Chicken 65 is an immensely popular chicken starter from the Southern region of India and one of the tastiest too!
India is a country of diversity which is so unique in nature that it amazes me at times. I doubt if the saying “unity in diversity” holds so true for any other country in the whole world. All our states are different in terms of languages, customs, rituals and of course cuisine!
I am sure it would take a lifetime to learn about all the different cuisines here that exist in today’s date from North to South and East to West. When I first moved to South India, I came to know about this chicken starter called Chicken 65.
The name is strange enough to invoke some curiosity in you as in why on earth a chicken starter will be named “chicken 65”!
Someone told me that the reason behind this is 65 different spices are used in the recipe of this dish. Even that was too much to digest! 65 spices! Are you kidding me?
So I did some research and finally got to know this – out of many anecdotal theories, the most believed one is: this dish was first introduced in 1965 at the famous Buhari Hotel restaurant in Chennai by its founder A.M.Buhari, a pioneer in the South Indian food industry and that’s how it got its curious name “Chicken 65” [Source: Wikipedia].
Now that we know the history, let us also know the recipe and that’s exactly what I am here for.
I will surely share the recipe here but the fun fact is I didn’t have any contribution towards its making! It was entirely done by my better half. Though he asked me to supervise from time to time, but I didn’t touch even a single ingredient as ordered by him.
Now, how often do you get such privilege tell me! So I was enjoying my free time on the couch and was super excited to rule over the TV remote control unanimously. Then while munching on the crunchy chicken 65 without smelling like a chicken myself, I was feeling blessed.
Chicken 65 and an Anecdote
Serves: 4 Servings
- Boneless chicken breast – 500 grams (20-25 small bite size pieces)
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 3 tsp
- Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Corn flour – 2 tsp
- Rice flour – ¾ tsp
- Red food color – ¼ tsp
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Egg – 1
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- Curry Leaves – 8 to 10
- Green chilies – 2, halved
- Mix all the ingredients listed under ‘Marinade’ and mix well to make a smooth paste. Make sure all the chicken pieces are coated thoroughly with the marinade.
- Keep it to rest for 2 hours at least – the more the resting time, the softer the chicken 65 will be.
- Then heat oil in a deep frying skillet and fry the curry leaves and halved green chilies till crisp. Set them aside.
- Now add the chicken pieces in the same oil in batches and fry well till they turn golden brown and crisp.
- Take them out and when all are done, sprinkle the fried curry leaves and green chilies over them.
- Serve hot with raw onion slices and lemon wedges as a starter.