Chicken Korma Vs Chicken Tikka Masala: What’s The Difference?

chicken korma vs chicken tikka masala

When you are in the mood for Indian food, what will be your go-to dish? Is it chicken korma or chicken tikka masala?

Before choosing the one that will more satisfy your taste buds, let’s accompany us and explore the differences between these two Indian chicken dishes in this article.

What is chicken korma?

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Chicken korma is a creamy, mild Indian dish, especially in the South. The word “korma” means “braised” in Hindi.

As the name implies, this dish calls for chicken that will be braised in a creamy sauce until tender and juicy.

Chicken is usually seared before braising to achieve a golden crisp. The sauce is basically made of yogurt with a variety of spices, such as blended almonds, cashews, coconut, and poppy seeds.

The resulting dish is creamy and has a nutty flavor from the ingredients.

Chicken korma is also usually served with naan bread or steamed Basmati rice.

You can also find other variants of this dish, in which the main meaty ingredient is alternated with lamb or beef.

What is chicken tikka masala?

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Chicken tikka masala is a popular dish that originated in Indian cuisine.

It consists of chicken that is marinated in yogurt and garam masala spices and cooked in a tandoor (called chicken tikka), then simmered in a spicy and creamy tomato-based sauce.

The word “tikka” is derived from a Persian word, meaning “bits” or “pieces”. Boneless chicken (can be chicken breast or thigh) is cut into bite-sized chunks, and marinated with an Indian traditional mixture of ground spices, including cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, coriander seeds, cardamom, mustard seeds, mace, and nutmeg, called garam masala, hence the name of the dish.

Chicken tikka masala can be served as an appetizer in restaurants or as a main course at home with some flatbread or a bowl of steamed white rice.

What are the differences between chicken korma vs chicken tikka masala?

Chicken korma and chicken tikka masala look quite similar, therefore, if you don’t know their ingredient lists as well as how they taste, chances are you will mistake one with the other.

The table below will break the differences between chicken korma and chicken tikka masala into pieces so that you can easily point out their distinctiveness:

 Chicken kormaChicken tikka masala
IngredientsChicken cooked in yogurt-based sauce (made of yogurt, blended almonds, cashews, dried coconut, coconut milk, poppy seeds, coriander)Chicken tikka (marinated with yogurt and garam masala), creamy sauce (made of onion, garlic, tomato puree, cream, butter, masala spices)
TasteMilder, nutty, and earthySpicier and stronger

What are the similarities between chicken tikka vs chicken tikka masala?

You can also find many things in common between these two different chicken dishes.

Here are some of the most typical similarities between chicken korma and chicken tikka masala:

1.     Chicken korma and chicken tikka masala have the same origin

Both dishes originated in Indian cooking. Since pork and beef are forbidden in Hindu and Muslim communities in India, chicken, and lamb have become two meat staples.

There are many dishes that feature these ingredients, and chicken korma and chicken tikka masala are two of them.

They have also become well-known in other parts of the world outside India, including the West and American cuisine.

2.     Chicken korma and chicken tikka masala are cooked the same way

The two dishes also share the same cooking method.

Chicken is first marinated and cooked (mainly by pan-frying or grilling to achieve a golden crisp), and then cooked in a creamy sauce.

3.     Both dishes have the same texture and appearance

Another similarity between these two dishes is that they look the same.

Both are made by braising chicken in a creamy sauce. Although the sauce is different in each recipe, it has a creamy texture.

4.     They are both traditionally served with steamed rice or naan bread

Chicken tikka and chicken tikka masala are two popular Indian dishes.

They are also widely consumed in surrounding countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Nepal.

Chicken tikka and tikka masala are also preferred in the West or American Indian cuisine.

Which one is better?

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Product ImageKhazana ORGANIC Chicken Korma Indian Simmer Sauce - 6 x 12.7oz Jars |...Pride of India – Tikka Curry Masala Seasoning Spice – Gourmet...
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In a nutshell, chicken korma and chicken tikka masala are both creamy and tasty. However, the first dish contains less spice whereas the latter chicken dish is spicier due to the use of garam masala.

Which one do you think tastes better? It’s time to give both a try to have your own answer.

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