Thursday, December 22, 2022

Chicken tikka masala creator Ali Ahmed Aslam passes away at age 77

Ali Ahmed Aslam, inventor of chicken tikka masala, dies at 77

 GLASGOW: A family member told AFP on Wednesday that a Glasgow chef who claimed to have invented the curry dish chicken tikka masala had passed away at the age of 77.

In the 1970s, Ahmed Aslam Ali created the dish at his restaurant Shish Mahal by improvising a sauce from a tin of tomato soup, according to his nephew Andleeb Ahmed. He passed away on Monday morning.

Ahmed stated, "He would eat lunch in his restaurant every day."

"He lived his life in the restaurant. Curry would be made for him by the chefs. I'm not sure if he ate chicken tikka masala frequently.

Ahmed said that his uncle was very driven and obsessed with perfection.

Ahmed stated, "Last year he was sick, and I went to see him in the hospital on Christmas Day."

"His head was drooped down. I was there for ten minutes. He raised his head and stated that you ought to be at work before I left.

Ali stated in a 2009 interview with AFP that he developed the recipe for chicken tikka masala after a customer complained that his chicken tikka was too dry.

Ali stated, "We used to make chicken tikka, and one day a customer said, 'I'd take some sauce with that, this is a bit dry.'" "Chicken tikka masala was invented in this restaurant," he continued.

"We decided that the chicken ought to be cooked with some sauce." So from here we cooked chicken tikka with the sauce that contains yogurt, cream, flavors."

In subsequent years, it grew to become the most requested dish in British restaurants.

Even though it's hard to say for sure where the dish came from, most people think of it as a curry that was adapted for Western tastes.

According to Ali, the chicken tikka masala is made to the liking of each customer.

He stated, "Typically they don't take hot curry, so we cook it with yogurt and cream."

The fact that former foreign minister Robin Cook once described the dish as an essential component of British culture is cited by supporters of the campaign to secure protected status for it.

In a 2001 speech on British identity, Cook stated, "Chicken tikka masala is now a true British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences."

Ali, whose family moved from Pakistan's Punjab province to Glasgow as a young boy, opened Shish Mahal in Glasgow's west end in 1964.

He stated that he desired the dish to be presented to Glasgow as a tribute to his adopted city.

He unsuccessfully lobbied in 2009 for the dish to receive "Protected Designation of Origin" status from the European Union, along with Champagne, Parma Ham, and Greek Feta cheese.

In 2009, MP Mohammad Sarwar called for EU protection in a motion that was presented in the House of Commons.

Three sons and two daughters are among Ali's surviving children.

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