Masterchef contestant Depinder Chhibber has proven a hit across Australia. Her quirky variations of dishes have people talking, with many inspired by her contemporary and exciting creations. Depinder, a Delhi-born chef, has successfully fused recipes to give her the competitive edge. The latest example of this twist is her Chicken 65 recipe, a traditionally popular dish across Southern India. When she added instant noodles to the dish, it raised eyebrows. However, it wowed the judges.
Depinder’s recipes, which include Indian classics such as Punjabi Chole and Tandoori Chicken, keep viewers of the show guessing. Aside from Indian dishes, she has also expanded her horizons and excited the judges with contemporary international dishes such as Thai Green Curry Cake, Bento, and more.
Her latest creation is a twist on the famous Chicken 65. This dish is typically a deep-fried spicy chicken dish that originated from the Hotel Buhari in Chennai, where it began as an entrée. While the set of ingredients for the recipe varies, the dish’s flavour can be attributed to the red chillies that are prepared with chicken. It is usually served with onion and lemon garnish. Depinder’s fusion created a spicy taste and crunchy texture that left the judges impressed. They labelled it a showstopper. So how did she do it?
Using flour to coat the marinated chicken with the crushed instant noodles gave it a unique crispy texture. She told the judges that it was a “deep-fried, boneless chicken tossed in a tomato-tamarind, really heavy-duty sour, sweet sauce” and explained how she used a mixture of noodles to coat the chicken pieces. TV presenter and Scottish celebrity chef Jock Zonfrillo exclaimed, “that is right up there with the best-fried chicken that I could ever imagine eating”. He is probably right.
Do you want to make the dish yourself? Here is a recipe you can try:
Traditionally, Chicken 65 would require,
- 300g of chicken diced
- 1 Tbsp chilli powder & 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
- Lemon juice (2)
- 1 Tbsp rice powder
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 beaten egg
For the garam masala:
- 1 caper
- 3 x star anise
- 2 x mace-flower
- 1/2 nutmeg, the size of a peanut
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon sticks (2 inches)
- Mix the ingredients; chilli powder, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice and the beaten egg with the rice flour and cornflour. This will give you your marinade.
- Smear the marinade on the chicken pieces and leave it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Fry the chicken.
- Serve with raw onion and lemon wedges.
In Depinder’s recipe, she added the noodles and flour to the batch; so, you could try to copy her success. She blitzed the instant noodles, crushing them to use as a coat for the chicken; however, you should feel free to use whatever method you like. After all, cooking is all about experimentation.