No Native meal in New Mexico would be complete without Indian fry bread. While every culture has its own form of fry bread — beignets, donuts, zeppoles, latkes — in New Mexico you’ll find the Indian fry bread. This dish has a special meaning to the Native Pueblos, as during the early and mid-1800s when the Native Americans were displaced in overcrowded camps the government meagerly supplied these people with lard, sugar, salt, flour, baking powder/yeast, and powdered milk, meaning fry bread was one of the few meals they could make to stay alive. To make it, flour, salt, powdered milk and baking powder are mixed together with the hands — not kneaded — before it is cut into disks and fried in vegetable oil. Afterward, it is baked in a traditional horno oven. The resulting bread is lumpy, chewy and is an excellent pairing with stews, meats and sauces.
Indian fry bread. Photo courtesy of BrandontheMandon.