Indian tacos

Indian taco

Indian taco flat on a plate – to eat, bend in half and eat like a Mexican taco.

I always feel weird saying “Indian tacos” since they’re not at all Indian in the subcontinental sense and not really tacos in the Mexican sense. Also, I feel uncomfortable using “Indian” to refer to the First Nations of North America. But nobody says “First Nations tacos.” The Aboriginal friends I had growing up on the prairies in Canada would have laughed at me if I’d tried. Indian tacos are Indian tacos and they’re as authentically First Nations as Irish stew is Irish (despite the fact potatoes are native to South America) and as vindaloo is Indian (even though chilies too are from the New World).

What makes an Indian taco “Indian” is that, instead of a corn tortilla, it uses fried bannock, AKA fry bread. As to the rest, it usually contains meat, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. Sour cream is optional. Salsa is optional. If you want to make it even more North American Aboriginal, you can use ground bison. I, however, didn’t have any, so I used ground beef, which is, I would guess, the most common filling in Indian tacos anyway.

Stack of fry bread

Fried bannock

Indian tacos

  • 4-6 pieces fresh fried bannock/fry bread (see my gluten-free recipe)
  • 1 package lean ground beef (mine was 400 grams) or ground bison
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow pepper, chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon or lime
  • Drizzle of garlic-infused olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup or so chopped lettuce or other greens (I used baby spinach because that was what I had but this is one of the few instances in which I might have preferred iceberg lettuce for the crunch factor)
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream (optional; skip it if you’re low-FODMAP)
  1. Saute the ground meat in a pan with the spices until meat is well-browned.
  2. Fresh salsaMake a simple fresh salsa by mixing together the tomatoes, peppers, coriander, lemon or lime juice, garlic-infused olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside. (If you really want to keep it simple, you could just use chopped tomatoes and/or jarred salsa – though jarred salsa almost always contains garlic and/or onions, which low-FODMAP people will have to avoid.)
  3. Put together your Indian taco by putting a little meat, greens, salsa, and cheese on a piece of fried bannock. Roll it in half and eat. Messy but delicious!

Ingredients for Indian tacos


2 thoughts on “Indian tacos

  1. Bannock/fry bread is not a traditional food. It began as a starvation food when the commodities were given on the reserves after they killed the buffalo and rounded us up. Its actually slow poison. Corn tortillas are traditional 🙂 xoxo


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