Chicken 65

“Uma, a post-doc in the Shacklett lab once brought a version of this to a lab potluck dinner. She gave me her recipe, but it was slightly cryptic. To this point I have had no experience cooking Indian food, so I consulted other recipes to get a better idea how to make this dish. I came across this one and really liked the idea of a nice, robust marinade for the chicken. This recipe is a lot more work than Uma’s, but it is really tasty with a nice crispy chicken. It is also a bit more spicy, especially if you make it with the tempering. However, the Chennai-style is still very flavorful and a good option for those who prefer something more mild. If you do go spicy, I recommend serving it with some raita.” – April Ferre

Chicken 65

Course: Main Courses – Poultry
Cuisine: Indian


For Marination:

  • 1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Curry Leaves Finely Chopped
  • 600 Grams (About 1.3 Pounds) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs Cut in 1-Inch Pieces

For Tempering: Optional for More Heat

  • 1/4 Cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
  • 1 to 2 Teaspoons Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper Optional, For More Heat
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Minced
  • 6 Curry Leaves Rinse & Pat Dry
  • 2 Green Chilies Slit, Deseeded & Pat Dry
  • Juice of 1 Lemon

For Batter to Coat:

  • 1/4 Cup Cornstarch
  • 2 Teaspoons Rice Flour
  • 1 Egg White

For Deep Frying:

  • Oil for Deep Frying
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Curry Leaves Rinse & Pat Dry
  • 4 to 6 Green Chiles Slit, Deseeded & Pat Dry

For Garnish:

  • Raw Onion Slices Optional


Marinate Chicken:

  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for marinade except chicken. Mix until well combined. Add chicken and stir well to coat.
  • Marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.

Prepare Tempering (if desired, for more heat):

  • In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic paste, chili powder, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • In another small bowl, combine chopped garlic, curry leaves and green chilies. Set aside.

Deep Fry Chicken:

  • In a large Dutch oven, add oil for deep frying about 1-inch deep. Heat oil over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, place chicken in a large bowl and add cornstarch, rice flour and egg white. Mix well to combine.
  • Test oil to see if it is hot enough by dropping in a small bit of batter. If it immediately sizzles and rises to the surface, it is ready. If it sinks, it is not hot enough.
  • When ready, gently drop individual pieces of chicken into the oil. Do not over crowd the pan. Do not disturb the chicken for 2 minutes, then stir them and let them cook until they are deep golden brown and very crisp. Remove chicken to a steel colander and continue frying the chicken in batches.

Deep Fry Curry Leaves & Chilies:

  • Reduce heat to low and place curry leaves on a skimmer or strainer ladle and gently lower into the oil. Fry the leaves until crisp. Curry leaves will crisp quickly, so be careful not to burn. Move leaves to a small bowl.
  • Add slit green chilies to the ladle and fry until blistered. Add to fried curry leaves.

To Serve Chennai Style:

  • Combine fried chicken, curry leaves and green chilies and toss to combine.

To Serve Hyderabadi-Style with Tempering:

  • Add 2 Tablespoons oil from deep frying to a large skillet. Heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add chopped garlic, curry leaves and green chilies and cook for 1 minute until the curry leaves are crisp, but do not brown the garlic. Push spices to the edge of the skillet and then turn down the heat to low.
  • Add prepared chili-garlic paste and cook until the sauce is thick and oily.
  • Add chicken and stir until well coated. Remove to a large bowl and toss with fried curry leaves and green chilies.
  • Sprinkle over a squeeze of lemon and serve with raw onion slices.

2023 Recipe – April Ferre – From Swasthi’s Recipes

Related Recipes:
Chicken 65 served with Turmeric Rice, Raita and Paratha