Chicken 65 is a soft and crispy restaurant-style starter recipe that has its origin from Hotel Buhari, Chennai, Tamilnadu. This fried chicken dish is also known as chilli chicken or chicken chili in some parts of the southern states and it is typically made by deep-frying the marinated bite-sized chicken pieces in oil.
This fried chicken is seasoned with onion, green chili, garlic, and other Indian herbs make this dish tasty and appetizing. This restaurant-style chicken 65 can be easily made at home with the available ingredients.
What is Chicken 65?
Chicken 65 is famous non-vegetarian street food or starter dish widely popular in Tamilnadu and its neighboring south Indian states. There is a lot of curiosity about how this chicken recipe got 65 in its name and there are several theories around the topic.
Some sources say that this Chicken 65 was first prepared in 1965 on new Year's eve, and hence it got the name. Some others say it is prepared with 65 varieties of peppers so as the name. And there are many more theories you could find across the internet.
Even though there are a lot of stories about the name of this fried chicken recipe, the unique flavor and taste of this dish made it popular in southern states like Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Each state has its own version adapted from the original chicken 65 recipe.
In Kerala, this fried chicken recipe is cooked in the same style as the Tamilnadu Chicken 65 but the only difference is they use coconut oil as most of the dishes are made with that oil in the state. And coconut oil gives a unique aroma and flavor to their recipes. This chicken 65 is also called Chilli chicken or Chicken chilli by the local people and by street food vendors in the region.
In Andhra Pradesh, the chicken is cooked rather than frying it. They also add extra hot and spicy masalas to the chicken as the state is famous for the same. On the other hand in Karnataka, chilli chicken is deep-fried similar to traditional chicken 65 but it is garnished with shredded coconuts which adds crunchiness to the dish.
Variations in Chilli Chicken
Chilli chicken or chicken chili is a common starter or quick snack dish that has a lot of variations. Usually, marinated chicken pieces are deep-fried and served with lemon wedges and onion slices. But to enhance the taste some restaurants and even street food vendors season the fried chicken with onion, green chilli, chilli sauce, soy sauce, and other fresh Indian herbs.
Spicy Garlic Chilli Chicken is one of the other varieties that I have tried and I feel you would definitely love it. If you are interested in the vegetarian version of the recipe, you could replace the chicken with cauliflower for Cauliflower 65, potato 65/chili, and soya chunks 65 for some more varieties. Regardless of which variation of the dish you would like to try, I believe you will definitely enjoy this lip-smacking recipe without any regrets and make a happy snack/dinner time with your family.
About this Chicken 65 recipe
The recipe I have shared here is a typical chicken 65 usually served in restaurants and street food stalls, especially in Tamilnadu. I have marinated bone-in bite-size chicken pieces in masalas as the first marination and allowed it to rest for 30 minutes. I have also added egg and baking powder to make the chicken pieces stay soft after it is fried.
After 30 minutes, I have added corn flour, rice flour, and all-purpose flour as the second marination. This step makes the chicken stay crispy and crunchy. I would recommend not to skip these steps to achieve the best soft and crispy restaurant-style chicken 65.
Once after the second marination, I deep-fried the chicken in oil by flipping it on and off until both the sides turned reddish-brown in color. Then the fried chicken is seasoned with onion, garlic, cumin seeds, green chilli, curry leaves, and a dash of chilli sauce as a final touch.
This soft and crispy restaurant-style chicken 65 can be served as a starter, side dish, or a snack. The finger-licking, hot and spicy chicken 65 tastes heavenly when served with onion and lemon wedges.
Though this recipe involves deep-frying the chicken in heavy oil, you can also reduce the oil and pan-fry it. And the chicken should still be soft and crispy. So feel free to adjust oil or spice levels according to your family's needs.
But if you are interested in an oil-free version, then you could grill the chicken pieces in the oven to make it healthier like Harissa Chicken Fry and I am sure you wouldn't see much difference in the taste.
You could find similar recipes below and more under Chicken Recipes.
Andhra Green Chilli Chicken
Chettinad Chicken Chukka
Coimbatore Chicken Chinthamani
Restaurant Style Chicken Manchurian
Looking for different chicken recipes to cook for your next meal or a party? Then you could also check this collection of Indian Chicken Dry and Semi Gravy Recipes to enjoy with your family and loved ones.
Chilli Chicken 65 video instructions
I have also shared video instructions for Chilli chicken 65 below and I believe it will guide you through the process. You could also find the Restaurant Style Chicken 65 Recipe in story format for a quick reference.
- 1 kg Chicken, bite-size pieces
- 3 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Pepper Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 2 tbsp Curd
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Salt, as needed
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Corn Flour
- 2 tbsp Rice Flour
- 1 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 4 Green Chili, slit
- 1 Spring Curry Leaves
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Chili Sauce
- Oil, for frying & sauteing
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and clean well
- Add turmeric, chili, coriander, pepper, garam masala powder, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, curd, baking powder, salt, and mix well until all the masala coat thoroughly on the chicken pieces
- Rest the marinated chicken pieces for at least 30 minutes
- Now add corn flour, all-purpose flour, and rice flour to the marinated chicken and mix well until all the flour gets nicely incorporated
To Prepare Chicken 65
- In a deep bottom pan, add oil and allow it to reach high heat. Now add the marinated chicken pieces one by one
- Reduce the heat to medium and deep fry the chicken pieces until it turns reddish brown on both sides. Make sure to flip the chicken pieces on and off
- Drain the chicken pieces from the oil, reserve them for later use or you could also serve the chicken as it is
- Now in a pan with medium heat, add cumin seeds, minced garlic, green chili, curry leaves and saute until it turns aromatic
- Add the sliced onions and saute until it turns soft
- Add the fried chicken pieces, chili sauce and mix everything well
- Now the chicken 65 is ready for you to taste and enjoy
- Serve the Soft and Crispy Chicken 65 with lemon wedges and onion slice as a starter or combine with any main course meal
- Marinating the chicken pieces for at least 30 minutes will allow the chicken to absorb all the masala well. I suggest you not to miss this step to achieve nice flavored Chicken 65
- Adding baking powder in the recipe helps us to achieve soft and juicy restaurant-style Chicken 65
- I haven't used any food colors here. Instead, I used Kashmiri red chili powder which gives a nice color and texture
- Cornflour, all-purpose flour, and rice flour are used as the secondary marination to keep all masala coated nicely while frying the chicken
- Adding flours make the chicken crispy and egg makes the chicken soft. As a result, you get soft and crispy chicken 65
- Always keep the heat high to warm up the oil and then reduce it to medium heat while frying chicken. This helps the chicken to cook evenly from inside out
- I have seasoned the fried chicken with cumin seeds, onion, green chili, chili sauce to achieve restaurant-style 65. But you could skip this step and enjoy the fried chicken as it is with lemon and onion slices
Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 563Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 189mgSodium 511mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 51g
Disclaimer: Nutrition information comes from third-party apps and calculators. The information is purely an estimate and provided for information purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Frequently asked questions
Chicken 65 is a famous starter or street food snack that was first prepared by Buhari Hotel in Chennai, Tamilnadu. The dish is prepared with chicken pieces marinated with various Indian masalas and deep-fried to reddish-brown in oil.
The fried chicken is served as it is with lemon and onion slices or seasoned with onion, green chili, curry leaves, and garlic.
There are different theories around the name. Some sources say that the Chicken 65 recipe was first prepared on new year's eve in the year 1965, and hence it got the name. Some others say the recipe was marinated with 65 spices so as the name. And there are many more stories you could find across the internet.
Yes, you can skip the eggs while marinating the chicken pieces.
Chicken 65 is referred to as chilli chicken by street food vendors in South India, especially in Tamilnadu and Kerala. But when it comes to Indo-Chinese chili chicken the recipe is entirely different from chicken 65, where the recipe uses soy sauce, capsicum, cornflour slurry, and vinegar.
Yes and No. Anything deep fried is not healthy so as the traditional Chicken 65. But if you go with oven grilled version of the recipe, it should be fine. So, suggest you to consume chicken 65 in moderate quantity.
I really hope you enjoyed the recipe and I would love to hear from you on how it turned out for you. Please let me know.
If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.