Chicken tikka masala

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Chef who popularised chicken tikka masala

Dec 23, 2022: The Times of India

Glasgow :

Glasgow : Ahmed Aslam Ali was a chef from Glasgow, who claims to have invented the curry dish chicken tikka masala and invented the dish by improvising a sauce made from a tin of tomato soup at his restaurant Shish Mahal in the 1970s.

In an interview in 2009, Ali said he came up with the recipe for chicken tikka masala after a customer complained that his chicken tikka was too dry. “Chicken tikka masala was invented in this restaurant, we used to make tikka, and one day a customer said, ‘I’d take
some sauce with that, this is a bit dry’,” Ali said. “We thought we’d cook the chicken with some sauce. So from here we cooked chicken tikka with the sauce. ” It went on to become the most popular dish in British eateries. 
While it’s difficult to prove definitively where the dish originated, it is generally regarded as a curry adapted to suit Western tastes. Ali said the dish is prepared according to customer taste. “Usually they don’t take hot curry, that’s why we cook it with yogurt and cream,” he said. Supporters of the campaign to grant the dish protected status point to the fact that former foreign minister Robin Cook once described it as a crucial part of British culture. “Chicken tikka masala isnow 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,” he said in a 2001 speech on British identity.

Ali, originally from Punjab province in Pakistan, moved with his family to Glasgow as a young boy before opening Shish Mahal in the city in 1964. He said he wanted the dish to be agift to is adopted city. 

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