Butter Chicken: One dish, two stories – Who invented it?

Published On: 11.March.2024Categories: Legal2 min read
Avatar photo
Nora Wölflick writes about interesting, topical issues for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

Culinary thrillers: The battle for the true recipe of butter chicken

A dispute that engages taste buds and dishes alike is simmering in the hearts of India. Two prominent restaurant chains – Moti Mahal and Daryaganj – are engaged in a legal battle for the honor of inventing India’s most popular export dish: Butter Chicken. But that’s not all; the origins of the hearty dal makhani are also being disputed. The question that a court in New Delhi must now clarify: Who really invented these culinary masterpieces?

A story as rich as the sauce: the roots of butter chicken

According to the family that runs the Moti Mahal restaurant, the invention of butter chicken lies in the hands of their grandfather, Kundan Lal Gujral. A look at the history reveals that Gujral is said to have created the dish from the leftovers of tandoori chicken in his restaurant in Peshawar (now Pakistan). An innovative idea that dipped traditional tandoori chicken in a rich tomato and butter sauce gave Indian cuisine a new dimension. After the partition of India in 1947, Moti Mahal found its new home in Delhi, and with it the Butter Chicken, which began its triumphal march around the world.

Daryaganj lays claim: another spin on history

On the other side of the culinary ring is Daryaganj restaurant, which has recently laid claim to the invention of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani. Their version of the story emphasizes that Kundan Lal Jaggi, an associate of Gujral, is the true inventor of the dish. The claim that Jaggi developed the legendary recipe during his time at the Delhi restaurant has led to a tangled debate over authorship and tradition.

The legal dish: a battle over culture and heritage

Moti Mahal has taken Daryaganj to court, demanding a hefty sum of 200 million Indian rupees in compensation and insisting that Daryaganj no longer claim to be the inventor of the disputed dishes. With an initial court hearing already held and a continuation in May, the culinary community remains eagerly awaiting the verdict.

Conclusion: More than just a dish at stake

What at first glance looks like a simple dispute over the authorship of a recipe turns out to be a profound argument about heritage, tradition and the importance of culinary innovation. As the court in New Delhi grapples with this delicate issue, the world remains eagerly awaiting the decision – and in the meantime enjoying the controversial dish whose recipe has captured the hearts of many.

Protect your rights and get professional legal advice.

Book a legal service now to ensure your interests are protected!

119.00 Euro Fixed Fee

Fast & uncomplicated to the lawyer. Processing within 24 hours.