or a hearty bean dish. Its versatility also makes it a great base for creative toppings and sauces.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover fried slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat to restore crispiness.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Hopi Blue Corn Mush 'Savory Way' contains approximately 200 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie option for a meal or side dish. The calorie count can vary based on the amount of oil used for frying and any additional toppings or sides.


A serving of Hopi Blue Corn Mush primarily provides carbohydrates, with approximately 30 grams per serving. Blue cornmeal is a whole grain, offering a healthier, more complex carbohydrate option than refined grains, contributing to sustained energy levels and aiding in digestion.


The fat content in this dish largely depends on the amount and type of oil used for frying. Using a tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying adds about 14 grams of fat per serving. Opting for healthier oils like olive or avocado oil can provide beneficial monounsaturated fats.


Hopi Blue Corn Mush offers a modest amount of protein, with about 3 to 4 grams per serving. While not a high-protein dish on its own, it can be paired with protein-rich foods to create a balanced meal.

Vitamins and minerals

Blue cornmeal is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also contains anthocyanins, antioxidants that give blue corn its distinctive color and contribute to its health benefits.


This recipe is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, it does contain potential allergens, such as corn, and depending on the oil used, it may not be suitable for individuals with specific food allergies.


Overall, Hopi Blue Corn Mush 'Savory Way' is a nutritious dish, offering complex carbohydrates, essential vitamins and minerals, and beneficial antioxidants. It's a versatile recipe that can be adapted to fit various dietary needs and preferences.


The American Indian Hopi Blue Corn Mush 'Savory Way' is a versatile and nutritious dish that pays homage to the rich culinary traditions of the Hopi people. With its unique flavor, health benefits, and adaptability, it's a wonderful addition to any meal, offering a delicious way to explore Native American cuisine.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living on the Hopi reservation in Arizona. My grandmother, who was a skilled cook and had learned many traditional recipes from her own mother, taught me how to make this delicious dish.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. The sun was shining bright in the clear blue sky, casting a warm glow over the red desert landscape. My grandmother and I had spent the morning collecting blue corn from the fields, carefully shucking the kernels and grinding them into a fine powder. As we worked, she told me stories of our ancestors and the importance of preserving our traditional foods.

After hours of labor, we finally had enough cornmeal to make the mush. My grandmother showed me how to mix the cornmeal with water and salt, then cook it slowly over a low flame until it thickened into a smooth, creamy porridge. She explained that this dish was a staple in our diet, providing nourishment and sustenance for our bodies and souls.

But it was the "savory way" of preparing the blue corn mush that truly set it apart. My grandmother taught me to sauté onions, garlic, and green chilies in a pan until they were golden and fragrant, then stir them into the cooked mush along with a handful of fresh herbs from the garden. The result was a flavorful, aromatic dish that filled the air with the scents of the desert.

As we sat down to eat, my grandmother told me that this recipe had been passed down through generations of Hopi women, each adding their own twist to make it uniquely their own. She encouraged me to experiment with different ingredients and flavors, to make the dish my own and carry on the tradition of our ancestors.

Over the years, I have continued to make this recipe, adding my own touches and sharing it with friends and family. I have passed it down to my own children and grandchildren, teaching them the importance of honoring our heritage and preserving our cultural traditions.

Every time I make blue corn mush in the "savory way," I am reminded of that sunny day on the Hopi reservation, learning from my grandmother and connecting with my roots. It is a dish that brings me comfort and joy, a taste of home no matter where I may be.

And so, the memory of finding this recipe for the first time will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the love and wisdom passed down through generations of Hopi women.


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