Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken The chicken is marinated in yogurt and seasoned with tandoori masala. The story of its origins lies with a man named Kundan Lal Gujral, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Peshawar before the partition of British India. Trying out new recipes to keep his patrons interested, Gujral tried cooking chicken in tandoors (clay ovens) used by locals until then to cook naan bread. The tandoors are bell-shaped ovens, set into the earth and fired with wood or charcoal reaching temperatures of about 480 degrees. Gujral was able to cook the tender chickens in these ovens making them succulent inside and crispy outside. After the partition in 1947, Punjab was partitioned with the Eastern portion joining India and western Pakistan. Peshawar became part of Pakistan and Gujral found himself one among many Hindu refugees fleeing the rioting and upheaval by moving to India. He moved his restaurant to Delhi in a place called Daryaganj. The Tandoori chicken at Moti Mahal so impressed the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, that he made it a regular at official banquets. Visiting dignitaries that enjoyed Tandoori Chicken included American Presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, the King of Nepal, and the Shah of Iran. The fame of Tandoori Chicken led to many derivatives like Chicken Tikka (and eventually the Indian dish popularized in Britain Chicken Tikka Masala), commonly found in menus in Indian restaurants all over the world.
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