It’s been 17 years but I still remember that day. We were married only for a month. We had placed an order for our new car but it had not come in yet. It was a Sunday and both of us were craving for restaurant food. And we lived far away from civilisation at that now. Although it’s not the same anymore. Those were also the days of ‘no swiggy’ and we had to order from a restaurant that would deliver within a certain km radius and a minimum order value. Sanjha Chulha was far away but when we called they said they would deliver food and we were thrilled. We ordered our dinner plus chicken 65 for snacks.
That was our introduction to this really popular snack from Southern India. But let me tell you that there is no authenticity to this dish. It is after all a restaurant creation. I even know of restaurants where they use soy sauce and ketchup in the final tossing. I mean think of it- a combination of curry leaves, green chillies and soy sauce? One would laugh but it works. But then this recipe is different and is not that sauce-laden oil chicken chunks. This one is more sophisticated and comes from the book Masala Memsahib by Karen Anand.
We run a food photography company called Pikturenama Studios and during the lockdown, we cooked, styled and shot for the book Masala Memsahib by Karen Anand and it was published by Pan MacMillan India. This Chicken 65 recipe is from that book. I remember making it twice because we hadn’t got the colour right but it didn’t matter because it was really delicious. And anything deep-fried is welcome in our family. All of us love deep-fried food.
How to make chicken 65
In a mixing bowl, take 500 gms of boneless chicken and marinade with an egg. ginger garlic paste, thick yoghurt, juice of 2 limes, Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, black pepper crushed, dry fenugreek powder, rice flour, cornflour and salt to taste. Let this rest for 30 minutes. Heat oil for deep frying and then when the oil is hot, take pcs of chicken with the batter and deep fry. Don’t overcrowd the pan. You will probably need to fry this in 2 to 3 batches. Once they are fried, take them out in a basket or a paper towel. Now take 2 tbsp of the hot oil in a frying pan and add 4-5 split green chillies and a sprig of curry leaves. Add these fried leaves and chillies to the chicken 65. You can sprinkle salt if needed and toss the chicken 65 with the curry leaves. Serve with a lemon wedge.
Check out another restaurant-style chicken snack recipe from South India- Andhra pepper chicken
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Chicken 65 Recipe
- 500 gms boneless chicken
- 1 no egg optional
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- ½ cup yoghurt
- 2 no lime
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tbsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp fenugreek powder
- 2 tbsp rice flour
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- salt to taste
- oil for deep frying
- curry leaves
- 5 nos green chilies
- Marinade chicken with all the ingredients listed above except curry leaves, oil and green chilies.
- Keep for 30 mins.
- Heat oil for deep frying and add the chicken pcs with the marinade to the oil.
- You will need to deep fry these in 2-3 batches. Don't overcrowd the pan.
- Once they are fried, take them out in a basket or a paper towel.
- Now take 2 tbsp of the hot oil in a frying pan and add 4-5 split green chillies and a sprig of curry leaves.
- Add these fried leaves and chillies to the chicken 65.
- You can sprinkle salt if needed and toss the chicken 65 with the curry leaves.
- Serve with a lemon wedge