Lesson in International Foods

Featured Dish: Chicken Tikka Masala

INTERNATIONAL FOODS/COOKING: To say that immigration is an important aspect of American history is an understatement. None of us would be here if it were not for immigration. Moreover, the United States is not unique in this. Human populations have been immigrating around the world since the beginning of history. If you go far back enough, you will find that there are no communities of people anywhere in the world that did not originate somewhere else. What this historical phenomenon demonstrates is that human societies are always hybrids. Groups travel and move, and as they do so, they adopt customs, influence the creation of new cultures, and bring certain cultural elements with them. All cultures, from the most heterogeneous to those that might appear homogeneous, are the result of generations of immigration. Food cultures and traditions are one of the best ways to illustrate this historical fact. Chicken tikka masala is a perfect example: one of the most popular and recognizable Indian dishes in the world was likely invented in Scotland by Pakistani chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, in the 1970s. He decided to add tomato soup to a plate of chicken curry after a customer complained that it was too dry. In this video, hear the story of one chef and learn how to make his “authentic” Chicken Tikka Masala!


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