I am so excited to bring this adaptation of an authentic Native American dish to you, today. Being that my paternal family heritage is Cherokee Indian, I thought it might be fun to explore some genuine dishes from Native America. This Cherokee Bean Bread (also known as Tsu-Ya-Ga) was one of the first recipes that I found and it just seemed to keep popping up everywhere so I knew that I had to make it.
Other Native American tribes have probably made this recipe; however, my adaptation was from the official site of the Cherokee Nation.
For those who might not know, Cherokee Indians were indigenous to the south eastern region of the US that encompasses Georgia & the Carolina’s. In the 1800′s, Cherokee’s were removed from their land and forced to move to new lands in eastern Oklahoma in what is known as the Trail of Tears. My personal family history has been traced back to northern Georgia and my paternal family members did endure the forced movement that led westward. My extended family settled in many places in the Arklahoma area (eastern OK and western AR); though, I now live in southern California.
I had a great time reading through Native American history in the The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. No surprise, but corn and beans were native to America so it’s no wonder that Cherokees were eating this dish.
- 1/2 cup of cornmeal
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 beaten egg
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1.5 cups (or one can) pinto beans, drained
- 2/3 cup frozen corn
- Mix all ingredients together (except beans and corn).
- Fold in the beans/corn.
- Pour into greased, heated 8x8 pan.
- Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Recipe adapted from the official site of the Cherokee Nation
Regular readers of Food Stories will immediately notice that this dish has not been tinkered with to decrease the carbs. Although I do have Type 2 Diabetes and I do count carbs, I didn’t have the heart to take the carbohydrates out of this traditional recipe. It just has to much meaning to me.
Here are some other versions you might enjoy …
Library of Congress – Cherokee Indian Bean Bread
The United Cherokee Nation – Bean Bread
New Tribal Dawn – Cherokee Bean Bread
United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation – Cherokee – Bean Bread or Tsu-Ya-Ga
War Eagle Mill - Cherokee Bean Bread