Chicken tikka masala

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Chicken tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala.jpg
Chicken tikka masala
Course Main course
Place of origin Uncertain; Indian Subcontinent or Scotland[1][2]
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Chicken, yogurt, cream, tomato, onion, garlic, ginger, chili pepper
Variations Lamb, Fish or Paneer Tikka Masala
Cookbook: Chicken tikka masala  Media: Chicken tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala, served atop rice

Chicken tikka masala is a dish of chunks of roasted marinated chicken (chicken tikka) in a spiced curry sauce. The sauce is usually creamy and orange-coloured. There are multiple claims to its place of origin, including the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent and Glasgow in Scotland. It is among the United Kingdom's most popular dishes, leading a government minister, Robin Cook, to claim in 2001 that it was "a true British national dish".[3]

Composition[edit]

Chicken tikka masala is chicken tikka, chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, that is then baked in a tandoor oven, and served in a masala (spice mixture) sauce.[4] A tomato and coriander sauce is common, but no recipe for chicken tikka masala is standard; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken.[5][6] The sauce usually includes tomatoes (frequently as purée), cream, coconut cream and spices. The sauce and/or chicken pieces may be coloured orange using foodstuffs such as turmeric, paprika, tomato purée or with food dye.

Variants[edit]

Other tikka masala dishes replace chicken with lamb, fish, or paneer.

Origins[edit]

The origin of the dish is disputed.

Rahul Verma, a food critic who writes for The Hindu,[7] said he first tasted the dish in 1971 and that its origins were in the Punjab. He said "Its basically a Punjabi dish not more than 40-50 years old and must be an accidental discovery which has had periodical improvisations".[1]

Another explanation is that it originated in an Indian restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland,[2][4][8] but probably from the British Bangladeshi community which ran most Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom.[8]

A specific version of the British explanation recounts how a Pakistani chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, proprietor of the Shish Mahal restaurant in the west end of Glasgow, invented chicken tikka masala by improvising a sauce made from yogurt, cream, and spices.[9][10] In 2013, his son Asif Ali told the story of its invention in 1971 to the BBC's Hairy Bikers TV cookery programme:[citation needed]

On a typical dark, wet Glasgow night, a bus driver coming off shift came in and ordered a chicken curry. He sent it back to the waiter saying it's dry. At the time, Dad had an ulcer and was enjoying a plate of tomato soup. So he said why not put some tomato soup into the curry with some spices. They sent it back to the table and the bus driver absolutely loved it. He and his friends came back again and again and we put it on the menu.[11]

In July 2009, then British Member of Parliament 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 geographical status for chicken tikka masala.[12] The motion was not chosen for debate, nor did Sarwar speak on this subject in Parliament.[13][14]

Historians of ethnic food Peter and Colleen Grove discuss various origin-claims of chicken tikka masala, concluding that the dish "was most certainly invented in Britain, probably by a Bangladeshi chef".[15] They suggest 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".[15]

Popularity[edit]

In 2001, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook mentioned the dish in a speech acclaiming the benefits of Britain's multiculturalism, declaring:

Chicken tikka masala is now a true British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences. Chicken tikka is an Indian dish. The masala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of British people to have their meat served in gravy."[3][16][17][16][17][18]

Chicken tikka masala is served in restaurants around the world,[19][20] including Indian restaurants in Britain and North America. A 2012 survey of 2,000 people in Britain claimed that it is the country's second-most popular foreign dish to cook, after Chinese stir fry.[21][22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nelson, Dean; Andrabi, Jalees (4 August 2009). "Chicken tikka masala debate grows as Indian chefs reprimand Scottish MPs over culinary origins". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "From Charles Mackintosh's waterproof to Dolly the sheep: 43 innovations Scotland has given the world". The Independent. 30 December 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Robin Cook's chicken tikka masala speech: Extracts from a speech by the foreign secretary to the Social Market Foundation in London". Guardian. 19 April 2001. 
  4. ^ a b Lloyd, J and Mitchinson, J. The Book of General Ignorance. Faber & Faber, 2006.
  5. ^ Jackson, Peter (2010). A Cultural Politics of Curry in "Hybrid Cultures, Nervous States: Britain and Germany in a (post)colonial World". Amsterdam: Rodopi BV. p. 172. ISBN 9789042032286. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Webb, Andrew (2011). Food Britannia. Random House. p. 177. ISBN 978-1847946232. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Author profile: Rahul Verma". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Gillan, Audrey (21 June 2002). "From Bangladesh to Brick Lane". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2002. 
  9. ^ "Glasgow 'invented' Tikka Masala". BBC News. BBC. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  10. ^ Godeau, Lucie (2 August 2009). "Chicken tikka masala claims its origins in Scotland". Sydney Morning Herald. Agence France Presse. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  11. ^ BBC Hairy Bikers' Best of British Series 2: 5. Food and the Empire. First shown: 6.30pm 5 April 2013
  12. ^ "UK Parliament Early Day Motions 2008-2009". Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "UK Parliament Archives 2008-9". Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "UK Parliament Archives 2009-10". Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Grove, Peter; Grove, Colleen (2008). "Is It or Isn't It? (The Chicken Tikka Masala Story)". Menu Magazine. Grove Publications. Archived from the original on 27 Nov 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  16. ^ a b Mannur, Anita (2009). Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture. Temple University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-4399-0077-2. 
  17. ^ a b Collingham, E. M. (2006). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford; NY: Oxford University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-19-517241-8. 
  18. ^ Jo Monroe, Star of India: The Spicy Adventures of Curry (Wiley: 2005 ISBN 9780470091883) pp. 136-137.
  19. ^ Kumar, Rakesh (24 February 2007). "Tastes that travel". The Hindu. Chennai, India: Kasturi & Sons Ltd. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  20. ^ Aravind Adiga (20 March 2006). "The Spice of Life". Time. Retrieved 1 June 2007. 
  21. ^ "Stir-fry now Britain's most popular foreign dish". The Mirror. 21 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Hills, Suzannah. "Vindawho? Chicken tikka masala knocked off top spot by Chinese stir-fry as Britain's favourite dish". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Curry Club Tandoori and Tikka Dishes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 0-7499-1283-9 (1993)
  • Curry Club 100 Favourite Tandoori Recipes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 9780749914912 (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. 

External links[edit]