Monthly Feature, By Jarred Kibbey
Each month, Jarred highlights one of his favorite dishes from around Little Rock.
I have said it many times and I will say it again, Indian food is my comfort food. There is something about the curries, samosas, and naan that make me just want to eat a big meal and then take a nap. This was particularly damaging to my afternoon work productivity when I worked within walking distance to an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. I can safely say that I have tried almost every Indian dish in town, but there is one dish that stands out above all others.
Chicken 65 at Flavor of India.
I have a love/hate relationship with this dish. I love it because it’s incredibly flavorful with an abundance heat, but it still maintains delicate flavors. I hate it (or rather, myself) because I am convinced that it is the ultimate midnight snack. The instructions for eating this dish are very specific:
1) Order any dish not named Chicken 65 and enjoy. I suggest the Lamb Kadai (spice level medium) with garlic naan.
2) Place a to-go order of Chicken 65.
3) Upon arriving home, place Chicken 65 in fridge.
4) Wait until you are almost ready for bed (but preferably before you brush your teeth) and remove from fridge.
5) Eat the dish cold, directly from the container, while standing in front of open fridge.
6) Hate yourself.
This dish has everything I love in a midnight snack. It somehow gets better when it is cold. It is spicy with a hint of sweetness. It is fried. All of these things make it for a great dish to enjoy right before bed and then wish you hadn’t the next day.
Most Indian restaurants in Little Rock serve Chicken 65, but Flavor of India’s is unlike any other in town. Some establishments drown it in sauce and the breading cannot hold up and turns in to soggy bits of chicken in sauce. Others put way too much breading and it is like eating a spicy chicken nugget. Lastly, no other version in town has the balance of so many spices that Flavor of India is able to accomplish.
Flavor of India is one of my go-to places for take-out and it is specifically because of this dish. Yes, Flavor of India is convenient for me, but no more inconvenient that other Indian restaurants in WLR. It is the Chicken 65 that keeps me coming back to this place, and the main reason I wake up at 3:00 a.m. wondering why I can’t exercise even the slightest modicum of self-control right before bed.