Sunday, November 4, 2007

The name's 65 ... Chicken 65 !!!

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This has to be by far the most mysterious dish in the world ...thanks to the number 65 (Wonder if it'll inspire a thriller in the future). Click on the search pages and you'll find a dozen explanations of its origins exploding in your face (OK, I'm lying ...there are little under a dozen). Also, accompanied would be the various ways to prepare it, from the ones using corriander (Cilantro) in preparing it to adding sambhar powder, and guess what,... each claims it is THE original. People staying in Hyderabad needn't worry or break their heads...they can hop into the nearest restaurant and order a plate or get a masala mix of the magic potion and prepare it at home ( you only need to add in the chicken and in some cases salt).I was determined to get to the bottom of this mystery dish in terms of how it actually should be made. I tried asking a lot of true blue hyderabadis and they gave me different versions as well. I just took one version and tried it out. Taste wise it was fine...guess I couldn't match it appearance wise :-).I'm publishing a recipe I got from a friend who apparently learnt it from a cook preparing it at a local banquet.
Coming to it's origins, here are a few stories that exist around it's name:
1. It was created in a restaurant in the year 1965.
2. The chicken used for making Chicken 65 should be just 65 days old. (A lot of people have vouched for it).
3. 65 different spices go into the making of this recipe. (Sorry, my recipe doesn't)
4. It is the 65th item on the menu at Buharis hotel on Mount Road Chennai.
5. During a war in 1965, the Indian Soldiers needed something quick and easy to make. This one clicked, hence the name, with 65 denoting the year.
6. Someone used 65 dried red chillies to make it.
7. It took 65 tries to perfect this recipe.
I could go on with all kind of over the head stories to its name, but I guess, I will stop here. If anyone has a better explanation to it's name, please let me know.
Here is the version I got:
Ingredients:
1/2 KG Chicken pieces (Bone less) - Cut into 1.5" pieces
Cornflour - 100 Gm
Refined Flour (Maida) -100 Gm
Vinegar - 30ml
Garam masala - 1.5 Tsp
Curry Leaves - 10
Green chilli slit vertically - 10 nos.
Green Chillies - Finely Minced - 2 nos.
Ginger garlic paste-2 Tsp
Red Chilli powder - 2 Tsp
Black Mustard Seeds (Rai) - 2 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Soy Sauce - 2 Tblsp
Oil - For frying

Method:
1. Make a mixture of Corn Flour, Refined Flour, Soy Sauce, Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Ginger garlic paste, cumin powder, garam masala and vinegar. The paste should not be too wet and neither too dry. It should be of coating consistency.
2. Mix the chicken pieces in this mixture and coat them well.
3. Cover the chicken mixture in its marinade and leave in refrigerator for an hour.
4. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator atleast 15-20 minutes before frying.
5. Heat the oil for frying. Add mustard seeds. As they crackle add in the slit green chillies and curry leaves ( you might notice from the photo, I also add in a dry red chilli...you can experiment too).
6. Add in the chicken pieces and fry till done. The chicken should be cooked through, reddish brown and crispy.
7. Serve hot garnished with lemon wedges.

Note:
1. You can also add in 1 Tsp Sambhar Powder in the marinade. A lot of people do that.
2. Some people also add in yoghurt to the marinade.
3. Vegans can substitute Paneer (Cottage Cheese) for Chicken.
4. Almost everyone adds red colour ...I personally do not use color in my foods and have refrained from doing it.

3 comments:

Nags said...

hehe. i love the title! and ur recipe is soooo yummy!!!

Srivalli said...

Gaurav..whatever the story behind 65, the dish is great to look at...I would love to make this...but never came around preparing it...might get myself to prepare this...thanks for the recipe...I also have some 10 different recipes going by 65!..:)..

Gaurav said...

Nags, Srivalli,

Thanx a ton! It took me quite some time to try it out....I don't know why I waited so long :-)
Talking 'bout the 65's, my aunt makes a cauliflower 65 too. Trying to get the recipe frm her...will post as an addendum to it.

 
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