According to a new list released by Croatia-based food guide, Taste Atlas, Butter Chicken is among the 20 iconic dishes that were born after the 1940s. While Butter Chicken is the only Indian dish to make it to the list, Chicken Tikka Masala has also made it as a British entry along with Mexican Nachos and more.
The fact that Butter Chicken is one of the most celebrated Indian dishes is well known. From dhabas and restaurants across India to the MasterChef Australia Pressure Tests, Butter Chicken is famed for its creamy texture and smokey flavours all over the world now. So, naturally, it is one of the most iconic Indian dishes known across the world. But did you know that Butter Chicken, as a recent list released by Taste Atlas reveals, is a relatively new iconic dish?
In a list published by the Croatia-based food guide, Taste Atlas, Butter Chicken is one among 20 “Surprisingly New Iconic Dishes”, meaning that though the dish is globally celebrated, its origins are quite new. “There is a big chance that your grandparents, parents, and even you are older than some of the world's most popular dishes,” Taste Atlas wrote in its post on Instagram.
Video Credit: YouTube/Chef Ranveer Brar
The list not only describes the countries from which these young and iconic dishes emerge, but also gives a rough timeline of when they were invented—beginning with the mid-1940s. According to this list, Butter Chicken was born in India only in the 1950s. This suggests that within 70 years since its inception, Butter Chicken has reached as iconic a status as other global dishes like Nachos (invented in Mexico in 1943), the Hawaiian Pizza (invented in Canada in 1962), Chicken Tikka Masala (invented in Britain in the 1970s) and Molten Chocolate Cake (invented in the USA in 1987).
For those unaware, Butter Chicken is believed to be the creation of two Punjabi Hindu migrants from Peshawar, Kundan Lal Jaggi and Kundan Lal Gujral. Settling in Old Delhi after the Partition of India, these culinary pioneers opened the Moti Mahal restaurant in Daryaganj and are credited to have invented Butter Chicken in the 1950s. Also known as Murgh Makhani, the mildly spiced (and often sweet-ish) Butter Chicken has an onion, tomato, cream and butter-based gravy that is often smoked with hot charcoal before the addition of chicken chunks.
Today, Butter Chicken is cooked and sold across India at homes and restaurants equally. What’s more, many have adapted Butter Chicken to create vegetarian and vegan dishes, like Paneer Makhani, Tofu Makhani and Gobhi Makhani. Equally famous are the various versions of Butter Chicken as Pizza toppings, Burger fillings and more across India as fusion dishes that are now loved by all.