Pakistani Inventor of Chicken Tikka Masala Dies in Glasgow

He claimed to have been the originator of ‘Britain’s favorite curry’.

Ali Ahmed Aslam, a Glasgow chef of Pakistani origin who is said to have created the world-famous chicken tikka masala, passed away at the age of 77 earlier this week.

According to The Guardian, Aslam’s death was announced by the staff at his restaurant, Shish Mahal, in Glasgow, Scotland, which closed down for 48 hours as a sign of respect and mourning.

It announced, “Hey, Shish Snobs … Mr. Ali passed away this morning … We are all absolutely devastated and heartbroken”.

Shish Mahal tweeted, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (Verily we belong to Allah, and truly to Him shall we return) Rest In Peace Mr. Ali”.

Aslam’s funeral was held at Glasgow Central Mosque on Tuesday and was open to the public.

Aslam had moved with his family from Pakistan to Glasgow as a young boy before setting up Shish Mahal in Glasgow’s west end in 1964. He was married and reportedly had five children.

Aslam had once told the AFP news agency that he had invented the recipe for chicken tikka masala in the 1970s when a customer asked if there was a way to make his chicken tikka less dry. Aslam’s approach was to improve the dish with a creamy tomato sauce.

Mohammad Sarwar, the Labour MP for Glasgow Central, had called for the city to be officially recognized as the origin of chicken tikka masala in 2009. He had campaigned for Glasgow to be granted EU PDO designation for the curry and had introduced an early day motion in the House of Commons.

However, the attempt had been unsuccessful since a number of other places in the UK claim to have originated the popular dish.