No one would believe you if you say you have been to South India and you do not know what chicken 65 is. From fine dining restaurants to quaint little cafes, from family dinners to streets stalls, chicken 65 seems to be the ruling appetizer and side dish in South India. Kerala-style chicken 65 is essentially fried chicken but South Indian style. It is coated with a flavorful marinade and then deep fried to perfection. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, it is nothing short of perfection.
Many people wonder why chicken 65 is called chicken 65? Well, as the legend goes, the recipe finds its origin in Hotel Buhra, Chennai. This hotel is home to many other legendary chicken recipes, all named after the year they were invented. This particular recipe was born in 1965, so it became chicken 65. Similarly there are other chicken recipes from the same place, named after the years like Chicken 78 and Chicken 82. However, none of the other recipes saw as much popularity and limelight as chicken 65 did. There are different variations of this recipe like Hyderabadi chicken 65 and Tamil Nadu style, etc.. Kerala-style chicken 65 is distinct because it has a flavorful tempering over the crispy chicken which enhances the flavor twofold.
The best part of chicken 65, besides the amazing flavor, is that it is easy to make at home? So, let’s make it!
Ingredients for Kerala-style chicken 65
Chicken and Marinade
The chicken marinade mixture consists of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, black pepper powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, lemon juice, and salt. The yogurt tenderizes the chicken, while the spices provide a rich flavor and aroma. This way, the chicken absorbs the flavors of the marinade, making it spicy and tangy.
Egg white, cornstarch, and rice flour make the binding mixture. The binding mixture helps to coat the marinated chicken cubes. It also ensures that they stick together and create a crispy exterior when deep-fried.
The tadka or tempering consists of oil, chopped garlic, slit green chilies, curry leaves, and black pepper powder. It adds a unique aroma and flavor to the dish. The garlic and green chilies provide a pungent and spicy taste, while the curry leaves add a slightly sweet and aromatic flavor.
The oil helps deep frying the chicken cubes. It helps to create a crispy, golden-brown exterior while keeping the chicken moist and juicy on the inside.
Step by Step Instructions For Kerala-style chicken 65
To begin, in a mixing bowl, add 500g or 1 lbs of chicken breast cubes along with 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon of red chili powder, 1 tablespoon of Kashmiri red chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Mix well, making sure that all the chicken pieces merge with the marinade.
Next, let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together 1 egg white, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of rice flour to create the binding mixture.
After 30 minutes of marination, add the binding mixture to the marinated chicken and mix well. Make sure that each chicken piece has a coating of the mixture.
Then, heat oil for deep frying in a pan or wok.
Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and fry them until they are golden and crisp.
Remove the chicken pieces from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic and 3-4 slit green chilies. Also add 2 sprigs of curry leaves, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder (optional).
Fry the tadka ingredients until the garlic turns golden brown and the curry leaves become crispy.
Finally, add the fried chicken pieces to the tadka and mix well. Make sure that each piece is coated in the flavorful tadka.
Serve hot and enjoy your delicious Kerala-style chicken 65!
To fully enjoy the bold and aromatic flavors of Kerala-style chicken 65, here are some serving suggestions to consider. Firstly, serve the chicken hot and crispy straight out of the pan to maximize the flavor and texture. You can serve it with other Indian snacks like punugulu, unni appam, peri peri chicken or potato cutlets. For an appetizer or snack, pair the chicken with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or tomato ketchup on the side. To make it a complete meal, serve the chicken with a gravy steamed rice, naan bread, or roti along with a side of raita or cucumber salad. Furthermore, to balance the heat of the dish, consider pairing the chicken with a cold beverage such as a refreshing glass of watermelon sharbat, mango lassi, or a melon drink. Lastly, enjoy the chicken with your loved ones and relish the rich and savory flavors of this classic Indian dish.
To ensure that your leftover Kerala-style chicken 65 stays fresh and safe to eat, there are some essential steps to follow for proper storage. Allow the chicken to cool down to room temperature before storing it. Next, transfer the chicken to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag, ensuring there is no excess air. To prevent the chicken from drying out, it’s important to remove as much air as possible. After that, label the container with the date and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you’re planning on keeping the chicken for longer, consider freezing it. When reheating the chicken, it’s best to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it in the oven or on the stovetop. Avoid reheating the chicken more than once, as it can increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Chicken 65 is an Indian appetizer that is famous for its unique blend of spicy, tangy, and savory flavors, as well as its crispy texture and tender chicken pieces that are bursting with flavor.
The price of Chicken 65 in Kerala can vary depending on the restaurant, but typically, it ranges from around 150-250 rupees for a serving.
The origin of the name Chicken 65 is said to originate from the year it was created in Hotel Bhura.
While Chicken 65 is a delicious and popular dish, it is typically high in calories, so you should enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Diabetics should be cautious when consuming Chicken 65, as it is often deep-fried and high in calories, sodium, and cholesterol.
The red color in Chicken 65 comes from the use of red chili powder or Kashmiri red chili powder in the marinade and seasoning, which gives the dish its spicy and vibrant flavor.
Chicken pakora uses batter of chickpea flour, while Chicken 65 is a spicier dish that uses spices and rice flour.
Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.