Chicken 65
Chicken 65

Intriguing name, eh? The story goes many ways, but the two versions I've heard of are that the dish is called Chicken 65 because it was the 65th item on the first menu it found its way onto, and that Buhari restaurant in Chennai, India, introduced it in 1965! What remains undisputed is that this is one fiery side dish, and a hot (no pun intended) favourite starter in India.

The original Chicken 65 has since, quite inevitably, inspired the Paneer 65 and the Gobhi (cauliflower) 65. 

It's super easy to make and quick too. The only thing that takes time is the marination. But if you plan in advance, this is a crowd pleaser you must give a go!

Serves 4

Prep Time - 3 hr 15 min

Cook Time - 30 min

Total Time - 3 hr 45 min

Marination

  1. Chicken breasts and thighs - 300 g
  2. Cornflour - 1 tbsp
  3. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  4. Vinegar - 2 tsp
  5. Oil - 1 tsp
  6. Ginger - 1.5 inch
  7. Garlic - 6 cloves
  8. Curry leaves - 1 sprig (10 - 12 leaves)
  9. Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  10. Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  11. Salt

Tempering

  1. Cashew nuts - 6
  2. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  3. Green chillies - 2 or 3, sliced lengthwise
  4. Curry leaves - 1 sprig (10 - 12 leaves)
  5. Oil - 1 tbsp
  6. Oil for deep frying

Instructions

  1. Clean the chicken and remove the skin
  2. Cut into medium bite-sized pieces
  3. Grind the ginger and garlic and curry leaves together to make a paste
  4. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and add the marinade ingredients except the cornflour - red chilli powder, vinegar, oil, ginger-garlic-curry leaves paste, black pepper, garam masala and salt
  5. Mix thoroughly, to coat all the chicken pieces
  6. Now add the cornflour, and mix again to coat
  7. Cover and put the bowl in the fridge to marinate overnight ideally, or for three hours atleast
  8. Heat oil in a deep frying pan
  9. When hot, add the marinated chicken pieces in and deep fry until cooked through and golden brown
  10. Drain on a kitchen towel
  11. In the meantime, heat a tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan, and when hot, add the tempering ingredients to it - cashew nuts, red chilli powder, green chillies, and curry leaves
  12. Keep turning over gently, till the cashew nuts are golden brown
  13. Transfer the chicken pieces to your serving bowl
  14. Pour over the tempered spices, and mix through
  15. Serve hot

Notes

  1. If you'd like it really spicy, add an extra teaspoon of chili powder when you're tempering the spices!

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