Last year when we were visiting my family, we all went to the Najaf Restaurant in Dubai, where (like we usually do) we ordered their famous Chicken 65. That dish and the restaurant is so nostalgic for me, because we used to go there a lot when I was younger. Later on my dad started making his own version of their recipe, which was pretty close to the original.
I used to make this chicken dish a lot when my husband and I first got married, but somewhere down the line I forgot all about it. A few months ago, my sister was talking about it and shared a Chicken 65 recipe that her friend made which was very similar to my dad’s. I’ve made it a few times since then, every time I think about writing a post on it, and today I finally got around to doing it.
This recipe is not like your typical North Indian Chicken 65 that’s deep-fried and without gravy so try to keep an open mind. The sugar doesn’t make it sweet, just cuts down the acidity a bit. I like to eat this chicken with the typical malayali parathas that are served at the restaurant, but it goes well with white rice and roti too.
If you’re in Dubai, go eat at Najaf and let me know what you think of that dish. If not, give this recipe a whirl and pretend you’re there 🙂
- Cut two boneless chicken breasts or 1/2 a chicken into small pieces.
- Marinate the chicken with 1.5 tsp chilli powder, 3/4 tsp salt and 2 tbsp all-purpose flour. Set aside.
- Chop an onion into large square chunks and separate each layer, you’ll need about 1.5 cups of this.
- Chop one green bell pepper into squares – similar to the size of the onions.
- Chop 2 stalks of green onions and 1/3 cup cilantro. Set aside all the vegetables.
- Mix 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce, 1/4 cup yogurt and 1/2 tsp brown sugar to make the sauce.
- Heat a large saute pan, add 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp butter, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp minced ginger, and 10 curry leaves. Stir.
- Add in the marinated chicken in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes, just until the color changes. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.
- In the same saute pan, add 2 tbsp oil, and pour in the sauce. Bring to a boil, add the chicken, and 1/4 cup of water and cook on high for 5 minutes. Lower the flame, cover and cook for 15 minutes until cooked.
- Open the lid, add in the vegetables, turn the flame back on high and stir. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Turn off flame. Add cilantro or curry leaves to garnish.
- Serve hot with white rice, roti or parathas.