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Chicken 65

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Everything you need to know about how to make Chicken 65!

I learned a lot of fantastic chicken 65 recipes while travelling the UK, researching for my second cookbook The Curry Guy Easy’.

It was one of the most popular recipes in that book so I featured it in The Curry Guy Bible too!

As you will see, there are a lot of ingredients in this famous dish. For this reason, I almost didn’t include it in the EASY book.

So don’t let all those ingredients scare you off! This recipe is super easy and delicious

chicken 65 curry

So good and very easy to make too.


Forward preparation

Be sure to get your ingredients lined up and you can make delicious chicken 65 in no time. Getting your ingredients ready will make things a lot easier.

For best results, you should marinate the chicken overnight but I often only marinate it for an hour or so.

Once you have your chicken marinating, all you need to do is deep fry the chicken before the final cooking. This can actually be done a day or so ahead of serving as the chicken reheats in the pan. 

About this chicken 65 recipe…

There are so many different recipes for chicken 65  but they are all quite similar. I like to serve it as a starter but it also makes a great snack. The spicy and crispy chicken pieces are to die for.

An optional extra is to stir in red chilli sauce to finish it all off. You could use the hot sauce of your choice and yes… shop bought is fine. I use Frank’s 

I have also tried chicken 65 many times in India and found the dish there to be very similar to those we get in the west. Perhaps that is why it has become so popular worldwide.

Once you’ve made the recipe, you will want to make in again and again.

Ever wondered why the dish is called ‘chicken 65’?

I’ve heard so many stories about how chicken 65 got its name. One was that the original chicken 65 had sixty-fine ingredients in it.

Although I have tried, I have yet to find a recipe that calls for that many ingredients but it is a possibility.

A more believable explanation was that chicken 65 was always the 65th option on the menu at popular restaurants in India. There were a lot of different dishes on the menus.

Diners would simply look for the 65th item on the menu and know it would be amazing.

Although this recipe does include red food colouring for the meat, it is not necessary for you to do so.

The colouring adds a nice colour that many people expect in a chicken 65 but that colouring has no flavour at all.

These step by step chicken 65 recipe photos should help you get the recipe just right.

Ingredients for chicken 65 marinade

Place the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk into a smooth paste.

Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade and marinate for 1 to 24 hours. The longer the better.

Frying chicken

Fry the chicken as described in the recipe below until crispy. You can use a large wok to do this if you don’t have a deep fat fryer.

Fried chicken pieces

fried chicken ready. You can do this one or two days ahead of time.

mustard seeds in oil

Heat the oil in a pan and over high heat and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, reduce the heat to medium.

Adding curry leaves and cumin seeds to pan.

Stir in the cumin seeds and curry leaves.

adding ginger to pan

Now add the julienned ginger and chopped garlic to the pan.

adding chicken to the pan.

Add the fried chicken and stir fry to heat through.

Adding spring onions to pan.

Stir in the spring onions.

Adding hot sauce to pan.

If using hot sauce, add it now along with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt to taste.

Chicken 53 curry

Your chicken 65 is ready!

Here are more curry house curry favourites you might like to try!


    Yield: 6

    Chicken 65

    Chicken 65 curry


    • 1kg (2lb 3oz) chicken breasts
    • Rapeseed (canola) oil, for deep-frying 1 tsp black mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 20 curry leaves
    • 3 green chillies, sliced
    • 12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 10cm (4in) piece of ginger, peeled and julienned
    • 3 spring onions (scallions), roughly chopped
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2–3 tbsp chilli sauce (optional)
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
    • 3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
    • 3 tbsp rice flour
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1 tbsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 2 tsp chilli powder
    • 11⁄2 tbsp tandoori masala
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper


    1. Slice the chicken breasts into small bite-size pieces (tikka). Mix all the batter ingredients into a paste, then rub it evenly into the chicken pieces. If time permits, let this marinate for about 30 minutes or overnight, but this isn’t crucial.
    2. When ready to deep-fry, heat about 10cm (4in) of oil in a large wok. The oil is ready when a small piece of chicken sizzles immediately upon putting it in the oil. If using an oil thermometer, aim for 190°C (375°F).
    3. Fry the chicken in batches until the exterior is nice and crispy and the meat is almost cooked through. This should take 2–3 minutes per batch. Place the finished chicken pieces on a wire rack to rest while you fry the remaining batches. The frying can be done ahead of time. Store the fried chicken covered in the fridge until ready to use.
    4. Once cooled a bit, remove all but about 3 tablespoons of the oil from the wok. Place over a high heat and toss in the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop (after about 30 seconds), reduce the heat to medium–high, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and green chillies and fry for a further 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant and soft – about 1 minute should do the job.
    5. Tip in the chicken and spring onions (scallions) and stir well to coat. Fry over a high heat until the chicken is completely cooked through. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and add the chilli sauce (if using). Give it all one last good stir, check for seasoning, adding a little more salt if needed, and serve.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 547mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 4g

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    If you like this authentic chicken 65 recipe, you’ve simply got to try my super spicy chicken wings!

david c

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

is the chili sauce siracha?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

You can use whatever chili sauce you have on hand or you prefer. Thanks Dan

Kim r

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Beautiful a little spice but mm tases great

Dan Toombs

Monday 11th of January 2021

Thanks, reduce the chillies if you want less spice. Thanks Dan

Jennifer Salvo

Sunday 27th of May 2018

Hey Dan, Thanks for great share. Your chicken 65 recipes Look very spicy. Instructions are so clear. I'll try this soon and hope he'll like it.

Dan Toombs

Monday 14th of January 2019

Great to hear Jennifer. Hope you enjoy the recipe.



Tuesday 16th of January 2018

do you recommend frying.. will the oven be as good ??

Dan Toombs

Monday 22nd of January 2018

Hi Susan

I do recommend frying but a healthier version could be done in the oven. As with most healthier version, they aren't quite as good as the original. :-)



Thursday 11th of January 2018

Hi Dan, Great book by the way

At a push could any other flour be used if I have no rice flour?

Dan Toombs

Monday 22nd of January 2018

Hi Steve

Yes. Use corn starch (corn flour). It works really well.

Thanks, Dan

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