Navajo Tacos, Indian Fry Bread, Indian Tacos, pretty much the same thing. If you have never heard of Navajo Tacos, let me tell you a little about them.
Navajo Tacos were invented in 1864, using flour, sugar, salt and lard. The Navajo tribe had been given these ingredients by the US Government, when they were forced to leave their land and make the 300 mile "Long Walk" to New Mexico. Often times, the food ingredients supplied by the government were rancid, and so the tacos came about using just the simplest of ingredients available to the tribe.
The way that the frybread is served, depends on the region and even the tribe, but it's beginning take place during the 4 years of captivity the Navajo suffered. So to the, Frybread is not just a meal, it is a memory of a painful and sad time for their ancestors.
The closest thing to a frybread that I'm familiar with, are the Vetkoek which we had back in South Africa, which is either served with some delicious savory curried ground beef, or filled jam.
I actually just realized that I haven't yet shared the Vetkoek recipe with you all, so that needs to happen soon.
Anyway, back to the Navajo Tacos. My family loves tacos and usually we stick with the crunchy tortilla type, but once in a while, I prefer to take some time and make some Navajo Tacos, they truly do hit the spot.
2 cups of flour
2 and half teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
Oil for frying
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
Cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili flakes (to taste)
Can of Bush's Southwestern Style Pinto Beans
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and warm water. Mix well until a soft dough is achieved. You can knead for a few minutes, or pop it in your stand mixer and beat for about 4 minutes or so. Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for 20 minutes.
In a skillet, fry the ground beef until browned, add the onion and cook until translucent, add the spices to taste and cook for a few minutes more. Add in the Southwestern Style Pinto Beans, don't drain. Mix well and let simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a small skillet, add oil for frying. You don't need a lot, I usually add about 2 inches of oil, I just don't like drowning my food in excessive amounts of oil. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, roll into a ball and then flatten to a disc that is about 6 inches wide.
Fry each one for a minute or so until golden brown, then flip over and cook the other side until golden brown as well. Drain on paper towels.
To serve, spoon meat mixture onto each disc, add the toppings to your liking.