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Chai Time: Spicy Fried Chicken 65

Chai Time: Spicy Fried Chicken 65

Chai Time is an ongoing series on Spicewalla’s IGTV featuring chef and Spicewalla founder Meherwan Irani cooking Indian dishes LIVE in his home and answering all your cooking qs. Check out the video for Chicken 65 here to learn some tips and tricks that only an Indian mom or aunt could teach you! Follow us on instagram to tune in live and join the conversation.

Chef Meherwan Irani whips up a spicy batch of Chicken 65 - a popular street food snack in South India, originating in Chennai. Irani's recipe uses a batter spiced w/ kashmiri chili, turmeric, black pepper, hing, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, and lime for acidity + a few other ingredients. ⁣

Post-battering, the chicken gets fried until golden and crispy. Try it paired w/ some Maggi ketchup. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, send some our way too.

There’s lots of speculation as to how the number “65” became a fixture in this recipe’s identity. Reasons range from it being named after the year it was invented - 1965, to the original recipe using 65 spices, to it being the 65th item on a restaurant’s menu where the dish first gained its popularity. Whatever the reason, we’re just glad it exists.⁣


1lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into 1” strips
1 Tbs Spicewalla Black Pepper, table grind
1 Tbs granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Spicewalla Turmeric
1 Tbs Spicewalla Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Hing (optional)
4-6 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1/2 a lime, juiced
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1.5 Tbs cornstarch
1 tsp Spicewalla Black Peppercorns, whole
8-10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 Tbs Spicewalla Coriander Seeds, whole
1 red chili pepper, whole
1 green chili, deeseded and chopped
1” piece of fresh ginger, julienned, for tadka
Safflower oil for frying
Fresh bunch of cilantro


  1.  In a mixing bowl add chicken, pepper, sugar, Kashmiri, turmeric, fresh ginger & garlic, lime juice, soy sauce and hing if using. Mix everything together to cover chicken with spices. Once mixed, add in flour and cornstarch, mix well again.
  2.  In a deep pot, bring oil to about 350*F for frying. Pot should have enough oil to submerge chicken. Drop in battered chicken making sure not to overcrowd the pot, fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  3.  Remove chicken from the oil with a slotted spoon or spider and place on a plate with a paper towel.
  4.  Make tadka: in a small pot heat 1/2 cup of oil over medium-high heat, add in coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns, julienned ginger, red chili pepper, green chili and curry leaves. Let the flavors infuse the oil for about 3 minutes, until oil starts to color spices.
  5.  Plate fresh cilantro to make a nest, place fried chicken on top, and then spoon your tadka and crispy bits from the oil over the top of the chicken. Top with a little extra lime juice and enjoy!


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