Moti Mahal Delux

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Moti Mahal Delux
GenreNorth Indian cuisine
FoundersKundan Lal Gujral, Thakur Dass, Kundan Lal Jaggi, [1]
HeadquartersDelhi, India

Moti Mahal Delux is a global chain of restaurants with over 150 franchises in India and around the world.[2][3][4][5] After the partition of India in 1947,[6][7][8][9][10][11][1] 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[12] and dal makhani.[13][14][15][16]


'Moti Mahal' was founded by [4][1] 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.[17] 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.

A portion of Tandoori chicken. Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral and Thakur Dass,[1] the founders of the restaurant, are credited with the invention of the dish.

After the partition of India in 1947, they fled to Delhi with their family.[5] 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 [17] Moti Mahal further went on to invent [4] butter chicken and dal makhani.[18][19][20][21][22] This brought about a revolution in taste and a place on the International Gourmet Map.[13][14]

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.[23][24][25] 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.[26] 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.


  1. ^ a b c d "Punjab on a platter". 31 March 2018.
  2. ^ Vora, Shivani (16 October 2012). "Now in New York: Delhi's Moti Mahal and a 'Dosateria'". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Monish Gujral". Penguin Books India. Penguin India.
  4. ^ a b c "Partition brought Moti Mahal, a landmark in India's culinary history, to central Delhi".
  5. ^ a b Laura Siciliano-Rosen (13 January 2014). "Delhi Food and Travel Guide: The inside scoop on the best North Indian foods".
  6. ^ Gujral, Monish (20 March 2013). The Moti Mahal Cookbook. Penguin Books India. ISBN 9780143419860.
  7. ^ "On a journey's trail". The Hindu. 28 November 2009.
  8. ^ Bararia, Anu. "Had I not re-invented the brand, Moti Mahal would have become a thing of the past than a legacy to the future". India Hospitality Review. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Restaurant chain Moti Mahal Deluxe opens outlet in Shimla". Himachal Live News. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  10. ^ Akhtar, Nazia (3 November 2009). "Moti Mahal brings Mughalia cuisines to Kashmir". Greater Kashmir Srinagar. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Famous Indian Restaurant Moti Mahal Tandoori Franchise Open in Oman". Franchise Mart.
  12. ^ "Recipe: Chef Monish Gujral shares the knowhow of their famed Signature Butter Chicken".
  13. ^ a b "Who invented the dal makhani?". NDTV Food. IANS. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Moti Mahal offers complete Tandoori cuisine". Daily Excelsior. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  15. ^ "10 Best Punjabi Recipes".
  16. ^ "What does it mean to be a Punjabi".
  17. ^ a b Vohra, Pankaj (2 February 2009). "Moti Mahal The Gem in Delhi's palate". Hindustan Times.
  18. ^ "Dish". The Hindu. 17 May 2008.
  19. ^ Patel, Perzen (4 January 2015). "Eight Kilometres Of Eating In Purani Dilli". The Huffington Post.
  20. ^ Sanghvi, Vir (26 July 2014). "Bukhara: It's old but it works". Hindustan Times.
  21. ^ "The Moti Mahal Cookbook". Penguin India. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  22. ^ Sanghvi, Vir. "The modern dal makhani was invented by Moti Mahal". Vir Sanghvi. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  23. ^ Gujral, Monish (1 May 2004). Moti Mahal's tandoori trail. New Delhi: Roli Books. ISBN 9788174363169.
  24. ^ Traub, James (8 January 1984). "FARE OF THE COUNTRY; TANDOORI ARTISTRY IN DELHI". The New York Times.
  25. ^ Scott, Sharen. "Legend Of Moti Mahal The Evolution Of A Giant Enterprise". Article Snatch.
  26. ^ Sahani, Diksha (22 December 2011). "Moti Mahal: Delhi's Gastronomic Pearl". The Wall Street Journal.

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