Chicken 65 is a popular South Indian restaurant appetizer that consists of battered and fried chicken pieces that are coated with spices and yogurt.
Okay, I’ve always seen Chicken 65 recipes floating around the internet, and I finally got around to trying it myself. Let’s just say, I wasn’t expecting much, but wow.
Have you ever seen something on paper, be like meh, it sounds okay? But then you see it in real, and it’s actually mind blowing?
Well this is what this Chicken 65 was like for me. I was always hesitant to try it, but once I did, I couldn’t stop eating it! Seriously, it’s SO good.
So What Exactly is It?
It’s a popular South Indian chicken appetizer that is made by frying battered chicken cubes, and then seasoned with spices, curry leaves and yogurt.
And nope, it’s not a Chinese recipe. It’s an Indo-Chinese recipe just like this manchurian recipe. Which btw, is totally yum too!
There are many reasons floating around the Internet for its unique name…some say its named chicken 65 because it was item number 65 in the menu. Some say it’s because 65 ingredients are used to make it (not at all!) and some say its called so because it was invented in a restaurant in the year 1965, which actually seems to be the most plausible reason of all.
What You Need for this Delicious Appetizer
For the Batter:
- Boneless chicken (I used chicken breasts, but chicken thighs or even bone-in chicken can be used)
- Cornflour and all purpose flour for that crispy coating
- Spices for flavour
- A little drop of orange food colouring, if you want the signature red.
- Oil for Frying
For the Tempering/Seasoning
- Curry leaves
- Green chillies
- Tomato paste
- Yogurt (mixed with a little bit of food coloring)
Tips & Tricks
- The way you cut the chicken is important. If you cut the chicken breasts into cubes, it tends to become dry. Slice the chicken on a diagonal angle. This will ensure that the chicken remains moist even after being fried.
- You don’t need tons of oil to deep fry the battered chicken pieces. In fact, I always shallow fry the chicken, and it turns out perfect.
- This recipe gets its unique flavour primarily from curry leaves. Curry leaves have a very unique flavor/aroma, so there’s no exact substitute for it. You can however, make this chicken without it, but the taste won’t be same of course.
- When starting the tempering/seasoning part of this recipe, keep all the ingredients ready because you have to work quickly during this step.
- You can skip the food coloring, if you prefer.
More Delicious Pakistani & Indian Recipes
Chicken 65 recipe
For the Chicken
- 500 grams chicken boneless
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons corn flour
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons yogurt
- 12 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder Haldi
- A few drops of orange food colouring optional
- Oil for deep frying
For the Tempering / Tadka
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
- 1 small onion chopped into quarters
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 2 green chillies sliced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons yogurt mixed with a little bit of food colouring
- Start by cutting the chicken breasts on a diagonal angle. This helps to ensure that the chicken remains soft even after frying. Chopped chicken tends to cook quickly and its texture toughens up.
- Now marinate the chicken in ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, yogurt, black pepper powder, and turmeric powder. Add the egg, corn flour and all purpose flour. Mix well, and set aside for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Alternatively you can marinate the chicken overnight.
- Heat oil in a wok or large pot for deep frying the chicken.
- Fry the chicken on medium high heat in batches until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a kitchen paper lined plate and set aside.
- Remove most of the oil (leaving about 3 tablespoons of oil), and on medium heat add the sliced garlic and saute until light golden.
- Add the curry leaves, garlic, green chillies, and saute for a few seconds. Now add the tomato paste and yogurt, and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Remove from heat, and keep covered for 5-7 minutes.
- Serve immediately with white rice or chapati, or even as an appetizer.