Tikka Things Up A Notch [UPDATED]

It was the week the world went tikka masala krazy. The credulous, basilisk gaze of the international media zeroed in on Glasgow – Park Road, to be precise – to breathlessly report the gallus declarative actions of the Shish Mahal.

It started earlier this month, when the inimitable Mr Ali – who, as we sweatily reported in May, won the Lifetime Achievment Award at the Irn-Bru Scottish Curry Awards 2009 – voiced aloud his belief that the mighty Shish had originally created chicken tikka masala, regularly described as "Britain's favourite dish" (although this probably refers to the supermarket ready meal version, a scalding broth balanced precariously on one's lap in front of The One Show).

The Shish cause was taken up by local MP Mohammad Sarwar, who tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons calling for other politicians to back his ambitious campaign: for Glasgow to be given EU Protected Designation of Origin status for chicken tikka masala. Different media reported the story in different ways: here's the BBC's online coverage; compare it with this slightly more skeptical report in the Calcutta Telegraph.

The TATTGOC brotherhood has always had a curious relationship with the Shish – read any of our Pilau Talk interviews and it's often invoked by members as their very favourite curry restaurant in Glasgow. Our semi-regular Currypedia series is essentially cribbed wholesale from the Shish Mahal Cookbook, and The Tramp, in particular, is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the Shish's hasina lamb chops and lamb korma (our co-founder first visited the restaurant when he was just two years old – presumably beardless, if you can imagine that).

But since TATTGOC's stated mission is to seek out the hidden gems of the Glasgow curry scene rather than relying on its "eternals", we've never had an official meeting at Mr Ali's Park Road institution (although there was that memorable outing to a nominal rival Shish in Maryhill). If the restaurant is successful in its attempt to be officially declared the home of chicken tikka masala, that might be cause enough to re-examine the TATTGOC constitution and see if we could table our own history-making amendment.

One last, slightly surprising observation: there's no recipe for chicken tikka masala in the official Shish Mahal Cookbook (although there are instructions on how to make both chicken tikka and fish masala).

And finally, a joke: a man walks into the Shish Mahal and orders a chicken tarka. The confused waiter asks: what's that? And the patron replies, it's like a chicken tikka ... but otter.

UPDATED: For an excellent primer about Mr Ali and the legendary Shish, check out this piece by award-winning Scotland On Sunday scribbler Peter Ross. It even namechecks this very blog.

Do any of you bams have notable Shish stories? Let us know in the comments below

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