Lessons from the past

He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.’ – This quote by James Augustine Aloysius Joyce got me questioning if necessity really is the mother of all invention, or are most inventions products of simple mistakes and accidental experiments that turned out to be much greater than the maker ever expected.

In this series of blog posts I am going to share with you about out the origins of some of our most favourite recipes, ingredients and kitchen tools and how they evolved from being an exclusive commodity to an easily available integral part of kitchens the world over.

Starting off the world’s favourite curry and controversy’s favourite child –

The mighty chicken tikka masala

There are several stories revolving around the creation of this dish that is so Indian yet is in the running to be Britain’s National Dish. Legend goes back to the mogul era when Emperor Babur ordered for meat to be cooked without bones, because he feared choking on them. When these boneless grilled kabobs’ or kababs, as we know them today, were served to the Brit population of the time, they found it too dry and requested that it be served with a sauce. Like any good chef would, the khansamas of the time plied to request and tossed the succulent kababs in a creamy tomato sauce or masala. The resultant dish was an instant hit amongst Indian locals and the Brits alike and came to known as the Chicken Tikka Masala.

Recent claims of it having been discovered in a restaurant in Glasgow have re-opened debate about this notorious dish. The world’s favourite curry is not new to controversy so whatever may be the origin of this dish, fact remains that Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the 1st and finest examples of fusion cuisine. Thanks to Emperor Babur’s paranoia and fussy English lords we got a dish that effortlessly blends Indian Masalas with mild International flavours to create a dish that is universally loved by all.

Today, every different place has a different version of the dish but for me the original manages to strike all the right chords. I like my chicken tikka masala cooked just the way it is supposed to be – chunks of tandoor grilled boneless chicken in a yogurt and tomato based sauce along with some char grilled capsicum, tomatoes and onions thrown in for good measure. Along with a crisp butter naan it spells comfort food for me. No twists and turns on this stalwart.

Check out my recipe for a lazeez chicken tikka masala on sanjeevkapoor.com

Lazeez_Murgh_Tikka_Masala_-_SKK(1)

Stay tuned for the next blog post in this series. I am going to talk about the king of spices, it’s very exciting story of origin, claim to fame and one of my favourite experimental recipe using it. Any guesses what this spice bomb could be?

Share with us your experiences in the kitchen when an accidental addition of an ingredient or quick fix trick turned out to be the best mistake you ever made. Also tell us how you liked this read in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and twitter.

Till I write again.

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