Chicken 65 might have an unusual name, but it’s actually the name of one of the most popular bar snacks in Southern India. Unlike other well-known Indian chicken dishes—like tandoori style and chicken lollipops—this crunchy, fiery, and completely addictive chicken is traditionally made from spicy, marinated chicken pieces that are deep fried, then quickly sautéed again in a spicy yogurt and curry leaf sauce. Since I find that sautéing the fried chicken in yogurt sauce can be more effort than it’s worth, I’ve made an easier version: I serve a yogurt sauce seasoned with chili, cumin, and garlic on the side—all the flavor with none of the struggle. If you feel up for the challenge (and learning more about my theory on this bizarre name), you can always try making a traditional version of Chicken 65.

I feel like I have to issue this recipe with a warning: No matter which way you make it, you will almost always end up eating more than you bargained for. Once you’ve had a few (or a dozen), there will be no doubt in your mind as to why they are one of Indian’s most popular bar foods. So what are you waiting for? Get frying:

Chicken 65 (Indian Fried Chicken)

Serves 4

For the chicken and the marinade:

1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika*
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as desired
2 cloves garlic, crushed
One 1-inch piece ginger, grated
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

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