Chicken 65

chicken65 featured image

Chicken 65 is a very popular non-veg starter in India which originated in the South Indian city of Chennai. It is generally a dry preparation made with boneless chicken.

In the restaurants, it is served very hot and spicy, with lemon wedges to reduce and green chillies to enhance the spiciness 🙂  .

There are a lot of stories afloat regarding the origin of the name of the preparation. But for me, the one that it was introduced in 1965 at the Buhari Hotel, Chennai by its founder A.M.Buhari seems credible.

The fact that it’s deep-fried and lots of red color is used for adding appeal always holds me back from ordering this at the restaurant. Though once in a way we yield in to kids’ demand.

So this recipe is my take on the deep-fried version and the red hue. I have used my air fryer for this. It tasted as good as deep-fried and was finished off by kids in a jiffy.

But after marination, you can opt to deep fry or shallow fry if you do not have an air fryer.

So here goes…

Chicken 65
Chicken 65 is a very popular non-vegetarian starter from South India. I have tried air-frying the chicken rather than deep frying them
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Marination time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: starter
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2
Author: Hema Magesh

For marination

  • 250 g chicken fillets
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2-2 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder/Regular red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • a pinch Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Rice powder
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 3-6 Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Chopped coriander leaves

For tempering

  • tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • Few curry leaves
  • Whole green chillies (as needed)
  • a pinch Turmeric powder
  • salt as needed
  • Clean the chicken thoroughly, and marinate with all the ingredients listed under marination for at least half an hour.
    Chicken 65 prep steps 1&2
  • Brush the wired base of the air fryer basket with oil. Spread the chicken pieces in the basket and set the temperature to 180°C.
  • Let the chicken cook for 6 minutes. After 3 minutes, shake the air fryer basket or move the chicken pieces, using a blunt knife or spoon. This releases the chicken pieces from the base.
    Chicken 65 prep steps 3&4
  • If you do not have an air fryer, go ahead and deep fry or shallow fry the chicken pieces. Alternately, you can even roast them with a little oil in a skillet.
  • After 6 minutes, transfer the chicken from the air fryer to a plate.
    Chicken 65 preparation steps 5&6
  • Next, take a skillet and add oil to it. Once it gets heated up add the tempering items one by one. Fry for a second and add the cooked chicken fillets to it. Saute so that the chicken pieces are fully coated with the tempering.
  • Sprinkle a handful of water if it seems to dry out before coating the chicken pieces.
    Chicken 65 prep steps 7&8
  • Transfer to a serving dish and serve with lemon wedges and onion rings.

Hema’s P.S

  • The addition of spices is purely based on preference. You can increase or decrease the chilly powder as per need.
  • Do a taste test of the fillets, once they are fried.  The spices in the tempering can be adjusted depending on this.
  • I prefer to add apple cider vinegar for tempering. Coz somehow I always feel that lemon juice turns bitter most of the time while tempering. You can go ahead and add lemon juice if you do not have any such issues.
  • Do not omit the tempering, as it gives that final red color and a very nice flavor to the preparation. If you don’t want too much heat in your chicken you can opt to decrease the chilly powder in marination, and increase it while tempering, as per need.
  • Also, if you are using regular red chilly powder decrease to ½ or ¾ tsp in the marination. Else, it will become very spicy.


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7 Responses

  1. Magesh says:

    Healthy version and tasty too. Lemon, onion and chicken is a good combination.

  2. Vanitha says:

    Yummy looking..must try..need some details about air fryer..want to purchase..if you share ur airfryer details would help my purchase..

  3. Raji says:

    Looks Yummy Hema! Will make it for my kids

    You need to post some vegetarian options too

    • hema says:

      Definitely do raji, they will love it. Vegetarian starters with cauliflower and paneer are coming up soon.Thnx for your time.

  4. Madras Mom In Qatar says:

    Very healthy and nice recipe., Very easy to understand With step by step pics..

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