The ‘65’ dish has always eluded me. Hyderabadis are crazy about it. I have many a friend from the Charminar city who has waxed on and on about Chicken 65. But whenever I have seen it served, it has always been suspiciously red, either with color or chili. Since I do not care for them, I have stayed away.
There are of course vegetarian spins with the Paneer 65 and Veg 65. They are sometimes in the appetizer section and sometimes in the Chinese section of the menu. I really wanted to try my hand at this dish. The first reservation I had was that there was frying involved. And there were tons of different recipes. Some used an abundance of soy and vinegar, some used ketchup (!), some used rice flour while some used a combination of two or three flours.
It seemed to me that the Paneer 65 was named thus because of the number of steps and ingredients.
Why not make it simpler, I thought. Do away with any food color, focus on flavor and keep it simple.
And thus my recipe for Paneer 65 was born. The key ingredient here is curry leaf. There is no going around it. The humble curry leaf provides the main flavor, and if you have a bunch of fresh curry leaves, you are all set.
If you live in a place where you don’t have access to fresh curry leaves, a frozen or powdered version might work. Might!
I have used some soy sauce to add more depth of flavor, but that is about it. My dish does not look red, but it tastes really good.
Of course I had to add in some veggies to balance out the Paneer. And the mushrooms in my fridge won the fight over others.
I am using simple AP flour or maida to keep this simple. But I think I will try using rice flour the next time.
This is a dry dish. Serve it with drinks or as a side as part of a meal.
Hope you try this and enjoy!
Paneer 65 Recipe
Paneer 65 is a popular fusion recipe hailing from Hyderabad.
- 250g Paneer
- 1 pack mushrooms
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1-2 Tbsp Madras curry powder
- 1 tsp garlic chopped
- 1 tsp ginger chopped
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 4 Tbsp flour
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup onion sliced
- 1 cup green pepper sliced
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 Tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- 6-8 Tbsp oil
- Chop paneer in medium chunks.
- Slice mushrooms in quarters or halves.
- Blend all the marinade ingredients to form a paste.
- Add the paneer and mushrooms to the marinade, toss lightly to coat and refrigerate for an hour or more.
- Heat oil in a wok or pan.
- Lift out paneer and mushroom pieces gently with tongs and fry them until lightly crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
- Make sure remaining oil is hot. Add the curry leaves and let them splutter.
- Add the sliced onions and fry for some time.
- Add the peppers and the soy sauce.
- Now add the remaining marinade and bring to a simmer as a sauce.
- Add the fried paneer/ mushroom to the sauce and coat lightly. The sauce should be pretty thick at this point.
- Switch off heat and serve immediately.
*Add some cayenne pepper if you want it really hot
Let me know how you liked this simple paneer 65 recipe.