These are native to Colombia and Venezuela.
2 C yellow masa (corn) flour
1 t salt
3 C boiling water
3 T peanut or vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, stir the masa and salt together. Add the boiling water and mix into a dough. Cover the bowl and set it aside for about 10 minutes.
With damp hands, form 6 balls of dough. Carefully pat each one until it’s about 3 inches across and 3/4 inch thick, with smooth, uncracked edges.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and saute the arepas over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side, until they have formed a brown crust on both sides. Then transfer them to a baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped.
Slice in half and serve with butter, cheese, sandwich fillings, or beef.