Butter Chicken Was Invented In Daryaganj And Here’s The Story Behind It

Moti Mahal Delux
Moti Mahal Delux, today, is a famous institution, not just in terms of how long it has been around but also, because of how influential it has become in the formation of a post-independence cuisine. And while we have Moti Mahal to thank for a lot of fantastic evenings spent in the shadow of Old Delhi, there is a lot more to thank it for. For starters, the butter chicken at Moti Mahal Delux. Yes, you heard that right! Butter chicken was invented in Daryaganj, at the first ever Moti Mahal. 

The Birth Of Butter Chicken 


They make the creamiest butter chicken| Photo Courtesy Of: Wikimedia Commons

It was during the 1920s, when a young Kundan Lal Gujral was working in a small restaurant in Peshawar called Moti Sweets. After the death of his father at a young age, Gujral was forced to earn a living and work at Moti Sweets till the country gained independence. After the partition, having learnt the trade well enough, Gujral travelled to Delhi to try his luck on this side of the border. He stayed at a refugee camp for a while and initially thought of setting up a dhaba. Eventually, he bought a small space in Daryaganj, which was still considered a newer part of Delhi, and named this restaurant Moti Mahal. It was at this historic place that at least two of the most famous Delhi dishes that we know and love were created: Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani. 

When Gujral realised that the dry pieces of tandoori chicken would go bad very quickly, he decided to add some gravy to it, and somehow this chicken with a gravy made with butter, cream, tomatoes and spices became a cult. The love and craze for this new dish, Butter Chicken, spread across the country, and eventually the world. Butter Chicken became a part of our lives in a way that nothing had before. 
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Moti Mahal Delux


Moti Mahal Delux started its journey in the year 1947| Photo Courtesy Of: Moti Mahal Delux

Moti Mahal Delux began its journey in 1947, the year of our country’s independence. And as the country grew, so did the restaurant. Back in the day, Moti Mahal was graced by the presence of former Prime Ministers like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, former President Dr. Zakir Hussain, actors like Raj Kapur and Nargis, and even Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. And gradually, Moti Mahal’s  Butter Chicken became a flag bearer of Indian cuisine all over the world. 

Today, Moti Mahal Delux is a global chain of restaurants which has over 120 outlets in India. After the partition in 1947, the first Moti Mahal was founded by Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral and Thakur Das. 

 In the year 1990, Sanjiv Kohli thought of transforming the simple family business into an empire with the introduction of oriental cuisine, lounge bars and outdoor catering. With younger children joining the family business, the foundation was further strengthened when Yuvraj Kohli, the third generation of the family, thought of taking the chain to greater heights. He was the one who expanding Moti Mahal Delux and opened restaurants all across the city. With new franchise opportunities and expansion, he opened numerous restaurants in Delhi and across the country including cities like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and more. They further went on to international frontiers by beginning with Kathmandu in Nepal. In fact, the brand marked an entry in New York in 2012, which was followed by a grand opening of the legendary chain in London. 

Head to3703, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj, New Delhi
Say hello at011 23273661, 011 23273011
Pay INR 1,100 for two people (approx)
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