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Chicken tikka masala

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.

A favourite TV dinner
© Werner Van Peppen
Chicken tikka masala was ordained as the “nation’s favourite dish” by Robin Cook (late Labour cabinet minister) in April 2001.

"Chicken Tikka Masala is now a true British national dish,” said Mr Cook, “not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences. Chicken Tikka is an Indian dish. The Masala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of British people to have their meat served in gravy."


Although, whether he did so because he was partial to a chicken tikka masala himself or because he knew it would rile some of his colleagues in the House of Commons is another matter…Either way, it placed chicken tikka masala in the top slot, a place it has seemingly been un-budged from ever since.

Visit Britain curry
Brit-Indi Meal with all the trimmings.
© www.britainonview.com
Our national obsession with curry doesn’t show any signs of waning, and it seems safe to say that our love of a creamy chicken tikka masala is here to stay.

In fact, we love our curries so much, that we have even assigned 'curry' a week of awareness and related activities. 2008's National Curry Week will run from 16-22 November.

Furthermore, with the benefits of home cooking being championed by a bevy of TV chefs on a daily basis, literally hundreds of curry cookbooks available, and even a glossy solely devoted to the subject - The Curry Magazine - it’s never been easier to knock up your own veritable feast of spicy delights.

Recipes for chicken tikka masala are one of the easiest to come by and nearly every chef you can think of has cooked it, many of whom have added their own tantalising twist. So if you fancy getting adventurous in the kitchen and adding a bit of extra spice in your life, check out our recipe for chicken tikka masala in the features section courtesy of Brit-Indi cuisine extraordinaire and ICONS interviewee - Manju Mahli.