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The History of Takeaway Food: Chicken Tikka Masala

We are Cheap Takeaway Menus. We specialise in quality takeaway menu design and cheap takeaway menu printing. We love being menu designers and menu printers. One of the things we love about takeaway menu design and cheap menu printing is the fact that we get to talk to each other and to our clients about food. A lot! Yum!

Who doesn't love takeaway food?! It's tasty and comforting. It's treat food. It can be as basic as fish and chips or as exotic as a Chittagong chilli. It's event food. How many singles, couples and families pick up a takeaway menu and order to eat in front of a DVD or a football match? It's convenient. It's fun. We love it!

In discussing takeaway food with our takeaway menu design team and our cheap menu printing team we all hit on the idea to keep talking about it with you. Our clients come from all parts of the takeaway world; from Indian to Turkish, to Chinese, to Italian, Spanish, Thai and all stops in between. Pizzas, curries, burgers, pasta, rice, kebabs... They're all experts. They know their stuff and they make great food for their customers to order from their cheap takeaway menus. We can guarantee that because we're the ones who did the menu printing and because we've tasted it (like I said, we love our job).

So we thought we'd delve a little into the history and details of some your (and our) favourite takeaway dishes. Just a taste (pun definitely intended) of what's out there to be had when you pick up one of our expertly designed cheap takeaway menus.

First up, a popular classic: Chicken Tikka Masala. Yum!


There is a lot of speculation about where chicken tikka masala originated. 

A restaurant owner in Glasgow has been the most vocal in claiming he came up with it by adding some tomato soup and spices when someone wasn’t particularly impressed with his basic chicken curry. Not really a glowing recommendation to pass to the menu printers, that one. Others say it has developed over the last fifty years or so in any one of numerous kitchens on the Indian subcontinent. Some even date it back to the mid-nineteenth century and the palace of the last Mughal emperor. Slightly fanciful as this last one might sound, it is as plausible as the Glaswegian with the tin of soup, because the truth is no one knows where it came from. 

The chances are it is as much a British dish as it is an Indian dish. The chicken tikka is the Indian base; the masala satisfies the crazy gravy-craving Brits.


Various surveys show it to be either the most popular or the second most popular dish on an Indian takeaway menu. Its popularity on takeaway menus is evident by the number of times our menu printers set it out before a menu printing run. 

Think about it for a moment….

Succulent chicken breast marinated overnight in cream or yoghurt with ginger, garlic, perhaps a dash of lemon juice and any number of other spices from cumin to paprika and garam masala. All those flavours spending the night together blending. Oh my!

Then the chicken gets cooked to perfection. Ideally in a tandoor but a grill or a griddle can produce that similar smoky flavour, especially when combined with the paprika.

Then the masala. The rich and tasty masala. Onions, garlic and ginger are a must. Maybe cloves and cardamom, perhaps the flavoursome fenugreek and some green chillies; then the tomatoes of course, for colour, more flavour and volume. A pinch of sugar to balance the sweet with the sour.

All added together then served with chopped coriander and fluffy rice. 


Phew! Every time we see this on a menu printing assignment we can see it on the plate. 

What’s fantastic about a chicken tikka masala is that it ticks so many boxes: the cream, the spice, the tender meat, the tomatoes, the garlic and onion, the dash of sweet and the tang of sour. It’s always worth an order. It never lets you down.

Not that our takeaway menu design team or our menu printing team are biased in any way at all, we love all takeaway food. However we do have a soft spot in our takeaway menu printing heart for it; and it has not gone unnoticed at Cheap Takeaway Menus that most people know chicken tikka masala simply as CTM…

Okay, where’s that takeaway menu. Someone pass me the phone.


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Cheap menu printing saves you money!

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About the Author

Kevin Moyse

With over 19 years creative marketing experience Kevin has a wonderful knowledge of takeaway restaurant industry and specialises in creative takeaway menu design and printing.

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