Edibles & Potables: Chicken tikka masala and the death of Britain’s curry king

As I was saying two years ago…

India achieved independence in 1947, and the fact that today, in the midst of Brexit and right-wing populist backlash, chicken tikka masala remains warmly embedded in the British character as the “national dish” and a symbol of multiculturalism says much about eccentricities of politics and the realities of assimilation.

This sad news item appeared just before Christmas last year.

Ali Ahmed Aslam, inventor of chicken tikka masala, dies at 77, by Nadeen Badshaw (The Guardian)

A chef who is believed to have invented the chicken tikka masala, regarded as Britain’s favourite curry, has died aged 77.

What is chicken tikka masala? For a relatively objective definition, we turn to Wikipedia.

Chicken tikka masala is composed of chicken tikka, boneless chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt that are roasted in an oven, served in a creamy sauce. A tomato and coriander sauce is common, but no recipe for chicken tikka masala is standard; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken. The sauce usually includes tomatoes (frequently as purée), cream, coconut cream and a masala spice mix. The sauce and chicken pieces may be coloured orange...Read more