Butter Chicken Vs. Chicken Tikka Masala: They Are Actually More Different Than You May Believe

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At the first sigh, butter chicken vs. chicken tikka masala looks like two the same meals and they come from India, right? Wrong! These are not the same meals and there are more differences than you may believe. In other words, these meals don’t have anything in similar except the chicken meat they use. So, what the differences are?

Butter Chicken Vs. Chicken Tikka Masala

The first dish on our list, the butter chicken is actually an Indian dish that came from the northern parts of the country. The inventor is Kundan Lal Gujral, a chef from the 40s in New Delhi who had a restaurant called Moti Mahal.

He needed a way to prevent chicken meat from drying out once cooked so he decided to stew it in a mixture of butter, spices, and tomatoes. This is how the butter chicken was born. The actual year when it was invented is 1948. As such, the meal became so much popular and so special that nowadays it can be found in all parts of the world.

Chicken tikka masala is not an Indian dish, despite the fact what you believe. It is actually a British dish invented in the 60s. That’s why it has a separate set of flavors, spices, and ingredients in general.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala. Photo Credit: Kelly Sue via Wikimedia

Yes, the main element is still chicken meat, but the similarity ends here. You will find a lot of restaurants, especially in the United States that offer two meals or just one and not know the difference. Now you know and it is up to you to decide which one you want.

In general, butter chicken is richer in spices and in flavors, while tikka masala is not so flavor rewarding. Of course which one you prefer cannot be generalized and it depends solely on your, individual preferences.


As you can see, butter chicken vs. chicken tikka masala are two completely different foods. One comes from India and from the 40s, while others come from the United Kingdom and the 60s. At the end of a day, it is up to you to decide which dish you actually prefer, but we did our job and we helped you in revealing the major differences. Of course, the taste is different as well, but this is something you will have to figure all out yourself.

See also: Chicken Base

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Monica Chortle

I am one of the home-makers, engaged in the cooking activities for a long hour. While my relatives get bored with any food, I try to find out the new recipes. Moreover, my friends also request me to arrange a party. I get busy in creating distinctive dishes. Read More