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New Year's Traditional Recipes For Native American Foods

Updated on September 1, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on Indigenous Peoples for over four decades.

The framework of a sweatlodge.
The framework of a sweatlodge. | Source

Elder's Meditations For the New Year

"The way of knowledge is like our old way of hunting. You begin with a mere trail -- a footprint. If you follow that faithfully, it may lead you to a clearer trail - a track - a road. Later on there will be many tracks, crossing and diverging one from the other. Then you must be careful, for success lies in the choice of the right road."

-- Many Lightnings Eastman, SANTEE SIOUX


An entire apple tree is initially contained in the seed. Visions are initially contained in the idea.

If you trace the path of a blooming flower backwards, it goes from the blooming flower back to a bud, back to a stem, back to a seed. So it is in the way of knowledge.

Often we will experience a hunch or a feeling that we are supposed to do something. At first it may not make any sense. This is the seed stage.

Once we start to investigate, more gets revealed. As more is revealed, the more knowledge we get. This is the way the Great Spirit guides us. Great Spirit, help me to choose the right choices.


New Year's Native North American Soup

  • 1/4 lb Salt pork
  • 3 Tomatoes, cored
  • 1 Chili pepper, dry and crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 lb Dried Lima beans
  • 3 Quarts Water
  • 1 Large sprig of parsley
  • 2 Onions, sliced

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Ready in: 5 hours
  • Yields: Several Servings
5 stars from 1 rating of Native American Soup


  1. Soak Lima beans in 1.5 quarts (6 cups) of water for 3-4 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse beans.
  3. Put beans into large pot and cover with 1.5 quarts (6 cups) water.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, on low heat for 1 hour.
  5. Uncover the pot and simmer for 1 more hour and serve hot with Blue Corn Mush.

To the Hopi Nation in the American Southwest, blue corn represents a long life.


New Year's Blue Corn Mush


  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1.5 Cups Blue Cornmeal [use white or yellow if you have no blue cornmeal]
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil


  • Bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan.
  • Next, stir or whisk in the cornmeal.
  • Lower the heat to medium and stir the cornmeal and water for 10 minutes or until it tastes done to your individual taste.
  • Pour the cooked mixture onto a cookie sheet or a bread pan and set it aside to cool for an hour or until it is firm.
  • After cooling, slice the cornmeal mush it into slices for frying.
  • Fry the slices in butter, bacon grease, lard or oil until lightly browned on both sides.

Sprinkle a either a little red chili or paprika, or something sweet like honey or sugar, on top before serving.


Native American Fry Bread

This is what eventually became Cinnamon Toast and the Elephant Ear among the English farmers of eastern Ohio.

INGREDIENTS (makes 12)

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp lard, divided
  • 3/4 Cup Warm water
  • Oil


  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • Cut in 2 T. lard until crumbly.
  • Add milk and water mix until you have a soft dough.
  • Knead until dough is springy.
  • From 12 dough balls.
  • Melt 1 Tbls. lard and brush on each ball and let set for 30-45 minutes to rise.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into an 8" diameter circle.
  • Poke a small hole in the center of each circle.
  • Fry the breads in oil heated to 365 degrees F until light brown on both sides.
  • Serve with honey, jelly, or brown sugar and cinnamon.

Meeting the Santee Sioux
Meeting the Santee Sioux | Source

New Year's Pudding


  • 2 Cups Raisins - Use your favorite type of raisin.
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Cup Milk, scalded
  • 2 Cup COLD Milk
  • 1 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1 ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Molasses
  • 1/4 Cup Butter or Lard


  • Scald the first 3 Cups milk and add the raisins.
  • Mix 1 cup cold milk with the cornmeal and stir all this into the hot milk.
  • Heat the new mixture slowly, stirring constantly, for 12-15 minutes until the mixture is thick.
  • Mix in the molasses, salt, sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and butter, margarine or even lard.
  • Pour all into a buttered 2-Quart baking dish.
  • Pour the remaining 1/2 cup COLD milk into the center of this pudding.
  • Set the filled dish into a pan of cold water and place all into a 300 F oven for 2 hours or until knife stuck into center comes out clean.
  • Cool for several hours to prevent it from falling apart and then serve with whipped cream or homemade ice cream.

© 2007 Patty Inglish


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      That is surely possible!

    • profile image

      wynnette 9 years ago

      I would like to meet new friends on this site.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      (Monty python Music)Spam spam spam spam - I'll have YOUR spam - I mean GREENS. haha

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      I think the native soup and the fry bread would be great together! And Pudding for dessert!! These sound much better than the greens. Ha

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you Bob, I like to read that one several times at once.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      I like the seed analogy.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      These are really delightful and tasty, gab..05; I hope you have a chance to try them.

    • gabriella05 profile image

      gabriella05 9 years ago from Oldham

      That sounds very testy diner plus pudding

      Thank you Patty

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Sounds good! :)

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 9 years ago

      Dear Patty, Sounds bountiful and delicious. I can imagine the New Year Pudding with some Ben and Jerry's on top :-)