The Origin Of Butter Chicken, North India's Go-To Dish

Ask any non-vegetarian North Indian about their favourite dish and the answer will be butter chicken. Even when they are on diet, on cheat days they go with hot butter chicken and crisp naan. It is not just about North Indians however who love butter chicken, but it’s popular the world over. But how many of us actually know the origin of our favourite food?

Before the partition, Mukhey da Dhaba owners in Peshawar sold the outlet to Kundan Lal Gujral who later changed the name of the dhaba to Moti Mahal. Mukhey da Dhaba (later Moti Mahal) was famous for their Tandoori Chicken, but after seeing unsold dry chicken, he thought to make some thick gravy for leftovers. He made the gravy using butter, tomatoes, fresh cream and grounded spices, and add the chicken pieces and that’s how butter chicken came into existence.

After partition, Gujral moved to Delhi and opened Moti Mahal’s first outlet in Daryaganj and his butter chicken got famous worldwide. It has been almost 70 years and, currently have restaurants worldwide.

In Delhi, people love butter chicken so much that they have come up with different fusion dishes. You can get anything and everything which has butter chicken in it, for example, a cafe in West Delhi offers butter chicken fries, butter chicken momos, butter chicken pasta, butter chicken maggi, butter chicken gol gappa and even butter chicken nachos. So it’s official, we are obsessed with butter chicken.