Indian Fried Chicken
Recipe courtesy of Nidhi Jalan for Food Network Kitchen

Indian Fried Chicken

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
This fried chicken is very similar to Chicken 65, a yogurt-marinated, chili-spiced chicken dish that hails from Southern India. There are many theories about the origins of Chicken 65, but most sources agree it originated in the city of Chennai, and perhaps in the year 1965. What’s certain, however, is that today it’s gone viral all over India and has plenty of fans worldwide. This recipe combines the universal favorite of crispy fried chicken with a version of the classic Chicken 65 masala (spice mix). The result is delicious chicken with plenty of oomph: Moist and juicy on the inside, with a burst of spice and crunch on the outside. You can serve it as an appetizer, as Chicken 65 is often eaten in India, or as a main course. Here we suggest a side of cool cilantro-yogurt chutney to use as a dipping sauce, but you can also present it simply with a topping of sliced onions tossed with lime, red chili powder and salt.


Cilantro-Yogurt Chutney:


  1. Whisk together the chili powder, paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, black pepper and 2 tablespoons salt in a large bowl. Stir in the yogurt, garlic and ginger and mix well. Add the chicken and coat each piece thoroughly with the yogurt mixture. Cover and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, heat a large, heavy pot filled with 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the semolina and rice flour in a large bowl. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dredge each piece in the flour mixture until completely coated.
  4. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, fry the chicken in the oil until golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the temperature of the oil between 325 and 350 degrees F. Transfer the chicken to the rack with tongs to drain.
  5. Place the chicken on a platter, sprinkle with salt if desired, and garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Serve hot with Cilantro-Yogurt Chutney.

Cilantro-Yogurt Chutney:

  1. Combine the cilantro, yogurt, chiles, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender and process until smooth. It should be the consistency of a creamy salad dressing. If it’s too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Taste and add more lime juice and/or salt, if needed. Makes 1 cup.