Who Invented Butter Chicken? Jury's Still Out

A simmering dispute over the origin of the globally popular butter chicken dish has reached a boiling point in India, with two restaurant chains, Moti Mahal and Daryaganj, duelling it out in court.

What Happened: As reported by Reuters, the two restaurant chains have been embroiled in a legal dispute since January at the Delhi High Court. Both are asserting their rights as the original creators of the butter chicken dish.

Moti Mahal claims that its founder, Kundan Lal Gujral, invented the creamy curry in the 1930s in Peshawar, now in Pakistan. The restaurant chain has demanded its rival to cease claiming credit and pay $240,000 in damages.

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Daryaganj, on the other hand, argues that a late member of its founding family, Kundan Lal Jaggi, created the dish in the relocated Delhi eatery. The filing includes a photograph from the 1930s, a 1949 partnership agreement, Jaggi’s business card, and a 2017 video discussing the dish’s origin. The eatery says that Gujral only handled marketing.

The restaurant is of the opinion that both restaurants should be allowed to use the moniker of being the inventors of butter chicken, one of the world’s most popular dishes.

The court is set to hear the case next on May 29. The key point of contention is where, when, and by whom the dish was first made.

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