Butter Chicken Vs Tikka Masala

Butter Chicken Vs. Tikka Masala- A Quick Overview

Butter Chicken Vs Tikka Masala

When it comes to Indian cuisines, you get nothing except the flavor extravaganza. The Indian lexicon of dishes from spicy phaals to crimson vindaloos is a product of the masterful combination of heat and spice.

It’s difficult not to come across the chicken tikka masala and butter chicken, as it’s on almost every Indian restaurant menu. Both dishes share the same look, with an orange tinge and smokiness.

However, not everyone can differentiate between the two popular Indian dishes, and most people will argue there’s no difference.

So, in this post, we’ll talk about the difference between butter chicken and tikka masala.

Butter Chicken Vs Tikka Masala

Butter Chicken vs. Tikka Masala – A Quick Overview

Butter Chicken

This is originally called “murgh makhani,” and it has been one of the many curry-based cuisines from Indian. These dishes are not only served in India but also in the rest of the world and have a decent flavor, subtle variation and method of preparation, which depends on the specific region where you have it.

This delectable dish is made by marinating chopped, small pieces of chicken in a flavorful mix of curry spices, garlic, and ginger. Afterward, it’s cooked in a butter-based sauce and creamy tomato.

Tikka Masala

Some people regard the tikka masala as an Indian version of the American pizza without the crispy crust. Similar to the butter chicken, this cuisine is also curry-based. The only difference is the chopped chickens are grilled initially before smothering the piece in a sumptuous tomato-based sauce.

While you might believe that this dish originated from Indian, tikka masala was created in Britain by Bangladeshi chefs running most of the Indian restaurants in the 1960s. However, other sources report that this dish originated in an Indian restaurant in Glasgow.

The European Union acknowledged this dish’s root in Britain by proposing a “Protected Designation of Origin.” However, regardless of where this delectable cuisine is made, it’s inspired by the sub-continent flavors.

With this in mind, one thing that stays true about this popular dish is its amazing deliciousness. The chicken is marinated in chili pepper, ginger, garlic, and a variety of other savory masala ingredients before grilling it and immersing it in a curry-based sauce.

Chicken Tikka Masala | Gordon Ramsay

Butter Chicken vs. Tikka Masala – The Difference

Now that you know the origins and what these two dishes are, let’s discuss the difference between both chicken recipes.

In this section, we’ll highlight the key difference which makes these recipes distinct.

Invention

This is what really differentiates these two mouth-watering dishes. While both cuisines were created by top chefs experimenting on cooked chicken, they differ in terms of recipes.

For butter chicken, unsold tandoori chicken is the main ingredient, while the tikka masala is a result of improving the chicken tikka dish.

In addition, where these dishes were invented differs. The butter chicken was created in India, while the other was invented by an Indian chef in the United Kingdom.

Appearance

As said earlier, these delicacies appear the same with an orange tinge. This is because they have their chicken meat covered in a rich, flavorful sauce. However, the butter chicken tends to have a lighter orangish sauce.

On the flip, the tikka masala features a reddish and rich-looking sauce. Their similar appearance is a result of common ingredients used to create these gourmet dishes.

Ingredients

Butter is the main ingredient for whipping up the butter chicken, while the other relies on tomatoes. Don’t get it mixed up; the first dish also includes tomatoes. As a matter of fact, both delicacies share a host of ingredients like ginger, pepper, garlic, masala, garam, tomato paste, onion, cream, yogurt, and chicken.

However, the amount of these ingredients used in making each cuisine varies. For instance, the tikka masala has more tomatoes and pepper, while the other uses more cream, turmeric, cumin and butter.

Taste

Butter chicken uses cream and butter more generously, unlike tikka masala that requires no butter and small amounts of cream. The first dish uses a small amount of tomato, and the other requires a lot of it.

Thus, butter chicken is a tad creamier, while the second delicacy has a tomato-based taste.

What are the similarities?

These two dishes share notable similarities, which includes:

  • Indian origins: both delicacies feature Indian cuisine and culture. Also, the dishes were invented by Indian chefs in Indian restaurants.
  • Curry-based cuisine: there are many types of curry cuisines across the world, and both butter chicken and tikka masala are two Indian varieties.
  • Same ingredients: as stated earlier, these two delicacies share some ingredients like yogurt, garlic, ginger, cream, tomato paste, and some species. Also, the key ingredient for both delicacies is chicken. While they might share the same ingredients, the amount used in whipping up these dishes differs.

Butter Chicken Ingredient Profile

  • Sliced chicken thighs
  • Plain yogurt
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Garam masala
  • Tumeric
  • ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ginger
  • Ghee, lard, or butter
  • Canola oil
  • Onion
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Heavy cream

Tikka Masala Ingredient Profile

For the marinade:

  • Sliced chicken thighs
  • Plain yogurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Garam masala
  • ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Ginger
  • Garlic clove
  • For the curry:
  • Canola oil
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Garlic cloves
  • Garam masala
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Ground coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Water
  • Heavy cream

Butter chicken or Tikka masala – which is best

It has always been a debate about which of the two gourmet dishes is the better Indian curry. It’s challenging to rank them or say which one should be the undisputed curry champion. Both delicacies are incredibly delicious in a unique way, and the choice always boils down to your taste buddy and your love for spicy foods.

Although the two delicacies appear similar, upon tasting them, you should be able to tell the difference. The ingredient used to whip them up determines their flavor profile. You get a mildly sweet flavor with butter chicken due to its butter-based cutting of the curry spices’ intensity.

On the other hand, the tikka masala packs a punch. The wide range of spices used in this cuisine complements one another, which delivers extravagant flavors.

It’s no new fact that chicken is used in both dishes, and only one of them includes butter in the recipe. Here’s a new one: the butter chicken can be made with either boneless chicken or ones with bones left in. On the contrary, tikka masala is best made with boneless chicken for the best results.

Regardless of your decision, you’ll be enjoying a borderline addictive and remarkably delicious cuisine.

Conclusion

Tikka masala and butter chicken are two common and easily recognizable Indian cuisines. Now that you’re aware of the differences in taste, ingredients, invention and appearance, it should be easier for you to figure out what dish is in front of you. Hopefully, you shouldn’t be torn apart when trying to decide what to order between butter chicken vs. tikka masala.

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