In honor of today’s holiday, whatever you may call it, I thought it would be fun to talk about the delicious Indian Taco. On a day when the lines of division are in the very holiday name, I wanted to share something that I feel brings all kinds of people closer together. I was even going to make some for dinner until I realized I have no flour for it. Instead, here’s a little history and a recipe for you to enjoy (and maybe try out for yourself).
There are many variations of Indian Tacos, but the absolute staple of them is without a doubt, Fry Bread. While the Navajo tribe is credited with the origination of Fry Bread, what can be agreed upon is that it came out of necessity due to government restrictions given to Native Americans. Fry Bread was concocted due to government rations of lard, flour, salt, and baking powder or yeast. It was invented as a way for the people to survive. As the different tribes were brought together, the different ways of making Fry Bread spread from tribe to tribe as well.
The Indian Tacos I am most acquainted with contain ingredients similar to what you would find in a normal taco: Chili, Beans, Beef, Cheese, Lettuce, and Tomatoes. The reason behind this is, perhaps, due to the Navajo living closer to the Hispanic community. Whatever the reason, they are delicious and a true culinary delight to consume. According to my mother, who was blessed with the opportunity to live near the Navajo reservation when she was younger, the best secret is to fry the bread in real lard in a cast iron skillet.
What are Indian Tacos like in your corner of the U.S.? Have you ever made homemade Fry Bread and Indian Tacos? Is it different than the recipe below? Let me know in the comments! Happy Eating!
4 C Flour
1 tbs Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 tbs Dry (powdered) Milk*
1 1/2 C Warm Water
1 to 1 1/2 C Oil for frying
Combine ingredients, adding the water last.
Let sit for 5 Minutes
Tear off about 1/4 cup of dough and roll into thin circles (like pizza dough). Poke a small hole in the middle before frying to help it dry after.
Heat Oil in a pan to 350 degrees
Fry circles of Bread one at a time until golden brown, flipping halfway through
Set bread aside to dry/drain excess oil
Top with favorite taco ingredients.
*Some recipes omit this ingredient, however it was listed in the ones my mom gave me. Try it both ways (if you can) and see which way you like best.