Chicken 65 is a fiery, crispy, and finger-licking good South Indian dish made with boneless, skinless chicken that is marinated, fried, and tossed in a fiery and tangy seasoning. Often served as an appetizer or snack, Chicken 65 is known for its unique blend of spices that make it both hot and flavorful.
In this recipe, I am air frying the chicken instead the traditional deep frying method, which results in a healthier yet crispy texture.
Chicken 65 is a popular spicy and flavorful dish in Indian cuisine, particularly in South India. It is known for its spicy and tangy taste, making it a favorite appetizer or starter at restaurants, street food stalls, and gatherings.
With this tried and tested recipe, you can recreate restaurant-quality chicken 65 at home using an
Why you will love this recipe?
- Flavorful marinade: The marinade used in this dish is packed with aromatic spices, herbs, and seasonings, which infuse the chicken with a rich and delightful flavor profile.
- Spiciness: Chicken 65 is renowned for its spicy taste, making it an appealing dish for those who enjoy bold flavors.
- Versatility: While it is typically served as an appetizer or starter, it can also be adapted for main course meals or paired with various accompaniments.
Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken thigh pieces.
Tempering: We need cumin seeds, fresh ginger, garlic, yogurt, garam masala, green chili peppers, fresh curry leaves, and cilantro.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine together the marinade ingredients - yogurt, finely chopped curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, oil, and salt. Mix well.
Step 2: Add the boneless chicken pieces to it and mix well, making sure they are well coated. Let it sit for 30 minutes to one hour.
Step 3: Once the chicken is marinated, add the cornstarch and rice flour. Mix well to make sure the marinated chicken pieces are coated.
Step 4: Place the chicken in a single layer. Air fry at 350 F (180 C) for 9-10 minutes or until the chicken is crispy and golden brown.
Step 5: In a small bowl, take yogurt, garam masala, Kashmiri chili powder, and salt. Whisk it well and blend it, making sure there are no lumps. Set it aside.
Step 6: Heat oil in a
Step 7: Reduce the heat to low and add the yogurt mixture. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes until it thickens.
Step 8: Add the fried chicken and toss on high heat for one minute.
Alternate methods of cooking chicken
Deep frying: The traditional method involves deep frying the marinated and coated chicken pieces in hot oil until they are crispy and cooked through.
Pan frying: You can also use a pan to fry the chicken pieces. Heat a pan with a moderate amount of oil and cook the chicken on medium-high heat until it is crispy and fully cooked.
Baking: Preheat the oven to around 375 F (190 C). Place the marinated and coated chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 18-20 minutes or until they are cooked through and crispy.
Use boneless chicken thighs for better taste and tenderness. If you want to use chicken breast, marinate it for a longer time to ensure it stays tender after cooking. Cut the chicken into uniform bite-sized pieces.
Do not marinate the chicken with the flour coating. Add the flour just before air frying. I am coating the marinated chicken using rice flour and corn flour, making this dish gluten-free. However, you can also use all-purpose flour (plain flour) and chickpea flour (gram flour).
Do not overcrowd the
I have kept the ground spices minimal in my recipe; however, you can also add turmeric powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder to the marinade.
Appetizer: Serve it as a standalone appetizer or finger food at parties, gatherings, or as a starter before the main meal. Serve the final dish with a drizzle of lemon juice or lime juice, onion slices, and lemon wedges.
Storing chicken 65
To store chicken 65, allow it to cool completely, then refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze the chicken 65 in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
When ready to eat, thaw it in the refrigerator or using the microwave's defrost setting, and reheat until heated through in the oven or
Chicken 65 is believed to have been invented in the Hotel Buhari in Chennai, India, and there are several theories behind the name - it was invented in the year 1965, it was the 65th item on their menu, it used 65 chili peppers, and so on. There are also other bizarre theories, like the chicken is marinated for 65 days or that it is cut into 65 pieces. Despite what the story behind it is, this dish is hugely popular now, not only in Chennai but across India.
No, Chilli Chicken and Chicken 65 are not the same. While both are popular Indian chicken dishes, they have distinct differences. Chilli Chicken is a Chinese-Indian fusion dish where chicken is typically sautéed with onions, bell peppers, and a soy-based sauce, resulting in a flavorful and slightly sweet-spicy gravy. On the other hand, Chicken 65 is a South Indian dish known for its deep-fried, highly spiced, and crispy chicken pieces with a tangy and spicy flavor, usually served as an appetizer.
While boneless chicken is commonly used for Chicken 65, you can use bone-in chicken pieces if you prefer. Just ensure they are small and cook them properly.
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For the marination:
For the tempering:
Marinate the chicken and air fry:
- In a large bowl, combine together yogurt, finely chopped curry leaves, ginger garlic paste, chili powder, garam masala powder, oil, and salt. Mix well.
- Add the chicken pieces to it and mix well, making sure they are well coated. Let it sit for 30 minutes to one hour
- Once the chicken is marinated, add the cornstarch and rice flour. Mix well to make sure the chicken pieces are coated.
- Lightly grease the air fryer basket with oil. Place the chicken in a single layer.
- Air fry at 350 F (180 C) for 9-10 minutes, or until the chicken is crispy and golden brown. Shake the basket after around 5 minutes.
Finish with tempering:
- In a small bowl, take yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, and salt. Whisk it well making sure there are no lumps. Set it aside.
- Heat oil in a frying pan or kadhai and add cumin seeds.
- Once it splutters, add curry leaves, ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the yogurt mixture. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes, until it thickens.
- Add the fried chicken and toss on high heat for one minute.
- Top with cilantro and serve hot.