The History of Butter Chicken, Indian Cuisine's Most Loved Curry
Harnoor Channi-Tiwary | Updated: December 12, 2017 15:38 IST, https://food.ndtv.com/food-dri...-loved-curry-1686611
There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who love Butter Chicken, those who think Butter Chicken is overrated and those who have never tasted Butter Chicken. Of all of these, I feel deep sorrow for the third kind. It is a loss of gigantic proportions, in my opinion. Delhi, arguably the culinary capital of India, owes a large part of its flavour heritage to the Mughals. Butter Chicken, however, has far more humble origins, and was born far closer to home. It only dates back a couple of decades to pre-partition India, and its story takes us to a sweet-shop in Peshawar called Mukhey da Dhaba, owned by an elderly gentleman called Mokha Singh. It was here that young Kundan Lal Gujral worked, and as his grandson Monish Gujral recounts, where he helped invent the Tandoori Chicken that we all love today. Yes, you heard that right, this story also includes the invention of the famous Tandoori Chicken.
There came a time when Mokha Singh’s health deteriorated and he eventually sold the shop to Gujral who renamed it as Moti Mahal (and the rest as they say is history). An astute businessman, KL Gujral realised that the Tandoori Chicken hanging on the seekhs above the tandoor all day would tend to dry out if unsold. He then came up with the genius idea of creating a basic gravy with tomatoes, butter, cream and some spices to immerse the Tandoori Chicken pieces in, helping them regain moisture and become palatable again. And thus, was born the Butter Chicken.