Cities bring people together. In the modern metropolis, people from all over the world gather for work, education, worship, and recreation. While cities connect people on a global scale, food connects people on a local scale.
On a recent trip to Manilla, I had the pleasure of meeting an Indian youtube personality, Wilbur Sagunaraj. His youtube channel is dedicated to celebrating the simple things in life.
The name Chicken 65 is a bit of a mystery and theories abound regarding its origin. Some think the dish was invented in 1965, but it is likely much older. Another theory says that it has 65 ingredients, but it is a much simpler dish than that. My favorite theory for the win is that it was item number 65 on a menu. In Wilbur's Simple Superstar, Chicken 65 comes into play as a comfort food for a weary and culture shocked traveler. If someone writes a song about a food, then we must try it.
Fortunately, we live in Houston where there are many great options for finding such a dish. We happen to have restaurants which have both variants of the dish. Pictured above is the fried version from Annam (1029 Hwy 6 N--Just north of I-10). They call this version "meat lollipops." It has a nice crispy texture for all of you mouth feel junkies.
I found several recipes and gave it a go. The most interesting ingredient that it called for was curry leaves (not at all related to curry powder). My version is closer to the masala version that you can find at Biriani Pot (on Westheimer). I have to agree with Wilbur that Chicken 65 is definitely comfort food.