Who Invented Butter Chicken & Dal Makhani? Battle Reaches High Court

New Delhi: Who invented butter chicken and dal makhani, two of India’s most loved dishes?

Moti Mahal and Daryaganj, two renowned restaurants in the national Capital, have both laid claims to be the ‘inventor’ of these iconic Indian recipes.

So much so that the matter has reached Delhi High Court.

A legal battle erupted when the proprietors of Moti Mahal filed a lawsuit against Daryaganj restaurant owners for using the tagline ‘Inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani’. Moti Mahal contended in their complaint that such a claim misled the public into believing there is an association between the two establishments, reported Bar and Bench.

Justice Sanjeev Narula, who heard the case earlier this week, has issued summons and sought a written response from Daryaganj within a month.

Moti Mahal has been crediting its predecessor, late Kundal Lal Gujral, as creator of these dishes after Partition.

According to Moti Mahal’s narrative, Gujral was worried that his unsold tandoori chicken will dry out without refrigeration. It was then that he cooked up the makhani sauce — a rich blend of tomatoes, butter, cream and spices — to rehydrate and enhance the chicken, thereby giving birth to the butter chicken.

Applying this sauce to black lentils led to the creation of dal makhani.

Daryaganj restaurant, represented by Senior Advocate Amit Sibal, refuted these claims and called Moti Mahal’s lawsuit “baseless.”

According to Bar and Bench, Daryaganj restaurant’s counsel argued that there had been no false representation and the original Moti Mahal restaurant was a joint venture between the predecessors of both parties — Gujral of Moti Mahal and Jaggi of Daryaganj — in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The case will next be heard on January 29.

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