2020.12.09 – Navaho Tacos


Marilyn Manygoats


  • American Indian Style Tacos
  • The Recipe


American Indian Style Tacos

Fried bread has been part of the Navaho culture for some time. For the history behind the Fried bread look up the ‘Long Walk of the Navaho” 144 years ago, by the Smithsonian magazine. According to the Navajo Times, a man named Lou Shephard came up with the first Navajo taco in 1960. He was a manager of a hotel/restaurant. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Wisconsin. Up there Chippewa’s call them Indian Tacos, but they are smaller than Navajo tacos, and they use ground beef with taco seasoning. It was good!

There are various recipes, but our favorite is the following.

The Recipe

  • Bean ingredients
    • 16 oz bag of pinto beans (eg. Fruoles pintos)
    • Package of Bacon
    • 2 pound Carrol Shelby’s Chili Kit (secret ingredient)
  • Prepare the beans
    • Sort, wash and soak overnight
    • Cook as instructed
    • Add Chili kit as instructed
    • Cut bacon into 1 inch lengths and add 1 hour before beans are done
  • Fry bread ingredients
    • 5 cups of white flour or
    • A combination such as 3 cups of white flour and 2 of corn meal
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • 1 tablespoon of baking power
    • ½ cup of powdered milk
  • Prepare the fry bread
    • Mix dry ingredients
    • Add 2 cups warm water slowly and knead until dough forms
  • Let sit
    • 30 minutes
  • Heat skillet and fry
    • Cast iron skillet is best
    • Lots of oil to immerse fry bred in (I use Smart Balance)
    • Medium to high heat
    • Deep fry until golden brown on bubble tops
  • Cool
    • Remove with tongs
    • Cool until you can pick up with your hands
  • Add fry bread toppings
    • Beans
    • Lettuce
    • Tomatoes
    • Onions
    • Cucumbers
    • Shredded cheese
    • Olives
    • Red bell peppers
    • Avocados
  • Optional toppings according to taste
    • Sour cream
    • Salsa
    • Green chili
    • Ranch dressing

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