United Kingdom

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united kingdom's chicken tikka masala

National dish:

Chicken tikka masala

Marinated grilled chicken in a spiced, creamy tomato sauce. Served with steamed Basmati rice and/or naan bread.

A brief history…

About the United Kingdom’s national dish

Between 1505 and 1961, Britain colonised India. Britain at the time wanted to westernise and Christianise India. In the 1950’s, people from the Indian subcontinent emigrated to Britain and some opened restaurants. It is said the Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani chefs working in restaurants in Britain wanted to create something to satisfy the limited British palate. They adapted the 5000 year old Punjabi recipe of chicken tikka and created a dish made of marinated chicken cooked in a tandoori oven with a creamy curry sauce. No one knows exactly when or where chicken tikka masala originated. Some say Glasgow in the 1970’s. Other’s say elsewhere in Britain in the 1960’s or in India.

There is some controversy over the national dish of the UK. Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook stated chicken tikka masala is the UK’s national dish because it illustrates the way the UK absorbs and adapts colonised cultures, which is something quintessentially British. Others believe other popular dishes such as fish and chips, Sunday roast or a full English breakfast are the UK’s national dish. Nevertheless, chicken tikka masala is an extremely popular dish enjoyed by everyone in the UK and has become internationally known.

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