eliot & drew bike through india for 3 months, trying to inconspicuously do some good in the world.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Food of India, part V: The Mystery of Chicken 65

you may or may not know this, but both eliot and i are vegetarians and have been for quite a while.  but today i want to focus on a mysterious meat-centered dish known the world over as CHICKEN 65.  here's what we know about chicken 65:

  1. i was introduced to it via the little indian buffet down the highway from where i work.  all meat-eaters rave about.  i snuck a bite. it's pretty great. 
  2. visiting pakistani and indian workers to a large hosting company here in town not only were shocked to find it, they  were elated, claiming it's one of their favorite dishes back home. 
  3. no one knows where the name comes from. 

it sort of resembles spicy chicken wings in that it's bright orange (at least where i've seen it) and fried, often deep friend. it's bright, it's spicy and it's delicious. but what in the blazes does the 65 refer to? to the Google!

i have to say, i'm disappointed in the internet. the wiki article writes that no one knows where the name comes from.  it offers some explanations.  searching around a bit, it seems that the year it was created in a hotel called Buhari in Channais / Madras is a popular story and at least has some claim considering the other "annual" dishes they serve.  like everything else in india, there seem to be about 1000 angles and answers for this question. frankly, india seems a country content with ambiguity and happy with what they have. it seems like every time i try to track down some bit of indian minutiae, i end up with a whole bunch more questions.

i leave it to you, dear readers. what DOES the 65 in chicken 65 refer to? 

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