An In-Depth Look at Tikka Masala

Tikka masala is one of the most common dishes that you’ll find in Indian restaurants in Nashua and everywhere else, too. But is tikka masala actually an Indian dish? The story of its creation usually involves an Indian restaurant in Great Britain that is about to close, but does that make tikka masala British rather than Indian? Well, the experts at India Palace are here to answer that question.

Let’s separate the fact from the fiction surrounding this favorite dish of Indian restaurants in Nashua.


It was a dark and stormy night…

Okay, it may not have been, but all the versions of tikka masala’s origin story agree that the restaurant was about to close. Some versions say that it was in England in the 1960s. Others claim it was in Scotland in the 70s. Either way, the stories are all basically the same in broad strokes, even if they differ in the particulars. There was a customer who came in at the end of the night, ordered a chicken curry, and then complained that the chicken was dry. Because it was the end of the night, the chef didn’t have much left to work with. But he did spy a can of tomato soup. He mixed some traditional Indian spices into it and added a dollop of yogurt. He then poured it over the chicken and returned it to the customer. It was a hit, and the tikka masala was born.


Traditional Indian methods and flavors

While the dish may be much more popular in the West than it is in India, the methods and flavors that go into tikka masala are decidedly Indian. Tikka, meat cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked on a skewer, has been a part of Indian cooking for thousands of years. The mix of spices in the masala sauce is also traditionally Indian as well. Common spices in masala sauce include turmeric, ginger, clove, cardamom, coriander, and Kashmiri chilies. There are many other spices that chefs might add to their masala sauce, but it will vary depending on the tastes of the chef and what is available.


Traditional Flavors at Indian Restaurants in Nashua

Even if tikka masala was made for the first time in England or Scotland, it is Indian at heart. The cooking methods and flavors are in keeping with the other foods you’ll find on any menu at Indian restaurants in Nashua and around the world. So keep enjoying the most popular Indian dish with the knowledge that it’s part of the cuisine’s tradition.


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