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40 mins
Chicken 65 Recipe

Chicken 65

Rating 4-5 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again
Mamtha Sunil Kumar

Recipe by  

The strangely named Chicken 65 is a dish from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, and there are various legends behind why it is called Chicken 65. The one that most people subscribe to is that the recipe comes from a meal in a military canteen in a (largely vegetarian) city in South India. When the soldiers wanted chicken fry, they ordered item number 65 because the menu card had nothing written against number 65 to avoid upsetting the vegetarian local population. So the chicken preparation in the canteen became know as 'Chicken 65'.

A variation of the same story is that, since the menu was written in Tamil, the soldiers would just ask for number 65 to get around the language barrier. Whatever the true story behind the name, Chicken 65 is a deliciously spicy, deep-fried chicken dish popular as a starter course, or quick snack. The flavour of the dish comes mainly from ginger and cayenne pepper although the exact recipe can vary.

Chicken 65 can actually be prepared using chicken on the bone although here, I suggest good size pieces off the bone. You'll notice, too, that I've used Ajinomoto (a 'free' glutamate flavour-enhancer). If you are focused on organic food, you may wish to skip this ingredient. It will not spoil your Chicken 65!

      Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Chicken 65

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
If you want to know more about Indian ingredients, check our Indian Spices and our Indian Pulses, Rice and Seeds pages.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 6:
2 lb
chicken dark meat (boneless thigh meat)
½ teaspoon
½ teaspoon
2 tablespoons
ginger-garlic paste
2 teaspoons
corn flour (superfine flour)
vegetable oil for deep frying
½ teaspoon
cumin seeds
2 teaspoon
fresh ginger
1 clove
green chilies
curry leaves
½ teaspoon
cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon
chili powder
about 20
coriander leaves


How to Cook Chicken 65

  1. In preparation, peel and finely chop the ginger and the garlic and finely chop the chilies. Chop the coriander leaves and the curry leaves.
  2. Remove any skin from the chicken and wash the meat thoroughly, cut it into large bite-size pieces. Place the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and add the salt, Ajinomoto, 1 teaspoon of the ginger-garlic paste, the corn flour and just a pinch of the cayenne pepper. Mix this well then add the egg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok and add the chicken pieces, a few at a time. Fry for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown. Place the chicken on absorbent kitchen paper and keep warm.
  4. Drain the oil from the pan, leaving just 2-3 tablespoons in the bottom (or use a fresh frying pan). Add the cumin seeds, the chopped ginger and the chopped garlic and sauté for few seconds. Add in the chopped chilies, the other teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste, the chopped curry leaves, cayenne pepper, chili powder and ajinomoto and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat, then stir in 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a paste. Add back the cooked chicken and toss lightly. Stir in the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

You can use chicken breast if you prefer, but the dark meat from the legs and thighs stays juicy better when fried.
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Reviews of Chicken 65

Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again February 23 2015
This was really, really good. I skipped the Ajinomoto because you shouldn't need to use flavor enhancers and anyway I doubt it would be available where I am. Even so, the flavor was excellent, not too strong, just nice hints of ginger, garlic, chilli to spice the chicken. Glad i tried this recipe. i shall do it again soon, for sure.
(3 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again February 23 2015
Flabbergasted! My kids really loved it. We were on holiday and my wife and kids went ga ga over this dish so, when we got home, I follwed your recipe and I became a cooking hero overnight... thanks to this recipe
(8 reviews)

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