Navajo Fry Bread

August 13, 2023mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Navajo Fry Bread

An easy bread recipe, Navajo Fry Bread is delightful as a savoury or sweet snack. Or make Indian Taco and enjoy it as a main meal. This bubbly fry bread requires just a few ingredients. Don’t have to knead the dough like we do for normal breads.

What Is Navajo Fry Bread?

It is the traditional deep fried bread of the Navajo People in America. According to the Navajo tradition, fry bread was created from the ingredients ( flour, lard, sugar, salt) given by the US government when the natives were relocated to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico from Arizona in 1864. It is quite easy to find Navajo (pronounced as Nava -ho) Fry Bread at fairs, carnivals in most parts of US, especially the south.

A variety of toppings, both savoury and sweet are enjoyed with this fry bread. Some suggestions are sugar and cinnamon, honey butter,fruits, cheese, eggs, or go for the Indian Taco. Minced meat and beans are topped on the bread and enjoyed with lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes.

I will share with you a Vegetarian version of the Indian Taco and a sweet topping using Navajo Fry Bread. The sweet one tastes so much like the famous Canadian Beaver Tails. Nope, we don’t fried beaver tails! The yeast dough is flattened out to resemble a beaver tail. Like the Navajo Fry Bread it is deep fried. Savoury and sweet topping are added.


It was my eldest son’s birthday. And what better way to celebrate it then by making something new from a different part of the world. The previous day we searched online for a recipe that is not Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern….you know the more famous ones. My son came across the recipe for Navajo Fry Bread. After going through a few, we settled on the easiest authentic one. And we decided to enjoy the fry bread as Indian Tacos. In this context ‘Indian’ as not India but Native Americans. We went for a vegetarian version, by omitting ground beef.

I made the recipe twice after that and posted the recipe on my blog on 15/03/2013. That was after a whole year since we made it for my son’s birthday. And then, I totally forgot about this post. It happens when you have over 1000 recipes! I’ve been blogging since 2012.  How did I remember this recipe? Well, read on.

Sunday Funday

The reason this recipe came back to life is because of the theme suggested by Amy who blogs at Amy’s Cooking Adventures. When she suggested we make Navajo Recipes for Navajo Code Talkers Day, I remembered I had the fry bread recipe on my blog. It was revival time.

As a student I didn’t like history. I loved knowing what happened but remembers dates, years, etc for exams was a nightmare for me. I hate numbers so remembering dates and years was like a mental block! But now that I don’t have to sit for exams, I love reading about history from different parts of the world. And reading about Navajo Code Talkers was very interesting. Thank Amy for sharing the link with us.

A Brief History Of Navajo Code Talkers

It is celebrated on 14th August to honour the contributions by the Navajo marines during World War II. They encoded and transmitted messages in a complex Navajo language-based code. This vital style of communication between them and the US Marines. In 1942, US Marines finding in the Pacific needed an unbreakable code, one that the Japanese could not decipher. Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary who grew up in the Navajo Nation suggested using the Navajo Language as a code. Nearly 400 Navajo men were recruited. The Navajo Code Talkers successfully transmitted more than 800 messages without error and helped the U.S. win the war.

Check Out How Other Members Are Celebrating Navajo Code Talkers Day

Ingredients Required For Navajo Fry Bread

Flour – all purpose flour/maida/ plain flour.

Baking Powder – as the leavening agent.

Salt – add according to your taste.

Oil – any vegetable oil to add to the dough. It makes the bread a bit soft. Also need some for deep frying.

Water – add warm water.

Ingredients Required For The Vegetarian Topping:

Beans – cooked red or black beans.

Onion – peeled and chopped. Can use white, red or yellow onion.

Garlic – peeled and finely chopped.

Tomato Puree – fresh tomatoes pureed. Or use passata or canned tomato puree.

Paprika Powder – add according to your taste.

Cayenne Powder – add according to your taste.

Cumin Powder – adds a good flavour.

Salt – add according to your taste.

Water – if the tomato puree is thick you may need to add a little water.

Cilantro/Fresh Coriander -finely chopped, adds flavour.

Ingredients Required For Avocado Corn Salsa

Avocado – peel, remove the seed and chop.

Tomato – if the tomato is small then use 2. Otherwise one large is enough.

Sweet Corn – frozen, canned or fresh. I boiled fresh corn and removed the kernels off the cob.

Spring Onion – I used spring onion as I had some in the fridge. Can replace it with red, yellow or white onion.

Cilantro/Fresh Coriander – washed and chopped.

Jalapeno – I used half as the jalapeno was a bit hot.

Lime/Lemon Juice – sprinkle it over the avocado as soon as it cut it. This prevents the avocado from turning black.

Garlic – I added one clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped. Omit if you want to.

Salt – add according to your taste.

Pepper Powder – add according to your taste.

Other Ingredients For Topping:

Olives – any of your choice. Slice them. Can omit adding them.

Sour Cream – or use guacamole.

Cheese – can use cheddar, feta or any of your choice.

Ingredients Required For The Sweet Version

Honey or Maple Butter – I had some maple butter so that is what I used. For honey butter, you simply mix a bit of honey and butter.

Powdered Sugar – confectioners sugar, icing sugar. To sprinkle on the fried bread.









An easy bread recipe, Navajo Fry Bread is delightful as a savoury or sweet snack. Or make Indian Taco and enjoy it as a main meal. This bubbly fry bread requires just a few ingredients. Don't have to knead the dough like we do for normal breads.



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • extra flour for dusting
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • 1 cup red/black beans cooked
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup thick tomato puree
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cilantro


  • 1 avocado peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp cilantro


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 -1 cup cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives


  • 6 tbsp maple/honey butter
  • some powdered sugar for sprinkling on top



  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Add oil and rub into the flour.
  • Add warm water and make a dough.
  • You may need 3/4 - 1 cup water, depending on how much the flour absorbs.
  • The dough should not be hard or too soft.
  • Don't knead the dough too much.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 10-30 minutes.


  • Heat enough oil in a wok, a pan or the deep fryer.
  • Divide the dough into 6 parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  • Either you can pat the dough into a circle shape as it is done traditionally or use a rolling pin.
  • Using extra flour, roll out the ball into a circle of nearly 3-4 inches in diameter. Keep it on the side and roll out the other balls of dough.
  • Don't roll it out too thin.
  • Using the point of the knife, make tiny slits all over the rolled out bread or prick with a fork.
  • This prevents it from puffing up like a balloon.
  • The oil is ready when a small piece of dough put in the oil rises to the surface immediately.
  • Fry the bread till both sides are light golden brown in colour.
  • Put the fried bread in a colander to drain out the excess oil.


  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  • When it is hot chopped onion.
  • Stir fry till it becomes soft and pinkish in colour.
  • Add chopped garlic and stir fry for a minute.
  • Add the tomato puree. Allow it to cook a bit.
  • Add paprika, cayenne and cumin powders. Mix well.
  • Add salt.
  • Add water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add cilantro and mix well. The beans topping is ready.


  • Add chopped avocado in a mixing bowl. Add lime juice and mix.
  • Add the other ingredients and mix well.
  • Divide the refried beans mixture into 6 parts. Spread it out on the fry bread.
  • Add the avocado corn salsa.
  • Add olives , sour cream and cheese. I have used feta cheese.
  • Serve Indian Taco.


  • Spread about 1 tbsp of maple or honey butter over the fry bread.
  • Sprinkle some powdered sugar and enjoy.
  • Can add some fresh fruit if you want to.


Add any topping of your choice on the Navajo Fry Bread.
Serve eggs on the bread for breakfast.
Add guacamole instead of sour cream.
I like to add a bit of oil in the dough so that the fry bread does not become chewy.
Instead of salsa, top it with lettuce.
For a different kind of dessert, add some fresh fruit along with honey or maple butter. Or add some cream cheese.

Pin For Later:

A Little Request:

If you do try this recipe then please either
add a comment below,
send a picture to my email
tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962




  • Colleen – Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

    August 13, 2023 at 8:12 am

    I love how this fry bread can be gussied up in so many different ways. I want to try both sweet and savory versions!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2023 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Colleen whenever you make it you have to try out both versions. I actually enjoyed the sweet one first 🙂

  • Summer Zucchini Blossom Soup

    August 13, 2023 at 8:19 am

    […] Navajo Fry Bread from Mayuri’s Jikoni […]

  • Amy’s Cooking Adventures

    August 13, 2023 at 10:18 am

    What a great memory! I am so happy to see that someone made fry bread! I enjoyed fry bread at fairs growing up but I’ve never made it myself

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2023 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Amy, we love fry bread, it is so versatile.

  • Wendy Klik

    August 13, 2023 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for sharing your fun memories with us Mayuri.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2023 at 4:56 pm

      You’re welcome Wendy.

  • Karen’s Kitchen Stories

    August 13, 2023 at 12:54 pm

    You achieved the perfect puffy fry bread! They look amazing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2023 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you so much Karen. When I had tried it first time, it had turned out flat!

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