IS CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA INDIA'S BEST CURRY?
Did you start drooling just seeing these words? Did the very mention of the dish make you hungry instantly?
You're not alone! Most of the world swoons when they hear these words.
Now, for some small but exciting facts.
Did you know that "Tikka" means "small pieces" of meat in Punjabi? "Masala" means "mixture" in the Punjabi language. So, combining these words, small pieces of chicken are marinated and baked for Chicken Tikka Masala.
In this article, we'll learn about the origin of the legendary Chicken Tikka Masala curry and discuss its popularity in Western countries.
Origin of Chicken Tikka Masala
The origins of Chicken Tikka Masala have been debated for decades now. Some believe it was invented in the 1970s by a Bangladeshi chef in Glasgow, Scotland. The story goes that one evening, to please a customer, this chef added some mild tomato-cream sauce to a few chunks of boneless chicken that were marinated in yogurt and curry spices (i.e., tikka masala) and then served him these chunks on a skewer, in typical kebab-style, to make it the first ever instance of Chicken Tikka served to a customer.
But others say that the Tandoori Chicken Tikka recipe was initially derived from butter chicken, yet another trendy dish in North India. Many food historians call chicken tikka masala the first widely accepted example of fusion cuisine.
The chicken tikka masala was initially cooked in large pieces of meat. It is said that this delicacy was even tried in the old Mongolian empire more than 5,000 years ago!
Then there's another story that says Emperor Babur was extremely scared of choking on chicken bones. So, he asked his chef to cook boneless chicken and ensure that it was cut into small chunks. As per this legend, this was the origin of chicken tikka masala in the Indian subcontinent.
Chicken Tikka has evolved with time. The dish has now taken on a considerable cultural significance in countries like the U.K. Tandoori Chicken Tikka is now widely considered Great Britain's national dish. In 2001, the then British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, gave a speech in which he praised chicken tikka masala as the best symbol of modern multicultural Britain. Cook even offered his own simple and lucid explanation of how the dish evolved: "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."
In July 2009, Mohammad Sarwar, a British Member of Parliament, requested complete support of Glasgow in a campaign. This campaign was started to give a Geographical Indication (G.I.) tag for Chicken Tikka Masala. But the British Parliament should have taken his call seriously. And the mystery of where it indeed originated remains unsolved to date.
Thus, from all the above legends and stories, we can safely call the Tandoori Chicken Tikka Masala the most disputed and storied dish of all time.
How's Chicken Tikka prepared?
Chicken Tikka Masala is prepared by marinating boneless chunks of chicken in yogurt and various sauces. These sauces usually contain tomatoes as puree, coconut cream, cream, and a mix of different masala spices. To color the dish, some chefs used turmeric powder. Chicken tikka masala has similarities with Butter Chicken.
Because of its immense popularity, restaurants have experimented with alternatives, like seafood, beef, or even paneer, in their tikka masalas. You can modify the original recipe and add alternative ingredients according to their taste. Tikka Masala can include popular vegetables.
These days, it is available in ready-to-eat tikka masala sauces from all big supermarkets. If you are a tikka lover, you can buy packs like Alcoeats Spicy Chicken ready-to-eat gravy, for instance, from anywhere to prepare fantastic Chicken Tikka Masala in minutes.
Most of the companies making such products also mention the ingredients they use. They also give detailed instructions on cooking Chicken Tikka at home quickly. There are even companies that sell ready-made frozen Tikka masala. They also give you step-by-step instructions to make the dish.
Then many famous chefs will also give you various variants to cook it through their books and online/Social Media channels.
Are you thinking of making Chicken Tikka Masala at home?
It's pretty simple. To start with, marinate the chicken chunks/cubes. Marinating will keep the chicken succulent and moisturized. The longer you marinate your chicken, the better. Ideally, it should be marinated for a minimum of 30 minutes and can go up to 48 hours. This process will ensure that the mixture of spices, garam masala, and yogurt that goes into your chicken will make it tastier before baking.
During the marination process, you can use different masala powders according to their taste, like Alcoeats Tikka Masala Seasoning which is quite popular. Paprika and cloves are also commonly used. Alternatively, you can also use fresh green chilies, which makes the curry more colorful.
Chicken Tikka Masala is served in various ways. Some people like it with roti or naan (Indian bread). Others prefer having it with warm long-grained basmati rice to enjoy the delicious dish.
Winding it up
Thus, as you may have known by now, Chicken Tikka Masala is a delicious and finger-licking dish for anyone and all occasions. Whatever method you use to prepare the dish will invariably give you a magical and iconic dish to elevate your senses.
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