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The man behind Moti Mahal was Mr. Kundan Lal Gujral. The man who gave Tandoori Chichen to the world.
Kundan Lal Gujral was born in the first decade of the twentieth century in Chakwal, in undivided Punjab. Having lost his father at the tender age of ten, had to start looking for avenues to support the family. Kundan lal was the first in Peshawar to dig a tandoor right in the middle of the eatery. And, around 1920, Peshawar was introduced to the culinary art of Tandoori chicken by Legendary Kundan Lal. This was a runaway success .Soon Kundan was in demand for tandoori delicacy at social gathering and wedding feasts where he would use an improvised tandoor.
However, 1947 brought the tragedy of partition, forcing among others Mr. Kundan Lal Gujral to flee to India. Uncertainty faced him as he had neither money nor resources to make a fresh start in life. Kundan dropped off in Delhi to try his luck. The trail that began in Gora Bazaar in Peshawar ended in Delhi's liveliest intersection between the old city and the new – Daryaganj. There in 1947, Mr. Kundan Lal, by now on his own, identified a small thara, a little platform for a wayside café to which he decided to give its original name from across the Frontier.

Moti Mahal – The Palace of Pearls.
Thus a restaurant specializing in cuisine from the North West Frontier Province Moti Mahal made the ordinary curry a butter filled delight. The village tandoor for baking breads was turned into a royal mode of innovation resulting into Tandoori Chicken and Butter Chicken, heralding a complete revolution of taste, a transformation in Indian eating habits and a special place on the International Gourmet map. Moti Mahal, a restaurant that grew to a legend since 1920.

Thereafter, Moti Mahal became the destination for native and foreign visitors including foreign dignitaries to sample this most innovative and popular Indian Cuisine. The list went on to include the late US President Richard Nixon, then the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the King of Nepal and Soviet leaders Alexie Kosygin, Nikolia Bulganin and Nikita Krushchev. Nearer home, Pakistan's Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a known gourmet became a regular visitor at Moti Mahal whenever in India.

Moti Mahal's own satisfaction knew no bound when, having started off by winning the taste buds of his own country's Prime Minister, the restaurant went on to win those of the next generations and the next… it was Moti Mahal's specialty which dominated the menu for the wedding dinner of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's Grandson, Sanjay Gandhi ji. M. Maulana Azad, the former education minister reportedly told the shah of Iran that while in India, he must make two visits one to that Taj Mahal and one to Moti Mahal. Nationally, Moti Mahal is among the top Indian restaurants serving Indian and Mughlai Food with a boasting fleet in India and abroad.
History of Tandoor
Tandoor cuisine was basically introduced in India by the Arabs. Tandoors are actually earthen ovens and they are made up of mud plaster. Many historical signs and evidences prove that these earthen ovens have been found in the settlements of Harappa. However in India, tandoor ovens were introduced in the interiors of Mot Mahal Restaurant by Kundan lal Gujral. This grand and exclusive five star restaurant is known for introducing tandoor ovens and delicious tandoor dishes. As the time passed by, tandoor ovens started gaining an immense popularity in the market and slowly, they became an essential part of every commercial kitchen area.
Moti Mahal Restaurant made the delicious and impeccable tandoor dishes available to the common man. Many national leaders and popular celebrities have visited Moti Mahal Restaurant and enjoyed exclusive taste of tandoor dishes and recipes. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Zakir Hussain have also enjoyed the traditional tandoor cuisine of this restaurant. It is a fact that no commercial kitchen is complete without the addition of tandoor ovens and this earthen oven traces its origin from the kitchens of Moti Mahal restaurant. Today, tandoori dishes and recipes are one of the most commonly served food items in Northern India.
 
 
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