Navajo Indian Fry Bread Recipe
Fry bread is wonderfully lumpy (puffed here and there). It can be served as a dessert or used as a main dish bread. Our family will often take them and stuff them, much like one might use bread or tortilla to dip into their food.
Recipe Type: Quick Bread, Native American
Cuisine: Southwest, Native American (Indigenous People)
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 min
Ingredients, Always Organic:
Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump.
Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured. Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about it being round. As Grandma Felipa would say “it doesn’t roll into your mouth.”
In a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. You can check if you oil is hot enough by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large heavy pot.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking, baking, and deep frying. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.
Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook. Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Eat them as they come out of the fryer!
Different ways to eat and serve Indian Tacos:
- Mix softened butter and honey together and spread it on top
- Sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture
- Sift powdered sugar on top
- Make the famous Indian Taco (see below) and stack with your favorite taco ingredients
Indian Taco Recipe:
Indian fry bread is the foundation of a popular dish called Indian Tacos. Originally known as Navajo Tacos, they have been adopted by other tribes. The Navajo taco was voted the State Dish of Arizona in a 1995 poll conducted by the Arizona Republic newspaper.
Indian tacos are the universal modern powwow food (see below). They are also popular attractions at many fairs, festivals, and outdoor summer shows held in the southwest. People will line up to wait their turn to buy some freshly made tacos. Indian tacos are a combination of beans or ground beef, chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, shredded Cheddar cheese, and optional green chile atop plate-sized rounds of crispy Navajo or Indian fry bread. No plates or silverware are need, as you just fill the fry bread with your desired filling, roll it up, and eat.
1 pound lean ground meat (beef, lamb, venison or pork)
1 cup diced onion
4 cooked Navajo Fry Breads (see recipe above)
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
3 tomatoes, diced
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (3-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
Sour cream (optional)
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, brown ground meat and onions until cooked; remove from heat.
Place Fry Bread, cupped side up, on separate plates. Layer ground meat, lettuce, tomatoes, Cheddar cheese, and green chiles onto top of each Fry Bread. top with sour cream, if desired, and either roll up or serve open-faced with a fork.
Makes 4 servings.