Chicken tikka masala

Robin Cook announced chicken tikka masala as the new national dish of Great Britain.  Food critics immediately responded by condemning it as a British invention.  Chicken tikka masala, they sneered, was not a shining example of British multiculturalism but a demonstration of the British facility for reducing all foreign foods to their most unappetizing and inedible forms.  Rathar than the inspired invention of an enterprising Indian chef, this offensive dish was dismissed as the result of an ignorant customer’s complaint that his chicken tikka was too dry.  When the chef whipped together a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, some cream, and a few spices to provide a gravy for the offending chicken, he produced a mongrel dish of which, to their shame, Britons now eat at least 18 tons a week.

That is from Lizzie Collingham’s Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, an excellent look at the history of Indian food, and especially the Persian origins of many Indian dishes.


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