Curry for Change

Changing the lives of families
who suffer from hunger.

Chicken 65


There are many theories about how this dish gets its great name, one of which suggests it was invented in 1965, another that it originally contained 65 types of chilli. Either way, it’s a deliciously fiery Indian snack that’s great with a cold beer.

Note: you will need to begin this recipe several hours before you want to eat, or ideally the day before, as the chicken needs time to marinate.



1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

500g skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 tablespoons natural yogurt

3 teaspoons rice flour

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

3cm piece fresh root ginger, grated

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon chilli flakes, or to taste

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

a handful of curry leaves

2 red chillies, thinly sliced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ red onion, thinly sliced, to serve

chopped coriander, to serve

lemon wedges (optional), to serve


  1. Set a small pan over a medium heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds. Toast for a minute or two until you can smell their aroma wafting up from the pan, then tip into a spice mill or pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Transfer into a large bowl.
  2. Add the chicken to the bowl, along with the yogurt, rice flour, vinegar, ginger, garlic, paprika, chilli flakes, turmeric and a little black pepper, stirring well to mix. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight if you have time.
  3. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180°C/350°F. Add about 6–8 chicken pieces and fry for 4 minutes until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and repeat until you have cooked all the chicken.
  4. Add the oil to a wok or large frying pan and set over a high heat. When it’s hot, tip in the cooked chicken, the curry leaves and red chilli, season with salt and pepper and stir fry for 2–3 minutes until the curry leaves have wilted and everything is hot and crisp.
  5. Tip into a serving dish, scatter with the red onion and coriander and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

© Genevieve Taylor, 2017, ‘Masterchef Street Food of the World’, Absolute Press (UK), an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Photo by David Loftus.

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