When I was younger I remember my Mom cooking Wohanpi. We used to spend the warmer months; late Spring early Summer (around June) out on the prairie picking
wild onions and timpsula (wild turnip). The Wohanpi is a very old traditional Lakota dish, which I have to say is great … especially as a healthy comfort food that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Wohanpi was so popular that even today my people love to eat it. From old times to now, recipes have changed a little due to modern foods being introduced to Native Americans. For instance, the Potato has replaced the Timpsula, carrots are sometimes added, beef has been used instead of more Native meats, and some recipes I have seen also used sauces, such as Worcestershire sauce. However, I have always enjoyed the older style of making Wohanpi and will give you the recipe for this style. I suppose that is why Wohanpi has always been so popular, because it can change with time, cultures and tastes – very versatile.
What I use is:
– Buffalo meat, elk meat or deer meat. Any one of these is fine. But remember these meats have less fat than beef, so they need to be cooked slowly to avoid the meat getting tough.
– Timpula. I would use around 1 – 2 hand fills and I either use them fresh, or dry. I have also know some people to also crush dry Timpsula into a powder and use it to thicken the soup at the end.
– Wild Onions. These may be small, but they pack a punch. I use around ¼ cup of them chopped.
How I prepare it:
Braise the meat on a hot heat to seal the outside. This is done very quickly. Then add the meat, Timpsula and Onions to a pot or slow cooker and add water. If you wanted you can added beef stock to the water. I then put it on a slow cook for 2 – 4 hours so all the flavors go through the meat. Then it is ready to serve as is or you can have it with a hot Gabobo Bread (Skillet Bead).
Well I Hope you enjoy the Taste of the Lakota Life
From all of us at Hanblechia Designs
Thanks for Being Part of the Legend.
I stumbled on your blog in a search for traditional Lakota foods to pair with “Dances with Wolves”. Thanks for this resource!
I really love reading this. I bought some buffalo meat from a free-range source but now I want to find and buy it from a reservation. I have seen to much I believe to be wrong in the meat industry. Side-tracked! But I found some buffalo and wanted to make a traditional native american stew. I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with the wild turnip and wild onion, although that sounds lovely! I will just use the local onion grown and some red potatoes. I also will add carrot because that is always nice. I saw some traditional recipes call for barley.