Chennai style chicken fry masala

Chicken fry masala is a very popular and appetizing dish in south India. It is a fried chicken, which is marinated with curd and spices and deep fried in the oil. In each house it is done differently.

This chicken fry is juicy, succulent and spicy, as it is marinated, deep fried and then again cooked in a spicy curd mixture, which gives chicken double coating and makes it more delicious and appetizing. I call this chicken as chicken65, as my previous recipe is dry with fried onions. There are varieties of chicken fry (chicken 65) and each has different taste and method. As I said earlier, if aim in the kitchen I love to play with spices to see what taste it brings as per my taste.

For the marinate you can always change the ingredients you like, I add corn flour and white egg with the spices for the coating, sometimes plain flour or I avoid white egg and just add the flour or no need to add any flour or egg, just like that fry it in oil.

In the marinate I have added white egg, if you want can avoid it and just like that fry in the oil.

In our family, whenever Biryani is prepared, Chicken fry masala is served as a side dish with other dishes. You can have it with pulav or plain rice, rasam also.


  • Chicken – 350 gms
  • Marinade

  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Curd – 1/3 cup
  • Egg white (optional) – 1
  • Salt as per taste
  • Tempering

  • Oil (remaining chicken fried oil) – 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 2
  • Curry leaves – 12
  • Green chillies (sliced or chopped) – 2
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Sambar powder (Aachi brand) – 2 tbsp
  • Green chilli (chopped or sliced) – 2
  • Curd – 1/3 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Salt as per taste
  • Lemon juice (optional) – 1 tbsp
  • Colour (saffron or red food colour) – a pinch


    Marination and frying

  • Cut the chicken pieces into small chunks (boneless).
  • Add the entire ingredients one by one in a bowl, mix altogether well, close it with cling film and refrigerate for 3hrs to overnight.
  • Remove from the fridge 1/2 hr before cooking.
  • Preheat the vessel with enough oil to deep fry, when hot, add marinated chicken pieces one by one and let it cook for few minutes, till it gets fried colour.
  • Do not turn the chicken pieces as soon as you drop it in the oil.
  • Turn the chicken pieces only when the marinate is cooked well and attached well to the chicken pieces, if raw then marinate will get separate from the chicken.
  • Do not turn the chicken pieces as soon as you drop it in the oil.
  • As in the marinate white egg is added, while frying froth like formation can come on top of the oil , it is because of white egg coating, do not worry , let it cook like that.
  • Fry the chicken pieces in batches, as soon as it is cooked, keep it aside.
  • You can serve this fried chicken as a starter or with the plain rice and rasam as a side dish.
  • Cooking the chicken in curd and tempering

  • Preheat another vessel or kadai, add 3tbsp of remaining fried chicken oil, as it has the flavour (I will call it as infused oil with spices).
  • Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dry chillies and curry leaves; let it splutter for few seconds.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste sauté for 30sec, add sambar powder, colour mix well.
  • Immediately add water and curd, mix well, so that there are no lumps of curd.
  • Cook till the curd mixture thickens and the spices are cooked on medium heat or low heat, in between stir it.
  • When the curd mixture reduces and is enough to coat the chicken pieces, add chicken pieces in it and mix well.
  • Let it cook for few minutes 2 to 3min, till chicken absorbs all curd mixture but still moisture is there.
  • In the end add coriander leaves, onion pieces, mix well, and cook it till the onion pieces are just cooked, on medium flame till each piece is well coated with spicy curd masala for 2 to 3min(in between lower the flame, to avoid burning the spices or sticking below the pan).
  • At last garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice (optional), switch it off.
  • I always serve my spicy chicken 65 with plain rice, any dal or rasam, or chicken curry.


  • With the white egg, can add corn flour or plain flour for the binding which is optional, can avoid egg in the marinate mixture.
  • Can eat the fried chicken just like that, serve as a starter, it is delicious.
  • Remove the chicken pieces as soon as it is cooked, it will be juicy and soft from inside and crispy from outside.
  • Can add capsicum for the extra taste and colour.
  • If sambar powder is unavailable then add 1tsp chilli powder and 2tsp coriander powder, hing a pinch (asafoetida) to the curd mixture.

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