The Ultimate Battle Between Chicken Tikka Vs Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka vs chicken tikka masala

These days, there’s much more to Indian cuisine than tandoori chicken. While the traditional dish is still popular, many branches out with new takes on this simple favorite.

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In this article, we’ll compare the two most popular versions of chicken tikka: chicken tikka masala (CTM) and regular chicken tikka. We’ll also explain how these dishes are made and what goes into them so you can decide which is best for your taste buds!

Similarities:Both dishes are made with chicken as the main ingredient.
Both are typically marinated in yogurt and spices before cooking.
Differences:Chicken Tikka is a dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is made by marinating small chunks of chicken in a mixture of yogurt and spices and then grilling or broiling the chicken. It is known for its smoky, spicy, and slightly charred flavor.
On the other hand, Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish that originated in the UK. Simmering chunks of Chicken Tikka in a creamy tomato-based sauce makes it. It is known for its rich, creamy, and sweet flavor.
Chicken Tikka is typically cooked on skewers and is served as an appetizer, while Chicken Tikka Masala is a main course.
Chicken Tikka is considered to be a more traditional dish, while Chicken Tikka Masala is considered to be a more modern and fusion dish.


Chicken Tikka Masala, or CTM as affectionately known to its fans, is a British Indian dish that has taken on an almost mythical status in recent years. It’s often cited as one of the most popular dishes in Britain, and there are even claims it’s a typical meal in pubs.

However, Chicken Tikka is not a British invention at all. It’s an Indian dish first popularized by Bangladeshi immigrants who opened restaurants serving this popular street food throughout Britain during the 1970s.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish that has evolved. It’s now a staple of Indian restaurants in Britain and has also made its way into kitchens across the country. While Bangladeshi immigrants in Britain invented some claim “CTM”, others say it was created to use leftover chicken tikka pieces that were too small to serve on their own.

Whatever the dish’s origin, Chicken Tikka Masala is now a favorite in Britain. The dish’s popularity has grown so much that it’s even considered a typical meal for pub-goers to enjoy with their friends.


If you are a lover of Indian cuisine, you would have come across both these dishes at least once. They can be found on almost every restaurant menu and are served in most households for dinner or lunch.

The appearance of chicken tikka masala and chicken tikka is very different. Chicken Tikka Masala is a creamy, tomato-based curry with a rich, red color, whereas Chicken Tikka is grilled marinated chicken pieces cooked on skewers.

There are many variations to the preparation method of both these dishes. Still, they share some common characteristics, like being cooked in an onion-tomato gravy base sauce and garnished with coriander leaves, giving them their distinct taste and flavor profile, and visual appeal due to their contrasting colors!

Main ingredients

The first thing you should know about Chicken Tikka is that it’s made with boneless chicken pieces marinated in a yogurt-based marinade, which is then grilled over charcoal.

The second thing you should know about Chicken Tikka is that it’s not the same as Chicken Tikka Masala! Chicken Tikka Masala is a curry dish with chicken tikka pieces cooked in a tomato-based sauce. It contains more spices than its cousin and includes onions, garlic, and ginger for extra flavor.

With all of these ingredients combined, this dish can be spicy—but if you like lots of heat on your plate (or want something more flavorful), try incorporating some hot sauce into your recipe!

Taste and flavor       

Chicken Tikka Masala is a creamy, spicy, tangy dish with an irresistible aroma. On the other hand, Chicken Tikka is dry with a spicy, minty flavor that we all love to relish with naan or roti.

It is a dish that can be prepared in many ways. The traditional Chicken Tikka Masala recipe uses spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala.

The most important ingredient in this recipe is yogurt. The yogurt marinade gives the chicken a soft and tender texture, which makes it easy to cook. You can also use yogurt as a substitute for cream in your recipes.


Chicken Tikka Masala contains a whopping 102 calories per serving, whereas Chicken Tikka only has 80. The extra calories in Chicken Tikka Masala come from its higher fat content than Chicken Tikka’s.

In terms of sodium, both dishes are relatively low in salt content, containing around 350 milligrams per serving. However, compared to chicken tikka’s total cholesterol count (150 milligrams), this figure is much higher in chicken tikka masala at 250 milligrams per serving.

Cooking time and method

While both dishes require a quick grilling process, the cooking time is slightly different. Chicken Tikka Masala takes about 30-45 minutes to simmer in the sauce, whereas chicken tikka is ready within 10-15 minutes. This extra time allows for more flavor from the spices and herbs used in Tikka Masala sauce recipes.

The difference between tikka chicken and tandoori chicken is the cooking process. Tikka masala marries the meat in spices before cooking, while Tandoori chicken uses a yogurt-based marinade.

Side dishes to pair with

Many people think of chicken tikka as the main ingredient in a meal, but that’s not true. Chicken tikka is merely the start. It’s served with side dishes like chapati, rice, naan, and paratha.

If you’re feeling saucy (pun intended), you can go for pulao or biryani to complete your meal. If you’re a vegetarian or just not into meat?

Don’t worry! You can still dig into some delicious chicken tikka masala—but this time, it’ll be made with vegetables instead of chicken! So go ahead and get yourself some roti sauce and enjoy!


As you can see, there are many similarities between chicken tikka and chicken tikka masala. Both dishes have unique flavors, complementing each other well in terms of taste and texture.

They both contain similar ingredients, with the main difference being that one uses yogurt as a thickener while the other uses tomato puree (or ketchup).

In addition to that, both dishes require cooking time before serving which means that if you’re looking for an easy recipe, then these two are perfect!