There are many Indian snacks that start with the humble potato, and this recipe for Aloo 65 is one of my favorites. Cubed potatoes are doused in a spicy batter and fried until crisp, perfect for serving with a piquant chutney as a pre-meal snack or as a delightful side dish.
About Aloo 65
Clearly, the name of this potato snack recipe is unusual. What does the number in Aloo 65 even mean? Some say that the name originated at a restaurant in Hyderabad, India, where the spiced fried chicken was the 65th item on the menu. Others insist that the first recipe had 65 types of spices, while still others insist that the snack was invented in the year 1965.
No matter what theory you ascribe to, Chicken 65 – and all of its vegetarian variants like Gobi 65, Paneer 65, Mushroom 65 and Potato 65 – are simply delicious. While Gobi 65 is the most popular vegetarian version of this meal, other variations like broccoli 65, bread 65 or jackfruit 65 are all possible.
Also, please note that this is a recipe that you should enjoy hot from the pan. As with most fried dishes, the potatoes will start to lose their crispiness as they cool.
If you are serving these spicy potatoes to young ones, I suggest offering a yogurt based dip like Cucumber Raita to help cool the heat from the chiles. You can also serve aloo 65 with a dairy based drink like a sweet Mango Lassi to reduce the sting of capsaicin.
How To Make Aloo 65
1. First, parboil 4 to 5 medium-sized potatoes in a 2 litre pressure cooker. Cook the potatoes with water just about covering them, for 1 whistle on medium heat.
The potatoes should be about 20% to 30% cooked. They should not get mashed when you chop them. They should hold shape so that after coating them with the batter, they can be fried easily.
Let the pressure fall naturally in the cooker. Then only open the lid.
Note that you can opt to parboil the potatoes in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop in a pan. Remember they should be just about 20% to 30% cooked.
2. Now drain the parboiled potatoes. Let them cool.
3. When they become warm or cool, peel and dice them to 1 inch cubes. Keep aside.
4. Take all the ingredients for the aloo 65 except for the potatoes, coriander leaves and oil in a bowl.
In the below photo, I have added the following ingredients to the bowl:
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
- 3 tablespoons corn flour (can substitute rice flour, arrowroot flour, or tapioca flour)
- 7 to 8 chopped curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (try Kashmiri chili powder, cayenne, sweet or hot paprika)
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste or crushed ginger-garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or white vinegar)
- salt as required
5. Now add water as required to make a smooth, thick to medium-thick batter without lumps. Ensure that the batter isn’t too thin, so that the batter coats the potato cubes well.
6. Now add the diced potatoes to the batter and coat them well with the batter.
Make Aloo 65
7. Heat oil in a Kadai (wok) or pan over medium-high heat. When the oil becomes hot, shallow or deep fry each coated potato till golden brown and crisp. Turn them with a slotted spoon as needed for even frying.
TIP: Don’t overcrowd the kadai with the potato cubes. If you add too many at once, the oil temperature will drop too quickly and you’ll end up with soggy (not crisp) potatoes.
8. Once golden brown and fork tender, remove the fried potato cubes using a slotted spoon, taking as little oil as possible. Drain them on a paper towel lined plate to absorb any extra oil.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves or mint leaves and serve aloo 65 hot with the dipping sauce of your choice. Enjoy!
Also known as corn starch, corn flour acts as a crisping agent in this aloo 65 recipe. If you are allergic to corn, try swapping in rice flour, arrowroot or tapioca flour. You can also sub in besan (gram flour), though this substitution will give the potatoes a flavor reminiscent of Aloo Pakora.
Many restaurants opt to use food coloring to give their 65 dishes an extra pop. I personally avoid using any artificial coloring! For a more vibrant color, I suggest opting for Kashmiri chili powder, which has more pigment than other chili powders.
Absolutely! Feel free to halve, double or triple the recipe as needed.
Ooops, it sounds like you fully cooked the potatoes on the first try. When you boil the potatoes, you should only aim to parboil them to about 20% to 30% doneness. They should peel and cube easily, but shouldn’t crumble or mash when you handle them.
Opt for a neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point. Sunflower oil, vegetable oil, corn oil or peanut oil are all good options.
Unfortunately, these tasty fried potatoes will start to lose their crisp exterior as they cool. If you have any leftovers, I suggest reheating them in an air fryer or oven until hot. Leftovers will technically last in the fridge for up to a day, though I recommend eating aloo 65 while it is fresh and hot from the pan.
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Aloo 65 | Potato 65
For Cooking Potatoes
- 4 to 5 potatoes – medium-sized
- water as required, for pressure cooking
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour or you can use all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons corn starch – known as corn flour in India
- 7 to 8 curry leaves – chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin), optional
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Ginger-Garlic Paste or crushed ginger-garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt as required
- water as required to make thick or medium-thick batter
- oil as required for deep frying or shallow frying
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves or chopped mint leaves for garnish
- Parboil the potatoes in a 2 litre pressure cooker for about 1 whistle on medium heat. Add water enough to cover the potatoes in the cooker.
- The potatoes should be about 20% to 30% cooked. Let the pressure fall naturally in the cooker and then only open the cooker.
- Drain the water and set the potatoes aside to cool. When they become warm, peel and chop the parboiled potatoes in 1 inch cubes.
- In a bowl, make a thick to medium-thick batter with all the ingredients listed under the heading "For Batter" above. The batter should be without any lumps and should not be thin.
- Add the diced boiled potatoes to the batter and coat them evenly with the batter
- In a kadai or pan heat the oil. When the oil becomes hot then take each batter coated potato and shallow fry or deep fry till golden brown and crisp.
- Turn them as needed for even frying.
- Once done then remove with a slotted spoon draining as much oil as possible. Then drain them on kitchen paper towel so that the extra oil is abosbed.
- Serve aloo 65 hot garnished with coriander or mint leaves or both along with some green chutney or tomato sauce.
- I have not used red color as I avoid any artificial colors in the food I make at home. To get a deeper red color I suggest adding kashmiri red chili powder.
- Don’t make a thin batter as we want the potatoes to be coated well with the batter.
- Don’t cook the potatoes. They should just be parboiled. Just about 20% to 30% cooked so that they peel of easily and when dicing they don’t get mashed up or crumble.
- The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This aloo 65 post from the archives, first published in October 2012 has been republished and updated on 30 December 2021.