Home Food Guide How Did The Name ‘Butter Chicken’ Come Into Existence?

How Did The Name ‘Butter Chicken’ Come Into Existence?

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Have you ever wondered what the origin of butter chicken, a popular dish that tantalizes taste buds worldwide, is? Butter chicken has become an iconic culinary delight for many cultures, but its history has yet to be widely known. From India to Thailand and beyond, it’s now enjoyed everywhere! So how did this tasty dish come into existence?

The exact origins of butter chicken are unknown. However, most sources trace it back to 1947 in Delhi, India. It was created by Kundan Lal Gujral, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux at the time. The story goes that one night his cooks had some leftover tandoori chicken and decided to experiment with adding tomato-based gravy and cream. They added ghee (clarified butter) for flavour, giving us our modern favourite – butter chicken!

Since then, variations on the original recipe have been made with different spices or coconut milk instead of cream. Regardless of these alterations over the years, one thing remains true: butter chicken continues to be an incredibly delicious treat no matter where you travel. In this article, we will explore further how this beloved dish came into being and look at some interesting facts about its past.

Butter Chicken

Origin Of Butter Chicken

The origin of butter chicken, or murgh makhani as it is known in India, dates back to the 1950s. It was created by Kundan Lal Gujral, a famous Indian restaurateur based in Delhi. According to reports, he blended two classic Punjabi dishes: tandoori chicken and dal makhani. The combination of flavours formed an irresistible new dish that quickly became popular throughout Delhi’s restaurant scene.

As word spread about this delicious new curry, it began to appear on menus worldwide with its unique name – Butter Chicken. This flavorful dish gets its namesake from the generous amounts of butter and cream used in its preparation. Adding these rich ingredients gives the sauce a creamy texture without overshadowing other spices’ flavours.

This combination of traditional Mughlai cuisine and modern innovation has become one of India’s most beloved dishes – at home and worldwide! Now let’s look at how Mughlai cuisine influenced the development of this unique dish.

History Of Mughal Cuisine

The history of Mughal Cuisine is one steeped in culture and tradition. As an integral part of the Mughal Empire, Persian food heavily influenced it. It also adopted many unique flavours from India’s spices and herbs. This combination created a richly flavorful cuisine quickly gained popularity during the empire’s reign.

From its colourful curries to its fragrant biryanis, the dishes of Mughlai cooking are unmistakable in their flavour profile. Using aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron create complex layers of taste which tantalize the palate with each bite. Nuts such as pistachios, almonds, and dried fruits, including raisins, add a delightful sweetness to certain dishes.

This marriage between Indian ingredients and traditional Persian methods has resulted in some genuinely exquisite meals that remain beloved today within India and beyond her borders. From tandoori chicken to butter chicken, these classic recipes continue to bring joy to people worldwide – thanks mainly to the influence of Mughlai cuisine!

Role Of India In The Dish’s Development

The development of butter chicken is an exciting example of Mughlai cuisine. In its original form, the dish was murgh makhani. It featured tandoori-cooked chicken simmered in a creamy tomato sauce with plenty of butter. The flavour combination quickly caught on among Indian eaters, becoming one of India’s most beloved dishes.

In many ways, this dish embodies the essence of Mughlai cuisine: subtle yet bold flavours melded together to create something entirely new. This recipe also highlights India’s importance in developing global cuisines – from curries to biryani – for centuries now. After all, without these inventive recipes, who knows what kind of food would be famous worldwide today?

Butter chicken remains an iconic part of Indian culture and has been adopted by other countries; each nation adds special touches to make it uniquely theirs. This flavorful curry can be enjoyed almost anywhere nowadays, thanks to India’s influence!

Popularity Around The World

Today, butter chicken is enjoyed worldwide. From the UK to Canada and beyond, it has become a popular dish that everyone can enjoy. In many places, people have adapted their recipes to this classic curry; whether adding more chilli or extra spices, each variation brings something unique to the table. Restaurants worldwide now offer customers their takes on the recipe – making it easier than ever for food lovers everywhere to taste India!

Butter chicken’s rise in popularity isn’t just limited to restaurants either. Home chefs are also getting creative with their cooking, experimenting with different ingredients and techniques as they attempt to recreate traditional flavours at home. Plus, thanks to technology like online streaming services, learning to make your favourite Indian dishes from your living room is easy – no matter where you live!

The variety of ways people engage with Mughlai cuisine demonstrates just how versatile and beloved these dishes are. With so much interest in this particular item alone, it’s clear why butter chicken has become such an iconic meal throughout history – giving us all a chance to sample authentic Indian flavour wherever we may be. There is no telling what new variations will emerge as cooks continue to innovate and explore this delicious dish further!

Variations On The Dish

It’s easy to see why butter chicken has become such a beloved dish. Much like a favourite book, the recipe can be re-read and interpreted in many ways – each version offering something unique that tantalizes the taste buds. This classic curry allows cooks everywhere to express their creativity, from subtle tweaks to traditional ingredients to big, bold flavours.

As no two interpretations are ever exactly alike, so are variations on this popular dish. In India alone, regional recipes are abundant for butter chicken – each one boasting its distinct flavour profile. Whether you’re looking for a milder option or something fierier, chances are you’ll find what you’re searching for somewhere within the vastness of Indian cuisine!

The same holds outside of India; chefs worldwide have been experimenting with different techniques and ingredients to create their versions of this delicious meal. From adding creamy coconut milk or replacing cream cheese with yoghurt, all these additions help make butter chicken even tastier than before. With so many options available now, everyone can savour the savoury goodness of Mughlai cooking however they please!


The popularity of butter chicken has grown substantially since the dish was first created. It is now enjoyed in restaurants and homes worldwide. This dish is an excellent example of how different cultures can come together to create something extraordinary. Butter chicken perfectly blends classic Mughal flavours with Indian spices, resulting in an unforgettable culinary experience.

For instance, Mariam’s restaurant in San Francisco serves up some of the best butter chicken this side of India. Customers flock to her eatery daily to get their hands on some delectable butter chicken made from traditional ingredients like cream and ghee (clarified butter).

In conclusion, while there are many theories about where it originated, most believe that ‘butter chicken’ was developed through a combination of Mughal cuisine and Indian spices – leading to its current status as one of the most beloved dishes all over the world.

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