Tuesday, November 1, 2011

India cooking: Mango Lassi Popsicles

These are a big hit in our house - our new favorite afternoon snack!  They are easy, healthy and delicious.  You just need a bit of equipment: a blender and popsicle molds. 

Plain yogurt
Mango, peeled and cut into pieces (fresh mango is good; frozen mango would work; or you can buy mango pulp in Indian stores)

Mix yogurt, milk and mango in the blender.  I don't have an exact measure (this is cooking Indian-style!). You want it to be fairly liquidy.  Then pour it into the popsicle mold and freeze.  Yum! 


It's a new month and we've not yet started our next trip!  Bear with us, The Whirl Girl's new little brother has delayed our travel a bit.  We've still got a couple more things to see and do in India, and then we'll be headed for our next stop.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

India crafts: India flag

The Whirl Girl's papa jumped into help with this craft, using all sorts of Indian dry foods to make an India flag.  And The Whirl Girl's cousin was here to make one too. 

We had so much fun with the Chinese rainbow rice activity, that we replicated it India-style.  We used red/orange daal (lentils) for the orange, moong daal for the green, white rice for the white, and tea leaves for the blue/black. 

  • white rice
  • orange daal
  • green moong daal
  • tea leaves
  • glue
  • card stock
  • cardboard (optional)
  • clear packing tape (optional)

 Step One: Glue the cardstock to the cardboard.  Draw flag in pencil.  Add glue to wheel.

Step Two: Pour tea leaves on wheel and shake off.

 Step Three: Add glue to the top stripe. 

Step Four: Sprinkle orange daal on top of glue.

 Step Five: Repeat with green daal for the bottom stripe and white rice for the middle. 

 Step Six: Wave your flag!  
(We later covered ours with packing tape so that all of the daals/rice wouldn't fall off).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Indian music: Bhangra

Bhangra is a kind of music and dance from Punjab, a state in Northern India.  It is infectious and almost impossible not to dance to.  It involves a lot of jumping, shoulder shaking, and waving your hands in the air. 

Listen to or watch Rang De Basanti, from the movie of the same name.  It's also downloadable on iTunes. 

For inspiration, you can also check out this bhangra video, from a competition in the US. 

And this series by Pargat Singh Assandh on youtube teaches individual moves.

Get your bhangra groove on!

Monday, October 24, 2011

India crafts: Mehndi Handprints

And we're back!  The Whirl Girl has been joined by a Twirl Guy, now almost two weeks old.  The Whirl Girl is eager for him to join us in our project-making, and I barely have the heart to tell her that it will be a long while before he will be able to do so.  Our crafts and cooking time has been limited but we're forging ahead with a couple more projects for the month.

First up is mehndi hand prints.  Mehndi or henna is used to decorate women's hands in India for festive occasions - especially holidays and weddings.  Designs are drawn free-form using a tube of paste made from henna leaves and come in varying degrees of elaborateness.  There are often flower and peacock motifs.

photo from National Geographic
I thought it would be fun for The Whirl Girl to draw her own mehndi designs, so we cut out her own handprints on construction paper and she used colored pencils to color Indian-inspired designs.  I printed out a couple of templates from this site for examples.

My seven-year-old niece is visiting and she made some too.   It was just as much fun for her age group as The Whirl Girl's.

  • cardstock
  • colored construction paper
  • crayons or colored pencils
  • scissors
  • glue
  • templates for inspiration

Step One: Trace handprint on colored paper.  

Step Two: Color in designs on the handprints.

Step Three: Cut out handprints.

Step Four: Glue on to cardstock.

All done!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

India crafts: Paper plate tiger

Time for some animal crafts!  We've made an elephant, a tiger and a peacock puppet out of paper plates, inspired by posts on Activity Village.

Here's the tiger to join his jungle friends.

  • 1 paper plate (we used a small ones)
  • orange and black paint
  • orange paper
  • wooden chopstick or something similar
  • glue-on eyes or black paper
  • cotton ball or black paper (for nose)
  • pipe cleaners

 Step One: Paint the plate orange. 

Step Two: Paint black stripes.

Step Three: Glue ears, eyes, nose and whiskers.

Step Four: Tape chopstick to make a puppet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

India crafts: Paper plate peacock

Time for some animal crafts!  We've made an elephant, a tiger and a peacock puppet out of paper plates, inspired by posts on Activity Village.  Of the three, the peacock is probably the most work.

  • 2 paper plates (we used a small ones)
  • blue/turquoise/green paint
  • green/blue paper
  • wooden chopstick or something similar
  • glue-on eyes or black paper (we used beads)
  • decorations (optional) - we used cut up pieces of sparkly fabric and ribbons

Step One: Paint the plates turquoise.   
Step Two: Glue the plates together to make head and body.

Step Three: Cut out paper feathers.  We had 8 feathers, from 2 sheets of paper.

Step Four: Decorate the feathers.  

Step Five: Glue feathers to the body/head.

Step Six: Add eyes, nose and whatever else you're in the mood for.  (The Whirl Girl wanted her peacock to have a necklace).  Tape on stick to the back to make it a puppet. 

Introduce to your other Indian jungle friends.