“Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearl), one of the oldest restaurants in Delhi, helped spread to the world one of India’s iconic cuisines”: Tandoori food
Moti Mahal is a very famous food corner in India but there is an interesting story behind its success. Although Moti Mahal has changed a lot now with a lot of reinvention, the best part is that it has been able to retain the taste and Quality that was started by Kundan Lal Gujral, the founder, and pillar of Moti Mahal deluxe. Today we will come to know about the story of Kundan and how he started Moti Mahal which contributed significantly to put India on the food map of the world by introducing the tandoori style in India.
Kundan Lal Gujral lost his father at a very early age of 10 so he was always in search of income sources to support his family. Kundan used to work at a small eatery called Moti Mahal, owned by a man named ‘Mokha Singh’ in Peshawar during the British rule from 1920 to 1947. Moti Mahal was the first food corner to use tandoor right in the middle of the eatery. It was then Peshawar was introduced to the taste of tandoori chicken and other tandoor items and soon it became so famous that people would love to add tandoor dishes in important functions such as marriage as well.
However, during the Partition in 1947, Kundan Lal Gujral moved to Delhi from the Peshawar (now in Pakistan). He had to start a new life as a refugee. It was then Moti Mahal was founded in 1947 in Delhi by Kundan in partnership with Thakur Das Mago. The first Moti Mahal in Delhi introduced the Punjabi flavor to the people with many famous that dishes include tandoori chicken, butter chicken and dal makhani.
Kundan Lal’s son Mr. Nand Lal ‘Bila’ Gujral expanded Moti Mahal Delux in south Delhi to establish Moti Mahal Delux Chain of Restaurants after Thakur Das Mago’s exit from the partnership. Moti Mahal now has a global chain of restaurants with over 120 franchises in India and around the world.
“While in India he must make two visits – to the Taj Mahal and Moti Mahal.”- M. Maulana Azad, the great Muslim leader told the Shah of Iran.
It is a story of positive thinking, determination and hard work which has paid off for Kundan as Moti Mahal Deluxe. From working at a small eatery called Moti Mahal, owned by a man named ‘Mokha Singh’ to become a global chain of restaurants with over 120 franchises in India and around the world. Kundan’s grandsons Monish a graduate of Delhi University and Ashim Gujral has been working day and night to expand their business so as to complete the dream of their grandfather. We wish Moti Mahal can bring a lot of laurels to our country in coming years as well.
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