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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chicken 65

Chicken 65 is perhaps one of the most loved chicken dishes ordered as a starter. Both my South Indian and North Indian friends like it equally. Not to mention any foreigners that I have come across. Spicy and tangy this one is bound to have you asking for seconds.

Among all the stories that abound of its origin, I believe the one that says ' It was the 65th item on the menu of restaurant in Chennai and that the year was also 1965. Hence the name stuck' . However my husband believes that it is made from chickens who are 65 days old. Another version has it that 65 ingredients go into the making of this dish. But even if I tried i could not go anywhere beyond 35 ( had even started imagining some exotic spices by then ). Stories apart, even the flavor changes from region to region and restaurant to restaurant. The best I have ever sampled came from a modest place called 'Dhawat' in Hyderabad.

While it is usually distinguished by its fiery red color, I chose to omit food coloring and went with Kashmiri red chillis. These are a natural coloring agent and have been used since long time in Indian cooking. Read on for my version :




Preparation Time - 30 mins ( Plus 2 hours for marination )

Ingredients -
For the marinade - 200 gm chicken breast (use thigh if you prefer), 1 egg white, 1 tsp GG paste, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/3 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, juice of half lime or 1 1/2 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp corn flour, 1 tsp maida/all-purpose flour, salt to taste.

For the saute - 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 10-11 cashews, 3-4 dry Kashmiri chillis (or use any other medium spicy one), 2 sprigs curry leaves, 3-4 green chilli (seeded and slitted), 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, 2 tsp tomato sauce.

For the paste - 1 tsp cornflour, 3 tbsp yogurt, 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, salt to taste. (Add a few drops of red color is using)

Oil for deep frying.

Preparation - Cut the Chicken into small pieces ( 3 cm X 2 cm X 1 cm ). Wash and pat dry with paper towel.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade. Add chicken pieces and mix.
Keep aside for 2 hours.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the paste. Add a little water to thin if required.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Bring up the flame. Once it reaches the right temperature, add 6-7 marinated pieces and lower the flame. Fry with regular stirring so that it gets cooked uniformly. Once done ( 3 mins or less ), remove and keep aside.

Add another batch of chicken and repeat. Fry all the remaining chicken in the same manner.

Heat another wok. Add 2 tsp oil to it.

Add the cashews, fry for 30 seconds and remove from wok.

Add the green and red chillis along with curry leaves. Then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add the yogurt paste and saute for 1-2 minute.

Add the fried chicken pieces and saute on medium to high till all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from flame.

Garnish with the chopped coriander and fried cashews. Serve hot as a starter or side.



3 comments:

  1. Very tempting and delicious looking chicken 65. Wonderful preparation.
    Deepa

    ReplyDelete
  2. yummy, tasty chicken 65. Pass on that plate to me ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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