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India: Elephants, Rice, & Chai

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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Want to know more about India? Are you a lover of travel, geography teacher, homeschooling or involved parent, student, or life-long learner? In an effort to make world geography more meaningful and memorable, I've compiled all you will need to locate India on a map, cook an Indian meal, watch YouTube clips on India, color the flag, create an Indian craft, read a book about India, and more! This is part of a fun series of lessons covering world geography. You can find the links for all the countries at Around the World in 26 Letters.

Map showing India

Map showing India

Where is India?

Locate India on this map of Asia. Use this map of India to label the capitol, Delhi. Mark other relevant features (rivers, mountains, famous locations, etc.) if desired.

If you'd like to spend a bit more time researching the country, you can add the language, currency, type of government, religion, and/or famous landmarks. Write them on the back of the map. You can easily find all this information at


Fun facts about India

The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. However, the warmth of the ocean resists the growth of phytoplankton, except for a few spots here and there, across the water body. Hence, life thriving in the Indian Ocean is limited.

Cows can be found freely wandering the streets of India's cities. They are considered sacred and will often wear a tilak, a Hindu symbol of good fortune. Cows are considered one of humankind's seven mothers because she offers milk as does one's natural mother.

India is the world's largest producer of dried beans, such as kidney beans and chickpeas. It also leads the world in banana exports; Brazil is second. It is the world's largest tea producer, and tea (chai) is its most popular beverage.

The earliest cotton in the world was spun and woven in India. Roman emperors would wear delicate cotton from India that they would call "woven winds." Mogul emperors called the fabrics "morning dew" and "cloth of running water."


Indian Meal

Prepare and eat Chicken Makhani served over Indian-spiced rice, peas, Kheer (Indian rice pudding), and sweetened chai tea.

Chicken Makhani

Chicken Makhani

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min


Chicken Makhani

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 finely chopped shallot or green onion
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup half-and-half or whole fat milk
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cilantro (optional)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute the shallot/green onion and onion until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half/whole milk and yogurt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in about 1/3 of the sauce and simmer until liquid has reduced and chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Pour the rest of the sauce into the chicken. Mix together cornstarch and water, and then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened. If desired, sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro over the chicken. (This recipe came from


Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

30 min

50 min


Indian Spiced Rice

  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 teaspoons butter or margarine
  • 1 1/3 cups long grain or basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 2/3 cups water
Scroll to Continue


  1. Cook the green onion in butter in a saucepan until tender but not brown. Stir in the rice, salt garam masala, red pepper and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat. Let it stand covered for 10 minutes. (This recipe came from
Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

25 min

30 min


Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)

  • 1 cup cooked long-grain basmati rice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted pistachios


  1. In a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat, combine cooked rice and whole milk. Heat until mixture begins to boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook to a simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken, approximately 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, and cardamom. Continue to cook until mixture just begins to thicken again, approximately 5-10 minutes. Use a whisk to prevent the cardamom from clumping. Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and stir in raisins and pistachios. Transfer the mixture to individual serving dishes or a glass bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Serve chilled or at room temperature. (This recipe came from
Flag of India

Flag of India

India's Flag

Print and color the flag of India and learn the history and meaning of it from

Visiting India on YouTube

Indian Elephant Mask

Indian Elephant Mask

Indian Elephant Mask

Make a paper plate Indian elephant mask by following these directions from .

Find more great activity ideas at and

Read a book about India

Pray for the people of India

To find out about the religious nature of Ireland and specific ways you can pray for the country, go to .

Other countries starting with the letter I

Would you prefer to study a different country? Try one of these.









Go to Around the World in 26 Letters to find links to all the countries we "visited." Each webpage features a menu, craft, books, video clips, worksheets, and more!

© 2011 Shannon

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