It is common knowledge that Delhi is the birthplace of the now globally-acclaimed butter chicken. The delicious chicken curry is made with crispy tandoori chicken that is tossed in a gravy made of tomatoes, cream, cashews, butter and spices. It is said to be a creation of Kundan Lal Gujral, a refugee from West Punjab, who took shelter in Delhi post-partition. In Delhi, he started his own restaurant called Moti Mahal in Daryaganj. It is said that one night, to prevent his leftover Tandoori chicken from going bad he dunked them in a gravy of tomatoes and makkhan, he quite liked the taste, and developed it further to create what we know as butter chicken today. That’s right, your beloved butter chicken was made ‘by chance’. And also, it has quite a delicious counterpart in Aslam’s butter chicken.  

Aslam Chicken Corner, a humble shop near Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid is renowned for its iconic ‘Butter Chicken’ that looks nothing like Moti Mahal’s Butter chicken. Even in terms of taste and overall flavour, it is pretty different. Scores of Delhites take a tour of Old Delhi, just to get a portion of this butter chicken.  

So what makes this butter chicken so special and unique, maybe the fact that the hero ingredients of this delicacy are ‘butter’ and ‘chicken’. No tomatoes or cashews or any fancy frills. For this butter chicken, succulent pieces of chicken are marinated and cooked on sigdi or charcoal until hot and smoky. And then a panful of fresh, melted butter is poured on top of this chicken. All the chicken pieces are tossed together in this butter, and the dish is served ‘makkhan maarke’, inside a pool of liquid butter.  

Aslam Chicken Corner is one of the oldest and most popular eateries in the Jama Masjid area. The magic of this chicken lies in the masalas and the marinade that seeps inside the chicken, making it all the more juicy and tempting. Aslam Chicken corner may have been started and popularised by the chef named Aslam, but his recipe remains a family secret to date. He learned it from his father and grandfather, and the same was passed down to future generations.

Have you ever tried Aslam’s butter chicken in Old Delhi? Other popular items here include butter fish, chicken tangdi, firni etc. You can find the shop in Matia Mahal Rd, Bazar Matia Mahal, Kalan Mehal, Old Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi 110006. It can be paired with any kind of bread right from naan to sheermal. Whiile you do not need any pickle or side dish to go along with it, we love it with some sliced onions and chillies.