Chicken tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala
|Place of origin||Disputed: India/UK|
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken, yogurt, cream, tomato, onion, garlic, chili pepper, coconut|
|Variations||Lamb, Fish or Paneer Tikka Masala|
Chicken tikka masala (Urdu: مرغ تکہ مصالحہ,Hindi: चिकन टिक्का मसाला;Bengali: চিচ্কেন টিক্কা মসলা) is a dish of roasted chicken chunks (tikka) in a spicy (masala) sauce. The sauce is usually creamy, spiced and orange-coloured. Chicken tikka masala has been said to be the most popular dish in British restaurants and it has been called "a true British national dish". The origin of the dish is unclear.
Chicken tikka masala is chicken tikka, chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, that is then baked in a tandoor oven, served in a masala ("mixture of spices") sauce. A tomato and coriander sauce is common, but there is no standard recipe for chicken tikka masala; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken. The sauce usually includes tomatoes, frequently as puree; cream and/or coconut cream; and various spices. The sauce or chicken pieces (or both) are coloured orange with food dyes or using foodstuffs such as turmeric powder, paprika powder or tomato puree. Other tikka masala dishes replace chicken with lamb, fish or paneer.
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One explanation of the origins of the dish is that it was conceived in an Indian restaurant. Rahul Verma, an Indian expert on street food from Delhi, has stated that the dish originated, probably by accident with subsequent improvisations, in Punjab during the last 50 years.
There are also claims that a Pakistani chef Ali Ahmed Aslam, proprietor of the Shish Mahal restaurant in Gibson Street in the west end of Glasgow invented it by improvising a sauce made from yoghurt, cream and spices. In July 2009 Pakistani-born British MP Mohammad Sarwar tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons asking that Parliament support a campaign for Glasgow to be given European Union Protected Designation of Origin status for chicken tikka masala. The motion was not chosen for debate nor has Sarwar spoken on this subject in Parliament. Others lay claim to the origin being Birmingham and Newcastle. Some people have drawn comparisons between chicken tikka masala and butter chicken, another Indian dish including chicken and gravy which was probably invented in Northern India.
Ethnic food historians and authors Peter & Colleen Grove also discuss various origin claims of chicken tikka masala in their article "Is It or Isn't It? (The Chicken Tikka Masala Story)", in which one of their conclusions suggests that "The shape of things to come may have been a recipe for Shahi Chicken Masala in Mrs Balbir Singh’s ‘Indian Cookery’ published in 1961."
Chicken tikka masala is served in restaurants around the world. A survey in the United Kingdom claimed that it is that country's most popular restaurant dish. One in seven curries sold in the UK is chicken tikka masala. The cross-cultural popularity of the dish in the UK led former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook to proclaim it as "a true British national dish". It is widely served in India. Some restaurants in Pakistan and Bangladesh offer chicken tikka masala, especially if they expect tourists from the United Kingdom as clients.
See also 
- Balti, a South Asian dish invented in the United Kingdom
- Curry chicken, a similar spiced chicken dish
- Butter chicken, a similar mild curry dish
- Mughlai cuisine
- Nelson, Dean; Andrabi, Jalees (2009-08-04). "Telegraph Online: Chicken tikka masala debate grows as Indian chefs reprimand Scottish MPs over culinary origins". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "Robin Cook's chicken tikka masala speech". London: The Guardian. 2002-02-25. Retrieved 2001-04-19.
- Lloyd, J and Mitchinson, J. The Book of General Ignorance. Faber & Faber, 2006.
- BBC E-Cyclopedia (2001-04-20). "Chicken tikka masala: Spice and easy does it". bbc.co.uk (London). Retrieved 28 September 2007.
- Chicken tikka masala with paprika, retrieved 2009-11-05
- "BBC News Online: Glasgow 'invented' Tikka Masala". London. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
- Agencies (6 August 2009). "Scots lay claim to chicken tikka masala, Indians fume". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
- "UK Parliament Early Day Motions 2008-2009". Retrieved 2010-08-11.
- "UK Parliament Archives 2008-9". Retrieved 2010-08-11.
- "UK Parliament Archives 2009-10". Retrieved 2010-08-11.
- "The Hindu: Tastes that travel". Chennai, India. 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- Aravind Adiga (20 March 2006). "The Spice of Life". Time. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- "India gets a taste of UK tikka". BBC News (London). 3 November 1999. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
Further reading 
- Curry Club Tandoori and Tikka Dishes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 0-7499-1283-9 (1993)
- Curry Club 100 Favourite Tandoori Recipes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 07499149 & ISBN 0-7499-1741-5 (1995)
- India: Food & Cooking, New Holland, London — ISBN 978-1-84537-619-2 (2007)
- Collingham, Elizabeth M (2006). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford University Press. pp. 2–3. ISBN 0-19-517241-8.
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