Who invented Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani? Iconic Delhi restaurants to battle it out in court

Two renowned restaurants in Delhi, Moti Mahal and Daryaganj, each claiming the title of 'inventor' of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani, are at the heart of this tussle that has made its way to the Delhi High Court.
Who invented Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani? Iconic Delhi restaurants to battle it out in court
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

A savoury dispute has made its way to the Delhi High Court, stirring up a debate on 'who invented Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani' - two of India's most beloved dishes.

At the heart of this tussle are two renowned restaurants, Moti Mahal and Daryaganj, each claiming the 'inventor' title for these iconic Indian recipes.

According to Bar and Bench, the legal battle began when the proprietors of Moti Mahal filed a lawsuit against the owners of Daryaganj restaurant for using the tagline 'Inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani', alleging that such claims mislead the public into believing there is an association between the two establishments.

The first hearing took place on January 16, under Justice Sanjeev Narula, who has since issued summons, and requested a written response from Daryaganj within a month, the Bar and Bench report stated.

Moti Mahal's narrative credits its predecessor, the late Kundal Lal Gujral, with the creation of these dishes post partition.

It recounts how Gujral, concerned about his unsold Tandoori Chicken drying out without refrigeration, ingeniously crafted the makhani sauce—a rich blend of tomatoes, butter, cream, and spices—to rehydrate and enhance the chicken, thus giving birth to the 'Butter Chicken', as per the report.

Similarly, applying this sauce to black lentils led to the creation of Dal Makhani.

On the other hand, Daryaganj restaurant, represented by Senior Advocate Amit Sibal and team, refutes these claims, labelling the lawsuit as "baseless."

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Who invented Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani? Iconic Delhi restaurants to battle it out in court

Bar and Bench reported that Daryaganj restaurant argued that there had been no false representation and that the original Moti Mahal restaurant was a joint venture between the predecessors of both parties - Gujral of Moti Mahal and Jaggi of Daryaganj - in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Source: India Today

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