We love a good chicken curry and we tend to try various styles at different times. This particular version is pretty simple and you can make it very spicy or tone the heat down for a milder version. We chose to go ahead and leave in the heat, but we would forewarn you that it did pack a bit of a punch. It was very flavorful and would certainly work with shrimp or fish as well. We also chose to use a couple of types of peppers, but it can certainly be made using a single pepper. This recipe serves two, but it can easily be increased for a larger group. Our original version of chicken curry used cream to help cool it down, which could be done for this dish as well.
2 Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breasts – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Medium White Onion – thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves – chopped
1 tsp Fresh Ginger – peeled and grated
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1 Serano Pepper – chopped (deseeded for less heat)
1 Fresno Pepper – chopped (deseeded for less heat)
2 tsp Tomato Purée
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned. While the onion is cooking, add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, peppers, and 1/4 cup cold water to a blender and pulse until it forms a smooth paste. Remove the onions from the skillet and add the chicken, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until fully done and the sides are browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the paste, tomato purée, and onions to the chicken. Rinse the blender with 3/4 cup of boiling water and stir it into the skillet to create a sauce. Simmer for about 7 minutes to completely coat the chicken and heat the sauce. Add the lemon juice and serve over a bed of rice or fried potatoes.
Located outside of Chennai, the DakshinaChitra is a living museum that depicts life, art, culture, and architecture of Southern India, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. DakshinaChitra features 18 authentic historical houses that were deconstructed from their original region and then reconstructed by artisans from the region on the grounds of the museum. Each of the houses features exhibits that represent the region’s art and daily life. Although we visited during an off time, the museum features typical artisans and performers from the various regions that you can interact with, thus making it a living museum.
DakshinaChitra actually means picture of the south, which is what the living museum is meant to represent. There are opportunities to participate in making crafts and folk performances happen at different times. Regardless of the interactive activities, just wandering the trails and going inside of each of the houses is a wonderful experience. Each of the regions is unique in their own ways and that can be seen by the varied architecture, arts, and crafts that can be found in the different houses. The museum opened in 1996 and has continued to grow ever since.
We spent a couple of hours walking the grounds, visiting the various houses, and admiring the displays. In many ways it was overwhelming, like many of our experiences in Chennai, but we were definitely glad that we took the time to go there. If you visit Chennai, we would highly recommend taking the time to go to DakshinaChitra and learn about all of the regions of Southern India.
Visiting the city of Chennai in India is a trip that we will always remember. We have mentioned previously that it was a trip that not only had a profound impact on us personally, but also changed the way that we have traveled since that visit. Although we only had a limited amount of time to spend in Chennai, we certainly made the most of the time that we had. We tried to see as much of the city as possible, but also made sure to take a couple of day trips to see the surrounding area. It can certainly be overwhelming to visit a city with as many people as live in Chennai and it takes a little getting used to as you visit the various sites. If you get a chance to visit Chennai, here are some of the places that we would recommend that you take time to see.
Kapaleeshwarwar Temple – With all of the colorful details on the roofs, it is an amazing sight to see. Depending on the time that you go to the temple, you can certainly expect large crowds. The temple was one of the first places that we visited in Chennai and it only kept getting better.
The Government Museum – Featuring exhibits that range from zoological, archeological, cultural, and historical, there is a lot to see in the second oldest museum in India. From the statues to the architecture of the museum buildings themselves, it should certainly be on your itinerary for Chennai.
Saint Thomas Cathedral – One of only three churches in the world to be built over the tomb of a disciple, it is also the location of the cave where St. Thomas hid before eventually being speared to death.
Mahabalipuram – The first of our day trips outside of Chennai, seeing the ancient temples of Mahabalipuram was probably the highlight of our time in India. There is much to see as you walk around the various temples, so expect to spend several hours at Mahabalipuram.
DakshinaChitra – Meant to represent the culture and lifestyles of the entire Tamil Nadu region, where Chennai is located, this cultural center is certainly worth a visit. We stopped on our way down to Mahabalipuram and enjoyed walking throughout the different buildings within the complex.
Tiger Cave – Also located near Mahabalipuram, visiting this temple cave with tigers carved at the entrance is certainly interesting, but it won’t take longer than about 30 minutes to take a guided tour around the area. Although probably not worth a trip on its own, it is certainly worth stopping to see while on your way to Mahabalipuram.
Kanchipuram – Known for its production of silk, it is certainly worth a visit to learn about the production of silk and to purchase silk items at prices that are better than in Chennai. We also visited the Ekambareswarar Temple while we were in Kanchipuram, which was another beautiful temple with many interesting features.
Chennai is certainly a busy city with a lot of technology and manufacturing businesses with international ties located there. The people were very welcoming and we enjoyed seeing the sights within the city as well as the surrounding area. Another highlight to Chennai and the coastline are the beaches, although we didn’t spend time at the beach during our visit. We are hoping to make it back to India in the near future and are looking forward to seeing more of this truly interesting country.