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Chicken Tikka Masala

1153 of 1169 nominations

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Chicken Tikka Masala

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Chicken Tikka Masala

Famously, Robin Cook designated Chicken Tikka Masala as “a true British national dish”. This mixture of chicken pieces (the tikkas), marinaded then cooked in a tandoor oven, smothered in a spicy gravy (masala), has become a national obsession. Marks and Spencers sells more than 18 tonnes of it sandwiches every week! It is the most ordered dish across our nation’s 8,000 curry houses and the most popular Indian dish in the world. But did you know that chicken tikka masala is not a traditional Indian dish but a hybrid created in Britain to satisfy the English need for gravy over everything? There are many different theories as to exactly who invented it, when and where. Nobody can even agree on what goes in it – as any true curry fan will tell you, no two recipes are ever quite the same!

Photo: foodfolio / Alamy

NOMINATION 1153 OF 1169

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It is the most popular food in England and shows our multi-cultural make up as a country, England as a true melting pot of cultures.

Abigail Anderson


In The Book of General Ignorance, based on the TV series QI, Tikka Masala started as Chicken Tikka in an Indian restaurant in London in the 1960s. A Scotsman took the recipe back his restaurant in Glasgow, where a customer asked for some gravy on it. The restaurant made a Masala sauce based on tomatoes and other ingredients and served it on the Tikka. Chicken Tikka Masala was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
Phil Austin


A world famous dish dish invented in England. I once overheard a chapon an aeroplane coming back from a long time abroad: "can't wait for some real english food - egg and bacon for breakfast, and chicken tikka marsala for me dinner"
wynn wheldon


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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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