One of the most famous entrée dishes in India has an air of ambiguity surrounding it. They say 4 out of 10 dishes ordered in the south is, wait for it, Chicken 65! Known for its fiery flavors, chicken 65 makes your heart go wild. Let’s not forget the crunch, the masala and the deep fried crisp that sets your taste buds ablaze.
It’s high time we demystify the reasons leading to such a name. So join me as I put on my thinking cap and tap into my inner Sherlock Holmes. Listed below are some amusing explanations. Mind you, some of them are quite absurd.
1. As the legend goes, the country bars have a well-known challenge which states “who could eat the maximum number of chilies?” Here, the number of chilies is directly proportional to a person’s masculinity. An enterprising hotelier, Mr. A.M Buhari capitalized on this and created Chicken 65. It is a dish made up of 65 chilies for every kg of chicken meat.
2. The dish is created with the help of 65 key ingredients! – Personally, this assumption seems a bit too far-fetched. If you simply google the recipe, you would know that it is one of the easiest recipes to cook.
3. The military messes in South had their menus printed in Tamil. Most of the North Indian soldiers who could not read the language would order the food item according to the serial number mentioned on the side. Our chicken dish was 65th on the list, and hence it’s name.
4. Some say that the chicken is cut into 65 pieces which give it the name.
5. The chicken needs to be marinated for 65 minutes before it is cooked.
6. Here is the most legit reason that also sounds believable. Chicken 65 is the genius invention of A.M Buhari, a pioneer in South Indian food industry. The dish was invented and served to the patrons of Buhari Restaurant in the year 1965. Chicken back in those days was never fried, it was small and hard. However, Chicken 65 is marinated and deep fried in turmeric and chilli masala. The upgraded versions of this are chicken 78, chicken 82 and chicken 90. Pssst. Chicken 90 is boneless!
So now that the mystery is solved, it is time to roll up those sleeves and bite into the only dish that has a number for its name.