Chicken 65

I am back again with the hope that I can blog frequently.  Our church was preparing for the last 3 to 4 months to put together our inaugural food festival and finally the event was conducted couple of weeks ago.  Being novice in that area we had to do lots of research and put some ground breaking efforts to project ourselves in the community.  The combined efforts put together by every individuals contributed to a stronger team which resulted in the miraculous success of the India Food Fair.  We are hoping to conduct the food festival annually after experiencing the success.

We had food vendors on our event who were mainly restaurants selling Indian food and snacks.  Chicken 65 was a popular dish in the event.  So I thought I will post Chicken 65 as my come back dish.  I seldom make this chicken dish as it involves deep frying. But it tastes so amazing that you are bound to make it more often once tried.  This is served as an appetizer in restaurants, but my kids love this with fried rice. 

There are many stories tied to the name of this dish which you can find on internet, so I am not going to go over it.  No matter what the story is, I can assure you that this is a very delicious chicken snack that is prepared by deep frying well marinated chicken and then coating it with a Chili sauce made out of Kashmiri Chilies to impart the nice red color.  You can skip the sauce if needed to reduce the spice level, but the fried Chicken tossed in the roasted curry leaves and Chili garlic sauce takes this dish to another level.  I usually lower down the spice level to medium for my kids and I use the homemade roasted Chili garlic sauce to bring up a nice roasted garlic flavor to the dish.  Do adjust the spice level to fit your palate.  Hope you will try this and let me know the outcome.

2 lbs - chicken breast
1 tsp - kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp - turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - pepper powder
1/2 tsp - coriander powder
1/2 tsp - cumin powder
1/2 tsp - garam masala
1 tsp - ginger garlic paste
2 tsp - corn starch
1 tsp - rice flour
2 tbsp - strained thick yogurt like Greek yogurt
1 tsp - lemon juice
salt to taste
Oil to fry

1 - 3 tsp - Chili garlic sauce (refer notes)
1/4 tsp - kashmiri chili powder
1/4 tsp - cumin powder
3 sprigs - fresh curry leaves
2 - green chili splits
1 tbsp - oil
1/4 cup - water
1/4 cup - Cilantro leaves to garnish

  • Cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces and soak it in 2 tbsp of  buttermilk, 1 tsp of salt and 2 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  • Wash off the chicken and drain into a bowl.
  • Mix all the powders and salt together and check for your spice level; adjust if needed.  Add this mix plus 2 tbsp of yogurt and 1 tsp of lemon juice to the drained chicken and mix well.  
  • Keep the marinated chicken in the refrigerator for 1 hr or overnite.
  • Heat a wok or non-stick pan with oil and fry the chicken on medium heat in batches till the chicken is cooked inside and crisp outside.  Drain the chicken on paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Heat a non stick pan and add 1 tbsp of oil.  Fry the curry leaves and green chili splits first, then add the chili powder and cumin powder and cook on low flame for 30 seconds.  Now add the Chili garlic sauce and mix well.  Add the water and let the mix cook for 1 minute on low flame.  The sauce will be thick.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces and toss it in the sauce.
  • Garnish with cilantro and onion rings if preferred.  Serve them hot with cumin rice or simply as an appetizer.
  • Soaking the chicken in buttermilk water will help to tenderize the chicken, so that it will remain soft inside when fried.
  • I make my own Chili garlic sauce which I feel tastes better than the store bought.  
  • Restaurants use red color in this dish to give the extra red color, but I am not using it in my recipe.  You can add it to the chicken when marinating it.
  • The rice flour used in this recipe will give the extra crunch to the chicken.
  • You can add regular chili sauce to this recipe, but the Chili garlic sauce gives a better flavor to this dish.

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