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Chicken tikka masala

Biography

Fancy a curry? Oh we know you do… Join ICONS on a veritable feast of all things spice and all things nice, and find out why chicken tikka masala reigns supreme when it comes to going for a ‘Ruby Murray’.

The Basics

Loved by many and clearly scoffed by many, this iconic and massively popular Indian-style curry shows how two different cultures can come together to create something wholly unique. Chicken tikka masala is a testament to the fact that cultural tastes can be redefined and re-interpreted – literally a melting cultural (curry) hotpot.

A cook's tour

The origin of the term "curry" is difficult to pinpoint; it may or may not mean "sauce" or "gravy". But linguistic origin aside, it is certainly a term we British have wholeheartedly embraced and readily use to describe one of our all time favourite cuisines. The nation's curry dish of choice - chicken tikka masala - is a prime example of how two different cultures can come together to create something wholly unique and rather sublime.

Spice trail

By 1858 trading between India and Britain was common place and a number of Indian cooks (as well as sailors and domestic servants) jumped ship to settle and work upon British soil. The presence of the British Raj in India also meant that army officers developed a taste for spicy food whilst living in India and so they too returned home with a desire to add more spice to life!

The Hot Favourite

Robin Cook (the late Labour cabinet minister) thrust chicken tikka masala into the limelight when he ordained it as the "nation's favourite dish." And with a plethora of chefs tweaking the dish to perfection, literally hundreds of CTM recipes, a magazine dedicated to all things curry, and even a national week of curry celebration, it appears chicken tikka masala will remain as such for the unforseeable future.