Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Navajo Tacos

The house I grew up in was located close to a Native American Reservation. So close that we're not sure if we are technically on the reservation or not. Growing up we had Pow-Wows each year in Elementary and Middle School for all to attend. (What? That's not normal?) Some of my friends participated in their native dances during these Pow-Wows. It was awesome to see them dressed in their native outfits and doing these amazing dances (I really like the Jingle Dance and the Fancy Shawl Dance). On Pow-Wow days in Middle School, you could buy Navajo Tacos for lunch from a group of women who made them every year for this event. If you attend a traditional Pow-Wow they are also sold there.

I really love Navajo Tacos, they are almost like a comfort food for me. My family bought some a few years ago on a trip through Monument Valley, and I can tell you that authentic Navajo Tacos do not have enough flavor. I'm calling these Just Like A White Girl Navajo Tacos because that's what they are. They are a traditional dish taken and changed. I also heard that phrase growing up (just like a white girl). I miss hearing it, I would love for one of my old friends from grade school to say that to me. I don't keep in contact with them anymore, I occasionally see one or two of them when I go home to visit my parents, but not very often. Ah the nostalgia. Thanks for that trip down memory lane. Without further interruptions, here they are:

Just like a White Girl Navajo Tacos

For Fry Bread (Original Recipe and some history here:
In a medium sized bowl, combine 1-1/4 cups unbleached flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp powdered milk, and 1 tsp baking powder.
Mix in 1/2 cup water all at once. Stir with a fork until clumped, then use your hands to finish mixing. DO NOT KNEAD. Mix just until combined and forming a ball. Dough will be sticky (hence the lack of pictures of this part), use floured hands whenever handling it. Divide dough into 3 pieces. So a few differences I made from the original recipe - I added 1/4 cup more flour, and I had it divided into 3 pieces instead of 4. I felt that dividing the recipe in 4 made the fry bread too small. However, if you are making these for a family with young children, you may want to divide it unevenly into 4 and make 2 large and 2 smaller.

Heat 1" of vegetable oil (I used canola) in a frying pan until it reaches 350 degrees. Form each piece of dough into a rough circle and place gently into the frying pan. I formed them right before I put them into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook 1-2 more minutes.
Remove from pan and set on a paper towel.
Place the Fry bread on a plate, top with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup chili. (I made mine from a can of chili spiced tomatoes, kidney beans, hamburger, onions and some more spices. When I actually make chili, I will post a recipe but I figured that was cheating a bit. :)
The rest of the toppings are: salsa (unnecessary - but good), sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce. You can omit the sour cream and use Ranch like we use to in high school, but I'm all for the sour cream now.
The original recipe says that you can roll them up to eat them, but I've never had one that had that few of toppings on it that you could roll it up. Just a warning, this is a very filling meal, so save up an appetite for it, because it is DELICIOUS!
Your plate may look like a mess half way through, and that is perfectly okay. Just enjoy every bite!

If you have left over fry bread, you can refrigerate it and heat it up in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. It won't be as crispy, but it works well. Microwaving it is not a great idea.

If you want a great dessert with Fry Bread, you can serve it hot sprinkled with powdered sugar. You can serve it hot covered in honey, or you can serve it with honey butter. All three make excellent ways to use up any extra fry bread. I purposefully made extra so I could.


  1. Oh wow! I could go for a couple of these right now. They look amazing...and I'm a bit jealous of you growing up near a reservation. I have Cherokee roots, but that side of the family is gone and info is lost and I'm left wanting more of my family history :( We do attend PowWow's here whenever possible. Yum!

  2. Navajo tacos really looks amazing ... thanks


I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below. Because I want this space on the internet to be a happy space, any rude or degrading comments will not be published.