Legal battle over butter chicken origin heats up with new evidence

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The legal battle in India over butter chicken origins escalates with new evidence.

NEW DELHI, India, May 18: An ongoing legal dispute in India over the origins of the renowned butter chicken dish is intensifying with the emergence of fresh photographic and video evidence.

Since January, two prominent Indian restaurant chains have been engaged in a legal tussle at the Delhi High Court, each asserting credit for inventing the beloved curry. The lawsuit has captured global attention, drawing interest from social media users, food critics, editorials, and TV channels worldwide.

The Moti Mahal restaurant chain has claimed exclusive rights as the inventor of butter chicken, alleging that its rival, the Daryaganj chain, must cease claiming credit and pay $240,000 in damages. Moti Mahal asserts that its founder, Kundan Lal Gujral, created the creamy delicacy in the 1930s at an eatery in Peshawar, now in Pakistan, before relocating to Delhi.

However, Daryaganj disputes this narrative, presenting a 642-page counter-filing challenging Moti Mahal’s claims. According to Daryaganj, a late member of its founding family, Kundan Lal Jaggi, concocted the dish while overseeing the kitchen at the relocated Delhi establishment. Evidence submitted includes a variety of documents and a 2017 video in which Jaggi discusses the dish’s origin.

The heart of the dispute lies in determining where, when, and by whom the dish was truly invented – by Gujral in Peshawar, Jaggi in New Delhi, or potentially by both. This decision is pivotal, given butter chicken’s international acclaim and its position as the 43rd-best dish globally, according to TasteAtlas.

The legal proceedings also touch on allegations of intellectual property infringement, with Moti Mahal accusing Daryaganj of imitating its restaurant interiors, a claim that Daryaganj refutes with counter-evidence.

The judge is scheduled to hear the case next on May 29, as the culinary world awaits a resolution to this contentious battle over butter chicken’s origins.

This news has been read 556 times!

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