As I was saying two years ago…

India achieved independence in 1947, and the fact that today, in the midst of Brexit and right-wing populist backlash, chicken tikka masala remains warmly embedded in the British character as the “national dish” and a symbol of multiculturalism says much about eccentricities of politics and the realities of assimilation.

This sad news item appeared just before Christmas last year.

Ali Ahmed Aslam, inventor of chicken tikka masala, dies at 77, by Nadeen Badshaw (The Guardian)

A chef who is believed to have invented the chicken tikka masala, regarded as Britain’s favourite curry, has died aged 77.

What is chicken tikka masala? For a relatively objective definition, we turn to Wikipedia.

Chicken tikka masala is composed of chicken tikka, boneless chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt that are roasted in an oven, served in a creamy sauce. A tomato and coriander sauce is common, but no recipe for chicken tikka masala is standard; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken. The sauce usually includes tomatoes (frequently as purée), cream, coconut cream and a masala spice mix. The sauce and chicken pieces may be coloured orange using foodstuffs such as turmeric, paprika, tomato purée or with food dye. Chicken tikka masala is similar to butter chicken, both in the method of creation and appearance.

Aslam opened Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow in 1964 after immigrating from Pakistan. His claim to have invented tikka masala one day in the early 1970s as an impromptu sauce intended to rescue overly dry chicken cannot be definitively proven, although he may well have popularized it.

Who created chicken tikka masala? The death of a curry king is reviving a debate, by Emily Olson

The death of a Pakistani-Scottish chef who claimed he cooked up the world’s first chicken tikka masala is prompting a flood of tributes to what’s been described as ‘Britain’s national dish’ — and reviving a debate into its true origin.

The debate will continue. It is the opinion of “Edibles & Potables” that irrespective of chicken tikka masala’s precise origins, the dish remains a user friendly, multicultural introduction to a far wider world of cuisine, which brings people through the door.

And the best tikka masala in Louisville? Both Tripadvisor and Yelp say Taj Palace Indian Restaurant, but Foursquare counters with Dakshin South Indian Restaurant.

Field trips shall be organized in due time, but please, spare me the Kingfisher beer. Lager hails from Central Europe and neither India nor Britain.