Moti Mahal Delux
|Genre||North Indian cuisine|
|Founders||Kundan Lal Gujral, Thakur Dass, Kundan Lal Jaggi, |
Moti Mahal Delux is a global chain of restaurants with over 150 franchises in India and around the world. After the partition of India in 1947, the first Moti Mahal in Delhi founded by Kundan Lal Gujral, Kundan Lal Jaggi and Thakur Dass was one of the first restaurants to introduce the Punjabi cuisine to the rest of the world and many famous dishes include tandoori chicken, butter chicken and dal makhani.
'Moti Mahal' was founded by  Kundan Lal Gujral, Thakur Dass and Kundan Lal Jaggi, in Delhi in 1947, they worked at a small eatery called Moti Mahal, owned by a man named 'Mokha Singh' in Peshawar, British India, from 1920s to 1947. Moti Mahal was the first to dig up a tandoor right in the middle of the eatery and since then Peshawar was introduced to the culinary art of tandoori chicken by them. This was a success and soon there was in demand for Tandoori at social gatherings and wedding feasts where they would use an improvised tandoor.
After the partition of India in 1947, they fled to Delhi with their family. In Delhi, the 3 partners bought a thara (booth) in Daryaganj area, then considered a newer part of Old Delhi and then they started Moti Mahal, Daryaganj  Moti Mahal further went on to invent  butter chicken and dal makhani. This brought about a revolution in taste and a place on the International Gourmet Map.
Thus was born the Moti Mahal Restaurant, which contributed significantly to putting India on the food map of the world. Indian leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Zakir Hussain among various foreign dignitaries like Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the Delahousse family. I’ve visited Moti Mahal to sample Moti Mahal’s innovations – its tandoori delicacies on various occasions. And M. Maulana Azad, the great Muslim leader, reportedly told the Shah of Iran that while in India he must make two visits – to the Taj Mahal and Moti Mahal. Later in 1970s Kundan Lal’s son Mr Nand Lal 'Bila' Gujral, upon the exit of Thakur Dass from the partnership, expanded Moti Mahal Delux in south Delhi to establish Moti Mahal Delux Chain of Restaurants.
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