Chicken 65

Chicken 65 is agreeably the most deliberated dish when it comes to ascertaining why is it called Chicken 65. Over the years and decades , I have heard and read quite a lot of stories and theories attempting to reveal the reason behind the peculiar name.

 Some of the theories were ;

 65 types of chillies are used to prepare the dish hence the name, it takes 65 minutes to prepare hence the name , chicken is cut into 65 pieces so the name and undoubtedly the most absurd theory… Wait for it….. —– because 

the dish is made with a 65 day old chicken ( this intrigued me for a long long long long long time…. …. How does one find out the exact age of the chicken 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔 how  !!!! Do they mark the calendar on birth of the chick and wait till it is exactly 65 days old to the last min and then rush to sell Or cook !!!! ??????????🤔 ) …. how… How is this possible !!!!

Anyways….. To put my misery to rest , I recently found out that a Mr. Buhari a hotelier in Chennai; created the dish on the new year’s Eve in 1965 and hence the name … Phew 😌….

Originally the dish was made with chicken on bones and it was fried. Over the years with changing times and preference of the masses, many restuarants have manipulated and conceptualizied the dish to suit their theme and also of their patrons. 

There are variations to the recipe depending on where the recipe is cooked. Some make it fried and some don’t…

 I dislike fried food in general.This recipe suits my palate just fine.  Not taking away the authenticity of the dish and it’s flavours. This recipe works with boneless chicken and roasting method …… It is super “quickum” and “ati tastum” …… 

Make it for an impromptu house party or a sit down home meal with your loved ones. You pick when to make….It can be made in flat 30 mins if you are systematic and organised. Not much time if you are getting a home cooked , guilt-free indulgence I say…

The curry leaves used in the dish gives it a wonderful flavour and aroma, spices used are easily available in everyone’s kitchen these days and chicken can be bought ahead of time…..The fresh and earthy smells wafting through the house will make your guest / loved ones droll. You must however try and not mess with the ingredients I have listed and I promise you a wonderful starter to eat with your choice of vice and if you are a non drinker , it can be teamed with a steaming bowl of rice and sambar…. 

Tips :

1.Use a thick bottom nonstick pan 

2. Do not overcrowd the pan. If making a huge batch , make in two batches or pans.. .

3. Rice atta should not be added to the grinder. 

500 gms chicken ( I used boneless)

1/2 cup Yoghurt 

1.5 tbsp lemon juice 

2 tbsp Rice flour

Salt to taste

8 to 10 tbsp Oil 

3 sprigs of Curry leaves

4 whole dried Kashmiri chillies

2″ Ginger

6 cloves of Garlic

1/2″ of fresh turmeric ( picture added for reference purpose) . If you don’t find fresh turmeric , use 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder.

2 tbsp Whole Coriander Seeds

 1 tbsp Whole Black pepper corn 

1. Grind all the ingredients with 4 tbsp of oil (except rice atta) to a fine paste.

Add rice atta to the paste and mix well.

2. Mix clean and washed chicken cut in 1.5″ cubes to this mixture and let it sit in the marination.

3.  Heat the pan and add remaining oil. Add curry leave and let them splutter. 

4. Add 6 pieces of chicken at a time and not more… Roast them till then turn opaque and add the next lot. This ensures that the juices of the chicken are sealed inside the chicken leaving it juicy and tender. Don’t worry about over cooking. It will not happen.

Bon Appetit 

Ritu M

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