Are you a fan of Indian cuisine and can't decide between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala? While both dishes are popular North Indian dishes that are often confused with each other, they have distinct differences that set them apart. The biggest difference is butter chicken has cream and butter and tikka masala does not. In this post, we'll explore the other differences between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala to help you decide which dish to try first. If you would like to try both, we make both at Chef Bombay. Use our store finder here to see which retailer carries Chef Bombay products and is nearest you.
Butter chicken is a classic Indian dish that can be found on most menus at Indian restaurants. It's a creamy, tomato-based dish that is made with marinated chicken cooked in a rich buttery sauce. The chicken is first marinated in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and lemon juice before being cooked in a tandoor oven or grilled on a stove. The sauce is made by simmering tomatoes, butter, cream, and a blend of spices until it becomes thick and creamy.
Butter Chicken History
Legend has it that Kundan Lal Gujral is responsible for creating the mouth-watering murgh makhani, also known as butter chicken, in 1948. Gujral owned the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi and faced a challenge of repurposing tandoori chicken, another popular dish he had created. In a moment of culinary brilliance, he decided to stew the already-cooked chicken in a rich tomato-based gravy infused with aromatic spices and, of course, plenty of butter. This slow cooking technique ensured the meat stayed moist and juicy, making it an instant hit with his customers. We're proud to make butter chicken, using our family's recipe, and serve you the best, medium-spiced butter chicken you'll ever taste. Be sure to look for Chef Bombay's Butter Chicken in the freezer aisle of your local grocer.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala, on the other hand, is believed to have been created in the UK by Indian chefs. It's a spicy, tomato-based dish that is made with marinated chicken cooked in a tandoor oven or grilled on a stove. The chicken is first marinated in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and lemon juice before being grilled or baked. The sauce is made by simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and a blend of spices until it becomes thick and flavorful.
Butter Chicken vs Tikka Masala Sauce
One of the key differences between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala is the tikka masala sauce. While both sauces are tomato-based, the tikka masala sauce is more tangy and has a more pronounced spice flavor. It typically includes a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, and garam masala. The butter chicken sauce, on the flip side, is known to be creamier and sweeter, with a distinct tomato flavor.
Masala is a term that is often used in Indian cooking to refer to a blend of spices. Both butter chicken and chicken tikka masala use masala in their marinades and sauces, but the specific blend of spices can vary depending on the recipe. We use masala in our Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas as well.
Butter Chicken versus Chicken Tikka Masala
So, which dish should you try first? If you prefer a sweeter, creamier sauce with a milder spice flavor, then butter chicken is the way to go. If you're looking for a tangier, spicier sauce with a more pronounced flavor, then chicken tikka masala is the dish for you.
In conclusion, butter chicken and chicken tikka masala are both delicious North Indian dishes that are worth trying. While they share some similarities, they have distinct differences in their marinades, sauces, and spice blends. Whether you prefer the sweet creaminess of butter chicken or the tangy spice of chicken tikka masala, both dishes are sure to delight your taste buds. Be sure to try Chef Bombay's Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala to try the dishes that were made with our authentic, family recipes.