What's your favourite dish when you go to an Indian restaurant? If it's butter chicken, you're not alone. This massively popular dish is a mainstay on menus across the globe, although different restaurants might put their own spin on this favourite. You might not think about the history of a dish while you're busy enjoying it, but butter chicken has a history as alluring as the dish itself. So how was your favourite Indian dish created? And how do you like your butter chicken?
The History of Your Favourite Dish
Butter chicken can traced back to a restauranteur called Kundan Lal Gujral. He was born in Peshawar, which is now part of Pakistan (although it was an Indian city prior to the establishment of the nation of Pakistan back in 1947). There are varying sources of information when it comes to when butter chicken was created, but it's thought that the dish came into existence when Gujral settled in Delhi after his home city became part of the newly-established Pakistan.
The dish was apparently born out of both necessity and creativity, as a means to keep tandoori chicken from drying out. Since refrigeration wasn't widely available, the chicken was simmered in a subtly spiced tomato and cream mixture to add flavour and keep it moist. And that was the birth of butter chicken. As the dish became more popular, it was specially prepared, with the meat being marinated for the specific purpose of being made into butter chicken, as opposed to being taken from existing tandoori chicken.
Nowadays, different restaurants produce butter chicken that can taste noticeably different from each other, and this is dependent on the spice mixture both in the marinade and the sauce. But how do you like your butter chicken to be cooked?
How Butter Chicken Can Be Cooked
If you're truly a fan of butter chicken, you've probably sampled the efforts from a number of different Indian restaurants (even though you might have your absolute favourite place for your favourite dish). But do you have a favourite way for your butter chicken to be prepared? This can affect the end flavour of the dish. The marinated chicken could be grilled before being added to the sauce. It could also simply be fried in a pan.
There is also the oven option, when the marinated chicken is roasted before being mixed with the sauce. Perhaps the most traditional means of preparation is for the chicken to be prepared in a tandoor oven.
No matter how interesting the history of butter chicken might be, chances are you're only going to think about its future—as in how long it will be before you get to eat this delicious dish again!