Photo taken by John Pozniak
When I was in New Mexico most of the restaurants served it in the bread basket with a bottle of honey. I quickly became addicted. There is a cousin to these breads called a "funnel cake" which you'll find at most county fairs - though that is a slightly different batter which soaks up considerably more grease.
Here is Arizona, Fry Bread is often served up with beans, cheese, chilies and other goodies and called a "Navajo Taco". I found that these make a wonderful appetizer if you just make the fry bread smaller, more the size of a traditional beignet! Just chop up all the toppings ahead of time and fry the bread while your guests are sipping their first martinis!
AUTHENTIC INDIAN FRY BREAD RECIPE
(from one of my Navajo friends from my art show days!)
3 cups flour
I tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups warm water
Lard or other shortening
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Add milk, mixing thoroughly. Add the warm water a little at a time. Knead dough until it's not too sticky then cover the bowl and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.
Pull off two inch size balls of dough and pat by hand into rounds about 1/4-inch thick. (To make appetizer size fry bread just pull off about 1" balls of the dough, pat flat in your hand to about 1/4".) Punch hole in center of each round to allow air into the dough so it will puff up. Fry in hot lard (yes, lard is traditional) or other shortening until the dough begins to form bubbles. Turn over and fry on other side until golden.
For The Traditional Dessert - just drizzle with honey and/or powdered sugar. Want to get really sinful? Melt some dark chocolate and drizzle that on top! Add fresh strawberries and then the melted chocolate! Go hog wild and have some fun by adding some cream cheese!
For Mini Navajo Tacos - simply pile on some of your favorite following ingredients or place all these ingredients out separately in bowls and let your guests pick and choose! Navajo Taco Topping Suggestions:
Cooked beans - Anasazi Beans are traditional but try black beans or pintos
Cooked and shredded or ground beef, pork or chicken (spiced to your tastes)
Diced Green chilies, Jalapenos or chipotles (smoked peppers)
Pico de Gallo or Salsa