Navajo Bread and Navajo Taco

JoSele Swopes

By
@JODIE57

I love this story and the recipe, it is very big here in NM, and at the State Fair here in Albuquerque at the Indian village.

The Navajo traded with the Spanish, Mexican, Pueblos, Apache, Comanche ,and even the early American pioneers. Around 1846, large numbers of pioneers moved into the area and the cavalry came with them. This is when troubles began. The troubles escalated with the murder or Narbona (1766-1849), a well-respected Navajo leader on August 31, 1849.

On this day, Narbona along with several hundred of his warriors, had come to meet and discuss peace with U.S. Colonel John M. Washington and others of the military stationed in the area. There had been trouble with the “New Men”, the New Mexican settlers who had driven Mexican settlers out of the area.

After several hours, it was believed a settlement had been agreed upon. However, a young warrior by the name of Sadoval, had plans of his own. Mounting his horse he began to ride in front of the Navajo party, attempting to have them break the treaty. A U.S. Calvary soldier began to say that one of the horses ridden by a Navajo was his, and what peace there was in the meeting that was disintegrating into battle.

Colonel Washington commanded the Navajo to stand down and return the horse to the soldier or he would fire into them. The rider and horse were now gone, and the Navajo party did not comply. A canon was fired, and Narbona was mortally wounded. It is told that he was scalped by a U.S. soldier as he lay dying.

This disastrous attempt at peace led to the “Long Walks”. In September 1863, Kit Carson (1809-1868) was dispatched into Navajo land to retrieve a surrender. When no Navajo came to meet with him, he ordered the burning of the land. Attempts were made to starve out the Navajo, and many were captured and taken to Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner. Hundreds starved on the 300 mile walk, and more would die later in the crowded and disparaging conditions. Navajo were placed with the Mescalero Apache were home peace was often not the case. The camps were meant for 4,000 to 5,000 people, yet there were now over 9,000 people, and supplies were meager.

The government supplies of lard, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder or yeast, and powdered milk were often rancid. Fry bread came from these few foods provided during the 4 years of captivity. Since that time, it has become common food at most all Pow Wows of numerous tribes

To some, Indian Fry Bread is a sacred tradition. It is to be consumed by the people until the earth has again become purified.


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Comments:

Serves:

4

Prep:

30 Min

Cook:

10 Min

Ingredients

NAVAJO FRY BREAD

1 c
unbleached white flour
1/4 tsp
salt
1 tsp
powdered milk
1 tsp
baking powder
1/2 c
water
vegetable oil for frying

NAVAJO TACO FILLING

1 lb
ground beef (browned)
1 Tbsp
red chili powder
1 1/2 tsp
garlic
1/2 tsp
oregano, dried
salt to taste
1/2 tsp
sage, dried
1/2 tsp
onion powder

FRESH TOPPING

1 small
onion, chopped
1 large
tomatoes, choped
1/2 medium
lettuce head (chopped)
pico de gallo opt
salsa opt
sour cream opt
black olives opt

PINTO BEANS

3 can(s)
pinto beans, cooked
salt and pepper to taste
garlic to taste
1 1/2 c
cheese colby jack (shredded) opt

Directions Step-By-Step

1
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.
2
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.
3
Flour your hands. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. NOTE: 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.
4
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. NOTE: Don’t worry about it being round. As Grandma Felipa would say “it doesn’t roll into your mouth.”
5
Heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. NOTE: You can check 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 fryer.
6
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 about 3 to 4 minutes.

Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
7
NAVAJO TACO FIXINGS: Brown ground beef, add all spices and continue to brown till all is mixed in let simmer for 5 minutes till all is cooked...Heat Pinto beans and spices in separate sauce pan...
8
Build your Navajo Taco: #1 fry bread, #2 Meat, #3 Pinto Beans drained, #4 Toppings to include and other topping you want, #5 last of all Cheese if you prefer...Eat warm and Enjoy

About this Recipe

Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tag: Quick & Easy