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Legal dispute erupts between 2 renowned Indian restaurant chains over origins of butter chicken

12:55 AM Jan 26, 2024 IST | SURINDER SINGH OBEROI
legal dispute erupts between 2 renowned indian restaurant chains over origins of butter chicken
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New Delhi, Jan 25: A high-stakes legal dispute has erupted between two renowned Indian restaurant chains, Moti Mahal and Daryaganj, over the contested origins of the globally acclaimed dish, Butter Chicken. Reuters news agency reports that the lawsuit has become a hot topic in India, captivating the nation's attention.

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Moti Mahal, the historic Delhi-based restaurant, founded by Kundan Lal Gujral, has initiated legal proceedings against rival chain Daryaganj.

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Media reported that the lawsuit, filed in the Delhi High Court, alleges that Daryaganj falsely claims to have invented Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani, another popular dish rich in butter, tomato gravy and cream.

The Gujral family, known for hosting guests such as late U.S. President Richard Nixon and India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, is seeking nearly Rs two crore in damages.

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Moti Mahal asserts that Kundan Lal Gujral conceived the iconic Butter Chicken in the 1930s when the restaurant initially opened in Peshawar before relocating to Delhi. The lawsuit further accuses Daryaganj of copying Moti Mahal's website layout and the ambience of its restaurants.

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Daryaganj, a relatively recent establishment, counters the claims, arguing that its late family member, Kundan Lal Jaggi, collaborated with Gujral to open the Delhi restaurant in 1947, where the dish was purportedly invented.

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The legal battle intensifies as both parties maintain their longstanding assertions of being the true inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani.

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The dispute has gained widespread public interest, and media attention and has sparked debates on social media platforms. The Delhi High Court, presided over by Justice Sanjeev Narula, is overseeing the case, with the next hearing scheduled for May 29.

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