History of Fry Bread – Make Indian Tacos

History of Fry Bread and How to Make It

Learn the history of Fry Bread and how to make it.  Included here is a basic Fry Bread recipe and how to make Indian Tacos. There are a number of different recipes and various ways in which you can actually make Frybread which is also referred to as Fry Bread. As with pretty much any recipe, people have their own unique ways and methods for making it and also the ingredients and quantities may vary too. Each tribe may have a special way of approaching this. Some tribes, such as the Hopi second mesa, make theirs into a square shape instead of a round circle which is much more common.

With this article, you can discover how to make up your own Fry Bread and you will also discover the history behind this Native American food. You can watch as a young boy and an elder rustle this up as well as see how it is that you can make an Indian Taco from this basic recipe

Learning to Make Fry Bread

Fry Bread recipes are passed down from generation to generation. There are some things in every culture that are passed down through the generations. In the Indian or Native American culture, making this staple food is one of those things. You can forget all the controversy about how a simple food item can stereotype people, you should also forget too about the health issues of diabetics and high cholesterol from this greasy delight because it’s a firm favorite and even kids are taught to make it!

Frybread is a Native American staple

Can you imagine going to a Pow Wow, Potlatche, Rodeo, or anywhere else that Natives gather without actually having a Fry Bread Stand? And what child doesn’t like this greasy treat that is simply dripping in honey with powered sugar, still warm from the pan? These are memories, legends and stories that are what each generation passes down. And they are the heartbeat of the Native American culture.


History of Fry Bread

The history of Fry Bread is with the Native Americans.  Some Native Americans were hunter gather types, many were nomadic and others lived in permanent shelters and grew crops. Food and shelter were extremely important and each tribe had to know how and where they could find food. Some tribes grew their own food, some went off hunting or scavenging in the mountain regions, prairies, or river areas to get what they needed.

But that was back then. Once the Government started to re-settle tribes and began to make laws that affected the way they lived, they were often left with no clear way in which they could adequately feed their families.



Early Reservation life was tough for these displaced Indians. Many were sent worlds away environmentally from the life that they had always known.  Many of the newly established resettlement areas, reservations, could not sustain them by hunting or growing crops so they were in danger of starving to death. In Oklahoma the newly established “Indian Country” you couldn’t grow crops, nor in the desert areas of Southern California or Arizona to name a few. They had to learn to survive in this strange new world.




Government Indian Agents, who were often quite corrupt, gave out some basic commodities of canned foods, flour, sugar and also lard. The beef that was handed out to them was quite often spoiled and the flour was moldy. However, with these provisions, they had no choice but to adapt to survive. As part of this learning process, they discovered how to make what has now come to be known as Frybread. This soon became a basic staple food that kept them from starving.

Other names for this food were Squaw Bread, Grease Bread, and Navajo Tortillas. Squaw was actually an extremely derogatory term that the early European people made up from another word.


Fry Bread Recipe and Indian Tacos

Fry Bread Recipe

Below is a video on how to make Fry Bread, and once you have your Fry Bread made you’re ready to make Indian Tacos.

American Indian Tacos Made from this Bread

To rustle up some yummy Indian Tacos you just need to make larger Fry Bread, roughly the size of a medium pizza, and then you can top it with any of the following:

1) Pinto beans (or whatever kind you like)

2) Shredded lettuce leaves

3) Shredded or grated cheese

4) Diced or sliced tomatoes

5) Shredded beef or hamburger meat

6) Salsa

7) Sour cream

8) Onions

I recommend spooning the beans on first, right in the middle, then add on the lettuce, cheese, and the tomatoes and whatever other toppings that you choose. You can eat it flat although to eat with your hands it is easier to fold it in half and eat it that way.


Step by Step Directions for Making This with a Video


You can make Indian Tacos with Fry Bread, or make a sweet treat by sprinkling it with powered sugar, jam, or honey. And if you go to a Pow Wow, watch the lines, and whichever Fry Bread booth has the longest line, it’s probably the best!

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