Chicken 65

This dish was always on the menu at restaurants, but I somehow had never tasted it before moving to Hyderabad. But once I tasted this dish here it has become one of my favourite starters. I always wondered why is it called 65 and not any other number. One explanation was that it required 65 ingredients and hence I set out to find the recipe to see if it is actually that complex. I found the best recipe on and also the simple explanation. Chef Thumma says that this was the 65th dish on the menu card of a restaurant in Chennai and hence the name. Tried this recipe out for starters and found out that its not a difficult dish at all to prepare. It actually tastes very good and comes very close to what we get in restaurants.

Here is the recipe that I followed

  1. Marinate boneless chicken for an hour with salt, 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste and 1 tbsp pepper. I always make fresh ginger garlic paste when I have time instead of store bought one – adds a fresh flavour to the food.
  2. After an hour add 2tbsp cornflour, one egg and mix. Deep fry the chicken pieces in oil. See to it that the pieces don’t stick to each other. Drain and keep aside. The chicken pieces taste so good that we almost always devour half of it while deep frying itself.
  3. For the sauce, take 2tbsp oil in a pan. Add 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 10 flakes of chopped garlic (you can add more garlic if it suits your taste), 2 twigs of curry leaves, 1tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1tbsp each of pepper powder, cumin powder and chilli powder. Saute till the raw taste of masalas is gone.
  4. Add red chilli garlic paste. You can either buy it at a store or make it at home. For this boil water and add around 5 Kashmiri red chillies and around 10 flakes of garlic and then grind them to a thick paste in a mixer.
  5. Saute the paste. Drop a few drops of water. Toss the chicken and cook for around 5 mins.
  6. I also add 2-3 onions cut into 1 inch cubes and separating the layers along with the chicken. This gives some volume to the dish and the onions taste good with the sauce.
This dish has a south Indian taste to it and its main flavours are from pepper, garlic and curry leaves. Hence use fresh ingredients and in generous quantities. The dish at restaurants has a characteristic red colour which comes from the red chilli garlic paste. You may add food colour but I avoid it.


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