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Butter Chicken Battle: Daryaganj Chain Takes Legal Action Against Alleged Defamatory Remarks from Moti Mahal Owners

New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) – Daryaganj, a restaurant chain, has filed a case against the proprietors of Moti Mahal over alleged defamatory remarks related to the origin of “butter chicken.” Moti Mahal had previously approached the Delhi High Court claiming rightful ownership of butter chicken and dal makhani.

The dispute arose when Daryaganj used the tagline “Inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani,” prompting Moti Mahal to accuse them of misleading practices. The case was heard by Justice Sanjeev Narula in January, who summoned the owners of Daryaganj to respond to the suit within a month, with a hearing scheduled for May 29.

Allegations surfaced when statements made by Moti Mahal owners in an article, initially published in the Wall Street Journal, were perceived as damaging to Daryaganj’s reputation. In response, Moti Mahal owners claimed the remarks were presented from an “editorial perspective” and should not be directly attributed to them.

Justice Narula has directed Moti Mahal owners to submit an affidavit distancing themselves from the disputed statements. Daryaganj stressed the negative impact of the remarks on its reputation and business interests, highlighting concerns about prejudicing a fair adjudication.

Moti Mahal’s argument centers on the geographical association of its first branch in Daryaganj neighborhood, refuting any culinary relationship implied by Daryaganj. The dispute revolves around historical claims to the invention of butter chicken and dal makhani, credited to Moti Mahal’s founder, Kundan Lal Gujral.

According to Moti Mahal, Gujral invented the iconic dishes post-Partition, with butter chicken tracing its origins to a leftover chicken sauce. Daryaganj’s senior counsel dismissed the allegations, citing the joint establishment of the first Moti Mahal restaurant in Peshawar by predecessors of both parties.

The case underscores the contentious battle over the legacy of iconic Indian dishes, highlighting the importance of historical accuracy and reputational integrity in the culinary industry.



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