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This recipe for Navajo Fry bread is from the Rough Rock Demonstration School in Rough Rock AZ. The Navajo people developed this to use the commodities they received from the government. In some recipes you will find that dry milk is also used. Lard was the original fat used to fry the bread.
- 4 cups flour (high gluten flour is best)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water (or more)
- 1 -2 cup shortening or 1 -2 cup cooking oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1⁄2 lb shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 -3 fresh roasted chilies (chopped)
- 4 -6 cups hot chili beans (or chili with or without beans)
- sour cream (optional)
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Gradually stir in the water and work it in, adding more water a little at a time, if needed.
- Knead by hand until soft but not sticky. Form the dough into a round ball, cover and let stand for about 30 minutes. Shape into 2" balls.
- Heat shortening or cooking oil in a 1 1/2 " deep frying pan until hot.
- Flatten each ball of dough by patting and stretching into a pizza shape. Carefully place the dough into the hot oil.
- Fry until edges of the bread are golden and turn to cook the other side. Makes 4-5 pieces.
- Layer the beans, chilis, onion, tomato,lettuce, cheese and if desired sour cream dollops on top of each piece of fry bread to make Navajo (or Indian) Tacos
- Fry bread may be served with stews or drizzled with honey or powdered sugar for dessert. Many Navajo cooks prefer to use "Bluebird" a high-gluten flour, in this recipe. Variations: The Navajo Nation in Window Rock serves a taco topped with chicken, chili beans without the beef and the remaining ingredients.