Food - Drink
The Mysterious Origins Of Tikka Masala
If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’ve probably tasted Tikka Masala, the creamy, spicy, tomato-based curry sauce. While the extremely popular dish is often associated with Indian cuisine, it has a long and interesting history, spanning multiple countries.
One story claims the dish was invented in the 1970s by chef Ali Ahmed Aslam at the Shish Mahal curry house in Glasgow Scotland. As the story goes, a customer complained the chicken was dry so Aslam created a spicy, tomato “gravy” to coat the chicken. However, a 1961 recipe for Chicken masala from the “Indian Cookery” cookbook predates Aslam’s invention.
Food historians Colleen and Peter Grove claim that tikka masala “was most certainly invented in Britain, probably by a Bangladeshi chef,” while food critic Rahul Verma says “it’s basically a Punjabi dish, not more than 40-50 years old … which has had periodical improvisations.” On the other hand, everyone agrees that a similar dish, Butter Chicken, is an authentic Indian recipe.