Perhaps the most controversial of the vast array of Indian Dishes, Tikka Masala, may not even be Indian at all! (It’s OK. Just take a moment to recover from the shock.)

While cleverly camouflaged under traditional Indian spices and cooking methods, this devilish dish is one you would struggle to find on the menus of India.

The most popular legend has it that this cunningly concocted curry came to be when a Glaswegian gent requested his Chicken Tikka (spice and yoghurt marinated grilled meat pieces) to come served in a spiced gravy. The true origin, however, remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the 21st century (like Big Foot, but tastier)

With no identifiable inventor to confirm the purest recipe, this mild, buttery, curry is a master of disguise. No one really knows what must go in a Tikka Masala, with a survey of 48 Chicken Tikka Masala recipes finding only one common ingredient: chicken (duh!)

Much like many of our most worshipped dishes, like pizza and burgers, part of its appeal may lie in this flexibility of flavour. With no traditional recipe to constrain the creativity of chefs, Tikka Masala becomes like a chameleon, shifting and changing to blend with local tastes. Each time we try it from a different chef, we get to capture the magic of another first-time experience, with the surprise and delight of different flavours only adding to the Tikka Masala mystery.

The best introduction to Indian style cuisine or an easy way to change up your usual Indian order, the Tikka Masala will continue to be the world’s most successful menu stowaway and everyone’s favourite non-Indian Indian dish.

This must mean it’s Tikka Masala Time. Order online now.