The battle of butter chicken

The Battle of Butter Chicken Origins: Legal Showdown in India’s Culinary Arena

The battle of butter chicken, a staple of Indian cuisine, finds itself at the center of a legal dispute between two prominent restaurant chains in India. Moti Mahal, a celebrated Delhi-based restaurant with a storied history, alleges that its founder, Kundan Lal Gujral, conceived the iconic curry back in the 1930s during the restaurant’s tenure in Peshawar before relocating to Delhi. This lawsuit has stirred significant attention in India, pitting Moti Mahal against the relatively newer Daryaganj chain.

The Claims and Counterclaims on The Battle of Butter Chicken Origins

Moti Mahal, backed by a 2,752-page court filing, accuses Daryaganj of falsely asserting its invention of butter chicken and dal makhani, another butter-infused lentil dish. Seeking $240,000 in damages, Moti Mahal further alleges that Daryaganj mimicked its website layout and the ambiance of its restaurants. Daryaganj contends that Kundan Lal Jaggi, its late family member, collaborated with Gujral to establish the Delhi restaurant in 1947, asserting their right to the dish’s creation. Supporting its argument, Daryaganj produces a faded, hand-written partnership document registered in 1949.

The Nation’s Attention on the battle of butter chicken origins

This culinary dispute has become a national spectacle, capturing the attention of India’s media and sparking debates on social platforms. Television broadcasts delve into the dish’s history, while social media buzzes with opinions on the rightful creator of butter chicken. The case, an unusual legal scenario, hinges on the challenge of determining the dish’s true origin, with intellectual property lawyers emphasizing the need for circumstantial evidence.

The battle of butter chicken

As the legal battle unfolds in the Delhi High Court, the complexity lies in establishing concrete evidence of the dish’s origins. Ameet Datta, an intellectual property lawyer, suggests that testimonies linking the brand to decades-old consumption experiences could serve as crucial proof. The next hearing, scheduled for May, will likely shed further light on this intriguing clash over the legacy of butter chicken, a dish that has secured its place as the 43rd best in the world according to TasteAtlas.

Culinary Significance

Butter chicken, characterized by tandoor-cooked chicken in a tomato gravy with generous amounts of cream and butter, holds the 43rd position in the world’s “best dishes” list by TasteAtlas. With its delectable taste and international acclaim, butter chicken remains a symbol of Indian culinary excellence, making the legal battle for its origin a matter of both cultural and commercial importance.


the courtroom drama surrounding butter chicken’s origins adds a unique chapter to the culinary history of India, unraveling not just a legal dispute but also the rich tapestry of the nation’s gastronomic heritage.

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