Today I am going to talk about some foods my Mom use to make; Wajapi and Fry bread. It is to die for! So, what is wajapi?
Wajapi has not only been used for generations by my people, the Oglala Lakota, but also many other tribes. I have seen a lot of recipes for this simple dish, but I like the more traditional version. First let me describe wajapi. It is a thick berry sauce, usually made from
Chokecherries or Buffalo Berries, which is boiled to a paste. In modern day, people add sugar and corn-starch, but if you pick the chokecherries at the right time, they will be sweet enough were you don’t need the sugar.
The recipe for my wajapi entails; Chokecherries (or Buffalo Berries), water and corn starch (modern way of thickening it up). All you do is put the chokecherries in to a pot and stir it till it boils and goes to a mash. If your Chokecherries were not picked at the time when they are the sweetest, you may need to add sugar. Take it off the cook top and slowly add the water and corn starch mix. Return the pan to the cook top and let it simmer for a few minutes then remove.
Now you have made Wajapi !
Now for the best coupling of Lakota gourmet sensation… Fry Bread! Fry bread was first made by the Navajo in 1864, from the rations that were given to them by the United States Government, on their long forced march to New Mexico; a place far away from their Navajo ancestral lands. The trend quickly spread through other Native American tribes, and today is closely associated with Native American culture and the reminder of the struggle that was experienced in 1864.
The recipe that was made by a number of my relative when I was a child, is only one of many variations. However, this is what I know.
– 4 Cups of Flour
– 2 Tabsp Baking Powder
– 2 Cups of Water
– And Oil to fry the dough in.
What you do is combined the flour and baking powder in a bowl and then add water. Then knead the dough till it is smooth (this should not take long). Then have on a deep pan with oil and heat it up. There needs to be enough oil like a deep fry. Now to make sure the oil is hot enough, I take a very small bit of the dough and I place it in the pan. If it sinks and immediately floats then the oil is just right for frying. Take a golf ball size bit of dough, and roll it into a circle with a rolling pin (to the thickness of ¼ in). Then I throw it in the pan and move it around continually until it is golden brown, then I remove it from the pan. I then use it to dip into my Wajapi and experience the taste sensation of a life time!
Frybread is also delicious with savory beef.
So there you have it. Hope you enjoy it and experiment with other frybread combinations.
Enjoy Kola (Friend) and until next time stay safe