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History of Butter Chicken: Know How The Spicy and Savoury Most Wanted Cuisine of India Invented!

History of Butter Chicken: Know HowThe Spicy and Savoury Most Wanted Cuisine of India Invented!

The most delicious cuisine in your non-veg list? Butter chicken! Ummmmm, with a perfect blend of tanginess and spices, molded with cream and a savory taste, butter chicken remains the top most wanted cuisine.

Origin of Butter Chicken:

Originated in the national capital of India, the dish has managed to acquire international acclaim. The dish is not as old as most other chicken dishes that have originated from the Mughal kitchen.

It's rather a newer dish, invented in the recent past. Most of us are ready to have a gala party with a plate of butter chicken, but when asked about its origins, the majority goes blank.

Known in Hindi as Murg Makhani, this dish is one of the richest and most favorite food items of Indian. The luccy, succulent and tasty pieces of Chicken are immersed in a combination of piquant buttery and creamy gravy with some tangy tomatoes and combination of scented spices.


The history of butter chicken dates back to the Pre-independent era. In the land of Peshawar, there was an old mithai (sweet) shop by the name of Mukhey da Dhaba. The owner was Mokha Singh, an en elderly man. The shop was sold to one of the workers, Kundan Lal Gujral, due to the deteriorating health conditions of the former master.

Interestingly, it is the same man who made the mouthwatering recipe of tandoor chickens. The shop was renamed as Moti Mahal. Due to political upheavals, Gujral flew to Delhi and alongside brought the iconic Moti Mahal and its famous tandoor chickens to Delhi.

Gujral was quick to understand the losses he made when the tandoori chickens went dry when kept hanging on the seekhs over the tandoor for most time and thus remained unsold. There was no system of refrigeration. So, there were chances that the dry tandoori chicken would go wasted.

However, he devised a great idea to retain the moisture of the tandoori chicken and make them look attractive and tempting. He prepared a basic gravy. He mixed the tandoori chickens in a gravy prepared with tomatoes, butter, cream and a few spices. This, he prepared not to give rise to the iconic dish but only to curb losses.

Little did he know that this accidentally prepared mix-up will win the hearts of millions in the name of butter chicken. The dish was tasted and appreciated by many honorable and high profile people including Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Zakhir Hussain.

Recipe :

The chicken is usually marinated in dahi(yogurt) mixed with various spices including ginger, coriander, garam masala. It's then cooked in tandoor style and immersed in a sauce prepared of butter, almonds, and resins. This is how our favorite butter chicken is made.

This accidental food is now an obligatory cuisine in every single restaurant. It's the main course item, that could be eaten with both breads and rice. This further has gained it more affections. The taste may vary from place to place but the essence remains the same. And you can get the taste of butter chicken in any part of India.

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