The Grand Desi Tikka Dish at Indian Restaurants Abroad

Posted by Mark Sheldon on April 10th, 2017

Which is the most popular dish in Indian restaurants abroad? After conducting a thorough survey, experts came up with the answer as chicken tikka masala. Yes, as far as places like London, Prague, Brussels and New York are concerned, eateries that serve Indian dishes there confirm, it is the hottest serving item in those places. In this context, it is important to remember, a statement made by eminent government minister Mr Robin Cook in 2001. He is said to have said, chicken tikka is actually the national dish of Britain.

The ground reality: Anyway, leaving the minister's claim behind, we came across the owner of a popular Indian restaurant in Praha. Even he confirmed that it is one of the highest selling dishes at his food joint round the year. He also put down his opinion behind unbelievable popularity of the dish. Chicken tikka, according to him, has a unique style of preparation, which adds to its incredible taste. As the pieces of meat is marinated in yogurt and spices before being baked in tandoor, or the typical Indian oven. Lastly, it is served in a spicy sauce. This entire process of preparation is something that adds a very uncommon taste to the dish and thus, people just prefer it. 

Varying recipes: Interestingly, there is no standard recipe to make this dish. Different chefs follow different procedures and even include different ingredients to whip it up. Usually, a tomato coriander sauce is used by most chefs, but other than that there are as many as 48 contrasting recipes for it. Other than chicken, tikka masala dishes are also prepared using fish, lamb and paneer. The history of origin of the dish sparks a huge controversy. A version of the story attributes the invention to an Indian restaurant located in the industrial town of Glasgow, while another version attributes the invention to a British Bangladeshi chef - the community that runs most Indian restaurants abroad. There is also a claim that the dish is actually a grand improvisation of a similar Punjabi dish, over a period of five decades.

Standard recipe: It takes quite some time to prepare this special dish. Actually, the preparation process consumes up much time, as compared to the actual cooking. Add a combined mass of turmeric, garam masala, ginger, garlic, cumin and coriander with yogurt in a bowl. The ingredients must form a paste, do not forget to add proportionate amount of salt. Now, add the meat and turn each piece to coat. Leave the whole setup under cover for at least 4 to 6 hours. This will allow the taste-makers to get into the meat, making it yummy. Chefs at a popular Indian restaurant in Prague then add chopped onion, cardamom and chillies to a pot and fry that is ghee till the onion starts turning light red. Then crush the tomatoes with your hand, bring the entire substance to a boiling temperature and your sauce is ready. Next, put the chicken pieces in a tandoor, have them grilled. Then take it out, add the sauce and serve.

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Mark Sheldon

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Mark Sheldon
Joined: February 4th, 2017
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