New Delhi, Aug.5 (ANI): Top Indian chefs have warned Scottish MPs to keep their hands off the rights to chicken tikka masala.
Zaeemuddin Ahmad, a chef at Delhi's Karim Hotel, which was established by the last chef of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, claimed the recipe had been passed down through the generations in his family.
"Chicken tikka masala is an authentic Mughlai recipe prepared by our forefathers who were royal chefs in the Mughal period. Mughals were avid trekkers and used to spend months altogether in jungles and far off places. They liked roasted form of chickens with spices," The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"Its basically a Punjabi dish not more than 40-50 years old and must be an accidental discovery which has had periodical improvisations," added Rahul Verma, Delhi's most authoritative expert on street food.
He said that he had first tasted the dish in 1971 and that its origins were in Punjab, and not in the United Kingdom or Scotland.
"Patenting the name chicken tikka masala is out of the question. It has been prepared in India for generations. You can't patent the name, it's preposterous," said Himanshu Kumar, the founder of Eating Out in Delhi, a food group which celebrates Delhi's culinary heritage.
The ire of Indian chefs emerged after Scottish MPs, led by Mohammed Sarwar claimed the dish was invented in Glasgow in the early 1970s and now want official European Union recognition through a "Protected Designation of Origin".
Ahmed Aslam Ali of the Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow made the claim that chicken tikka masala was first made at his restaurant.
"We used to make chicken tikka and one day a customer said: 'I'd take some sauce with that, this is a bit dry' so we cooked chicken tikka with the sauce which contains yoghurt, cream, spices," he said.
Delhi's leading food historians have dismissed Ali's claim as "preposterous". (ANI)