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3 Ways to Teach Indian Foods to Culinary Arts Classes

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International Cuisine Lesson Plans

The first time I had Indian food, I fell in love with it. My personal favorite is Chicken Vindaloo. Do you enjoy Indian Food?

Many students don’t have the chance to taste such a unique and delicious cuisine as this so we incorporate it into our International Cuisines unit.

Let’s travel to Asia and teach about the foods on the largest continent on the planet. With 48 countries on the continent, it can be tricky to narrow down what international Asian cuisine we should teach our Culinary students about. Here, we will take a look at teaching about Indian Food.

1- Teach about the Spices– Spices or “Masala” are the foundation of Indian cooking with Garam Masala being the most popular Indian spice used. Many Indian homes have a Spice box or “Massala Dabba” with the essential spices on a circular plate so that while they cook, the spices are readily available.

One spice that is important for students to learn about is turmeric. It is used extensively in Indian cooking and helps to give foods such as curry, the orange color. Turmeric has many health properties including cancer prevention, heart health, anti-inflammatory as well as reduction of depression and arthritis symptoms.

We have a spices lesson plan if you are looking for something to assign to your students to learn the basics of spices. It also includes herbs and spices posters!

culinary arts food lesson plans
Chef Zach Lorber and his students at State College Area High School CTC in Pennsylvania made Indian food recently. Their Indian dishes included butter chicken, pork vindaloo, saag paneer, garlic rice, aloo mater, and naan bread.

Here are Chef Lorber’s Indian food recipes that he uses in his culinary arts classes.

2- Make Curry Rice and Chai Tea– To give your students the idea of what this spice, as well as curry powder (turmeric, cumin, ginger and black pepper), tastes like, this curry rice recipe is a great, cost-effective way to explore the tastes of India.

curry rice recipe for high school

Click the image to print the curry rice recipe!

My personal favorite Indian spice is cardamom. I love to add it to quick bread such as pumpkin bread and zucchini bread. And of course, I love it in chai tea! Even my daughters love to make their own homemade chai tea and I know that it is healthy.

Did you know that chai tea is ancient, dating back 5,000 years?

It is another great way to introduce your students to a new Indian spice! Here is a class recipe for chai tea.

Chai Tea Click the image to print the recipe for chai tea!

Cardamom has some medicinal properties such as cavity prevention, aiding in digestion, anti-inflammatory properties, and more!

If you don’t have all of the spices in the recipe, it is fine as long as you add cardamom and cinnamon! Cardamom is a little pricey but it goes a long way. Also, the creamier the milk the better so I try to use 2% or whole milk. Authentic chai tea has high fat milk. In India, Buffalo milk is most often used!

3- Teach with Slideshow and Videos Here is a nice, 4 minute video on popular Indian dishes that one might find at an Indian restaurant that your middle school or high school students might enjoy! It talks about naan bread, which is another cooking lab idea.

If you are looking for a no-prep way to introduce the cuisines of Asia, we have an Asian cuisine lesson that includes India, China, Burma, Japan, and more!

Foods of Asia for International Cuisine Lesson Plans
Foods of Asia Lesson

Click the image to see our Asian Foods Lesson that includes a slideshow in both PPT and Google as well as questions!

⭐ Take a peek at our other Global Cuisine lesson plan ideas blog post that includes Ukraine, South America, and Norway!

Happy Teaching!

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