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Chicken 65 is a classic Indian fried appetizer that’s spicy, has loads of flavour from the chilies, garlic, and the unique spice blend. Best as an entree or compliments your main course.
Few dishes can be as intriguing by their name and as delicious as a starter as Chicken 65. One of India’s most well-known chicken entrées, this has become globally popular due to its appeal to every spicy food lover palette.
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A simple fried appetizer that is spicy and aromatic with curry leaves and red chilies. And not to mention juicy chunks of chicken. The chicken has flavour from a blend of different spices, giving it a unique taste and appeal.
This recipe will show you how to make the most flavourful and juicy chicken 65 that you will be proud of and would be as good or better than any restaurant-style dish.
The secret to this yum chicken 65 is the blend of spices. Follow the instructions, and you will not be disappointed.
There are many chickens 65 – Kerala style, Hyderabadi style, Chennai style, Madurai style. I have tried many of them and adapted my recipe with elements from some of these variations.
Why is it called Chicken 65
A question that pops in anyone’s head that has come across this dish. Isn’t it an odd number to give to a dish?
Several accounts are attributing different origins to the dish and the name behind it.
The most prevalent version and the one that I believe is this – Chicken 65 recipe was introduced in 1965 by a chef Mr. A.M.Buhari in his hotel ‘Buhari Hotel’ in the south Indian city of Chennai.
This dish took off, and it became so popular Mr. Buhari made a few more inspired recipes naming them on their introductory years of 1978, 1982, and 1990.
I haven’t heard of the others ever, and not hard to guess; no other variation became as popular as chicken 65.
Though an upscale restaurant introduced this dish, it is widely popular in small eateries and takeaways. Even I have had the best taste in not-so-upscale eateries.
The star ingredients of Chicken 65 are red chilies, garlic, and curry leaves. But, it does not mean that this dish puts your tongue on fire. In this dish, the chicken pieces incorporate the flavour and aroma of red chilies and curry leaves.
But it isn’t just red chilies at work here. The unique flavour profile of chicken 65 is the blend of spices to complement red chilies.
You can make this recipe with eggs without being afraid of the smell of eggs in the final dish. The curd and spices mellow down the smell of eggs. It helps as a binding agent for the flour coating the chunks.
Recommend using chicken breast here to get that juicy and soft chicken bites with little frying. You may use thighs, but that would require a few minutes more of frying to bring the desired softness.
- Chicken Breast – I have preferred chicken breast because it is very easy to eat those chunks of chicken without any bone in them. And also the bites are small so it is easier to just take a boneless bite. Many places / people prefer the bone and trust me the bone too has flavour in them. Well, convenience wins for me there.
- Curd – The acid in curd helps in breaking down the protein and makes the meat tender.
- Ginger garlic paste – Combination of two classic flavour bombs used often in indian cooking. The paste ensures a nice mix and coat for the marinade.
- Turmeric – Helps get rid of the smell of raw chicken in the marinade.
- Red chili powder – Gives it a little heat and balances the flavour.
- Kashmiri red chili powder/ Paprika
- Garam masala – Typical spice mix / blend available in all indian stores and widely used.
- Coriander powder – Coriander gives a strong aroma and taste to the coating.
- Black pepper powder – Add some extra heat. Chicken 65 is supposed to be spicy. You cannot have it bland.
- Rice flour
- Corn flour
- Egg white – Helps as a binding agent for the flour to give a nice coat to the chicken
- Curry leaves – Finely chopped leaves will become part of the batter coating and provide flavour in each bite. Many restaurant style dishes make use of these finely chopped leaves.
- Salt – Salt helps to balance and bring out all other flavours.
- Chopped garlic – Garlic is one of the best flavours to most cooked and fried recipes. I simply use it a lot either chopped/minced/paste.
- Red chilies
- Green chilies
- Curry leaves – Here the leaves are just left as is and tossed along with the chicken. They get crisp and impart a lot of flavour to the chicken bites. I like to have those fried crispy leaves.
How to make Crispy Chicken 65
Though this recipe calls for a lot of ingredients, there are two positive things about this. One, the ingredients are all common ones used in Indian cooking and available in all nearby stores. And second, the actual making of this is pretty straightforward.
Many of the ingredients, especially the flour, curd, and spices, have to be mixed well to coat the chicken chunks uniformly.
- Cut chicken – The chicken breast needs to be cut to small equal-sized cubes. This ensures that all of it gets cooked even.
- Marinate – Combine all the ingredients listed under Marinade section above in a bowl and mix. Add chicken to it and mix well. Make sure that all chunks get a coating evenly.
- Fry – In a pan of hot oil, put the chicken one-by-one and fry them for 7 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Toss in skillet – Cook garlic along with other tossed ingredients (refer above) for a minute. Toss the fried chicken pieces and mix well.
- Serve – Serve it and garnish with lime and cilantro.
Tips for best chicken 65
It is not a complicated cook at all, and all of you should be able to get the most delicious version of chicken 65 at home and serve it to the family.
Be mindful of the following things to make sure it just turns out great –
- Cut chicken to even sized chunks. Ensures that all are cooked even.
- Recommend to marinate the chicken and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Giving it time helps the marinate to infuse flavour to the chicken pieces. It is time worth waiting and it does make a difference in final flavour and taste.
- The chicken bits should be coated evenly on all sides.
- At least marinate it for a couple of hours if you cannot do it overnight.
- Heat the oil till on it is medium hot. We do not want very hot oil here as that tends to just burn the outside of the chicken chunks leaving the inside uncooked. Wait for a couple of minutes for oil to come to the desired temperature on medium flame.
- Dip the chunks to the hot oil one by one giving them a bit of space. Do not overcrowd them.
- I would recommend to do the final step of tossing the fried chicken in a pan with garlic, curry leaves, dry chillies and green chillies. This step is very important to give chicken 65 its unique aroma and taste. Do not miss this step.
This is an excellent lip-smacking entrée. Have it as such with a good squeeze of lemon. This is usually followed by an Indian main course of Plain rice or Fried rice or Pulao or Jeera Rice with Dal and other curries.
Cooked chicken 65 is best stored in a container, and then you can reheat it. Indeed not like it’s cooked fresh but will still be a delicious eat.
You can reheat it in the microwave. You can also get the crusty texture and flavour to come alive again is to toss it on a pan for a minute on high heat.
Other Indian recipes
You may check out some other Indian recipes here –
- Crispy Onion Bhaji
- Tandoori Chicken (Oven & Stove Top)
- Restaurant Style Matar Paneer
- Dhaba Style Egg Curry
- Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry
Chicken 65 recipe
- 500 grams Boneless Chicken Breast
- 2 tablespoon Thick Curd
- 2 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili powder / Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- 1.5 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon Rice flour
- 2 tablespoon Cornflour
- 1 Egg white
- 2 sprigs of Curry Leaf
To toss Chicken 65 (optional)
- 2 teaspoon Oil
- 2-3 cloves Garlic roughly chopped
- 1 dry red chilli
- 2-3 green chilli slit lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 2 sprigs curry leaf
- Cut chicken breast into 1-inch cubes. Make sure all the chicken pieces are of the same size so that it gets cooked evenly while frying.
- Add curd, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, Coriander powder, garam masala, sal,t and pepper. Mix well and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Bring chicken to room temperature ( if it was refrigerated). Add rice flour, cornflour and egg white. Add 2-3 sprigs of curry leaf. Mix well.
- Heat oil in a deep pan for frying.
- When the oil is medium-hot, add coated chicken pieces one by one without overcrowding the pan. Maintain the heat at low – medium. Cook for 6-7 minutes, flipping the chicken in between.
- When the chicken is evenly golden brown without any raw patches of batter, remove with a slotted spoon in batches and drain excess oil on a kitchen towel.
- Either you can serve chicken 65 like this or proceed to the next step.
- In a skillet, add 2 teaspoons of oil, add minced garlic, curry leaves, dry red chilli and slitted green chilli. Cook for a minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add Kashmiri red chilli powder, 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add fried chicken pieces and toss it well in the seasoning.
- Serve with onion and Lemon.
- Cut chicken into even-sized chunks. Ensures that all are cooked evenly.
- Recommend to marinate the chicken and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Giving it time helps the marinade to infuse flavour to the chicken pieces. At least marinate it for a couple of hours if you cannot do it overnight.
- Heat the oil till it is medium hot. Wait for a couple of minutes for the oil to come to the desired temperature on medium flame.
- Dip the chunks to the hot oil one by one giving them a bit of space. Do not overcrowd them.
- I would recommend doing the final step of tossing the fried chicken in a pan with garlic, curry leaves, dry chillies, and green chillies. This step is so important to give chicken 65 its unique aroma and taste. Do not miss this step.