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UK's chicken tikka on India's platter

Considered UK's national dish, the curry is now being exported in bulk to consumers in Mumbai and Delhi.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 10:56 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

British manufacturers of spicy Indian delicacies have discovered a new market for chicken tikka masala (CTM) -- India.

Widely considered Britain's national dish, the curry is now being exported in bulk to consumers in Mumbai and Delhi.

Lancashire-based Indian food major Pataks has been shipping vast quantities of the dish that was first exported to India to cater to British tourists there who are more familiar with the dish back home.

But now reports say that Indians who love to experiment with a wide variety of global cuisine have taken to the dish with a Brit twist in a big way.

The dish was created when a Bangladeshi chef produced a dish of traditional chicken tikka only to be asked "where's my gravy?" The response was, supposedly, a can of cream of tomato soup and a few spices and the masala element was born.

Several chefs have laid claim to the invention of CTM. It caught on at once, and swept so rapidly round the restaurant circuit that within a couple of years it was a standard item at all curry houses in Britain.

Industry figures show that 23 million portions of the dish a year are sold in Indian restaurants.

As many as 10 tonnes of chicken tikka masala are produced by Noon Products every day for sale in supermarkets.

Pataks' current chief Meena Pathak and her husband Kirit now spend their time creating new dishes, writing best-selling cookery books and promoting Indian food around the world.

Meena told the local media: "There is a fusion of Italian, Chinese and other flavours in India which means we can produce new ideas for years to come."

First Published: Apr 05, 2006 10:56 IST