Is tikka masala and garam masala the same ?


Is tikka masala and garam masala the same

Is tikka masala and garam masala the same ?

Tikka masala contains ginger, tomato sauce, onion and salt mixed with dry herbs. A sauce-like preparation is made from tomato, ginger, onion and herbs like cumin seeds, cinnamon, and turmeric. The heated sauce is mixed with cream, paprika and sugar to get tikka masala.

Garam masala contains a set of spices that are considered hot (as per the definition of Ayurveda).  The word “garam” means hot, but that does not mean the herbs are spicy. The term was used in the context of Ayurveda, where it says that herbs like cloves and black pepper increase heat in the body’s digestive system, which aids in digestion. 

Chilli pepper powder is added as per taste after adding garam masala to a recipe, as it may not be present in the basic composition of garam masala powder.  

Indian foods represent a beautiful symphony of flavours, especially for those looking for bolder flavours and an authentic cooking style. Food lovers worldwide are pleased by the chicken wraps, pav bhaji, and curry dishes. Indian recipes are flexible and adapt everywhere to become everyone's favourite. 

A plethora of mouthwatering recipes made their way into the hearts and palates of everyone and have taken over the world. The unique, delectable tikka masala, kormas, niharis, curries, and butter chicken present a perfect balance of spiciness and gustation, and the delightful ways of cooking in smoking tandoors with ingenious aromatics add zest and ambience to relish.  

The ambrosial chicken tikka masala is undoubtedly the most delicious of all, containing succulent chunks of charred-brown chicken marinated into a blend of yoghurt and spices, simmering into steamy, luscious tomato base sauce. It is served as a creamy, slightly spicy, tangy, smoky, soupy, zesty dish with rice or bread. 

The soft, chewy pieces cooked in a fuming tandoor oven are one of the favourite, beloved main courses, often devoured with versatile naan and salads as the perfect accompaniment. 

Tikka Masala Vs Garam Masala

The basic combination of aromatic garam masala includes cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and cumin. Tikka masala contains a combination of fresh yoghurt, oil, garlic, ginger, lime, cayenne pepper, and garam masala, which can be added to smoked paprika and salt. The warming aromatic blend and curry powder bring out the most earthy aromatic blend.

Garam masala combines warming herbs such as coriander, cumin, dried ginger powder, cassia, mace,  cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. There can be variations in ingredients, like some masala powders containing star anise, Szechuan peppercorns,  cayenne pepper, and crumbled bay leaves. 

Garam masala does not include acidic herbs, but some versions may have garlic, tamarind, fenugreek, fennel seeds, asafoetida, or other common herbs, for instance, turmeric, saffron, ground nuts, dry onion and garlic powders.

What Does Tikka Masala Mean?

 Tikka masala is one of the most loved offerings of Indian cuisine, as the ingredients used in masala paste bring a combination of punchy fragrance and deep flavours. Boneless chunks of chicken marinated in yoghurt and sauces made up of tomatoes, coconut cream, cream, and a masala spice mix, charred in tandoors - the special ovens made of clay,  to get you a red or orange-coloured dish.

Chicken tikka masala is similar to chicken butter; even some food connoisseurs consider them the same. Aside from the incredible combination of pleasing spices, they are typically made of the freshest ingredients. 

Tandoori chicken has been rubbed and marinated in spices, and the marinade is seasoned to tenderise the pieces of chicken, flavouring the pieces, which are subsequently grilled in a tandoor to get delightful relishing flavours.

Tikka Masala Substitute

Instead of using a tikka masala, one can use garam masala with cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder to prepare the recipe. Tandoori chicken or chicken tikka masala comes with vibrant red hues and smoky flavours, and it is a fixture among local Indian diners. 

Raw chicken is marinated in yoghurt and spices (like coriander, garam masala, and cumin) before it is grilled in a tandoor to get tender, mouthwatering pieces of smoky tikka masala to captivate everyone's tastebuds.

What Is Tikka?

Tikka is a word used in Punjabi for pieces of meat. Tikka masala is a sweet-salty, spicy red sauce with pieces of meat or chicken. Tikka masala is part of a chicken marinade where you cook small chicken pieces on a grill or barbecue on a skewer. These lightly charred pieces are marinated with chicken tikka masala and brushed with oil. 

It is then stirred in a creamy, spicy base, with ground almonds and a little brown sugar mixed with freshly chopped red chillies or chilli flakes, adding extra zing and tenderising the small chicken pieces. 

Fresh ginger, garlic, and onion are blended with garam masala, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and chilli powder; in the end, salt and sugar are added to get an extra brown colour and slightly sweet flavour. Tomato sauces and cream are added to get a rich, tangy, saucy texture. A combination of vegetable oil and butter is used in the preparation, and cilantro leaves are used to garnish the serving.

Difference Between Garam Masala And Chicken Masala

Garam masala contains basic herbs like cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper, whereas chicken masala contains red chilli, garlic, fennel seeds, dried ginger, mace and asafoetida. So, a chicken masala powder can be deeply flavoured due to red chilli and garlic, whereas the simple garam masala is a general blend of herbs used in cooking.

Garam Masala Vs Curry Powder

Curry is commonly used for most of the spicy blended soupy creamy recipes prepared in Southeast Asian cuisine. A curry dish can be a creamy combination of spice mixes with added proteins and vegetables. Garam masala and curry powders give a unique flavour to dishes, though there are many differences between the basic ingredients. 

Also, the selection of spices varies from one region to another. The basic five herbs(cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon & black pepper) are used in all masala and curry powders, depending on the type of dish; other ingredients vary. 

Is Tikka Masala Spicy?

The best tikka masala cooked with grilled vegetables or chicken pieces floating in unbelievably luscious, flavour-packed creamy soup combined with fire-roasted tomato & baked almonds and cashews paste has a velvety, creamy texture. 

Such a tikka masala is sweet and not very spicy, although you can add extra pepper and chillies to get strong spicy flavours. Mouthwatering tikka masala is coated over the vegetables or chicken pieces and skewered to get the unique smoky punch.

Chicken Masala Vs Tikka Masala

Tikka masala contains chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices, which is grilled in a tandoor (or a clay oven) and often served dry with mint sauce and lemon wedges. It can be served as an appetiser, an entree or a creamy soupy version paired with rice or naan.

Chicken Masala Vs Tikka Masala- Chicken masala can be creamy, spicy, and incredibly flavourful chicken curry. A traditional chicken curry contains chicken stewed in onion tomato soup, where you add fresh ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, and turmeric. Alternatively, you can use chicken masala or curry powder to get an array of relishing aromatic spices.

Tikka Masala Vs Curry

The flavourful juicy browned bits of chicken with unique texture dipped in tangy, rich, steamy soup flavoured with garam masala or curry powder sprinkled on the signature bronze orange marinate taken with fried rice, and a fresh shower of cilantro is just out of the world. Both curry powder and tikka masala contain a blend of spices that enrich the earthy blend of aromatic flavours.

Some of the most popular Indian foods are tandoori chicken, butter chicken, chicken vindaloo, rogan josh, chicken tikka, navrattan korma and dal makhani, all use garam masala and added flavours and herbs. 

The masala for preparing a chicken or meat dish can be any typical tikka masala, curry masala or garam masala. Each type of masala powder has a different set of spices and herbs as basic ingredients.

Tikka Masala Vs Curry - The texture and taste of curry powder depend on the herbs that are picked. Nevertheless, it mostly includes a blend of turmeric, chilli powder, coriander, pepper, ginger and cumin, with the occasional addition of bay leaves, mustard powder and fennel seeds. A curry powder can be versatile or simple; alternatively, the blend of spices in tikka masala is rich and deep.

Is Tikka Masala The Same As Butter Chicken?

Creamy, mildly spiced, and incredibly flavourful, butter chicken has carved a niche. While there are different variations of chicken curry, chicken tikka, and butter chicken, they revolve around a similar idea. 

Tikka is grilled or roasted meat marinated in yoghurt or spiced base before being cooked on skewers. Masala is a sauce made with cream, yoghurt, tomatoes, or spices to add flavour to the food.

Butter Chicken contains shredded, nugget-sized pieces of chicken heated in the tandoor, and it tends to be creamier and sweeter than regular chicken curry with heavier spices. On the other hand, Tikka masala is smoky and spicy. The two dishes often use similar ingredients: tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and different quantities of chillies, and the cooking style is not interchangeable.

Chicken tikka can be made either spicy or milder, with both versions appearing creamy orange-reddish. On the other hand, the butter chicken is often white and contains an excess of cream or milk to get a typical creamy texture. Chicken in tikka masala sauce is more tender and juicy than butter chicken due to its creamier texture and marinade-containing yoghurt. 

Chicken-tikka masalas tend to be quite spicy, whereas chicken-tikka butter is not as spicy. Butter chicken has milder hues, whereas tikka masala has an enriched tangy-spicy flavour.

Where Did Tikka Masala Originate?

There are different stories for Where did tikka masala originate? One story assumes the dish originated in India, in Punjab, and the dish dates back to the 1940s. The dish is called tikka and is prepared in a tandoor. 

Tikka is a Punjabi word for small bits, and traditionally, tandoors were used in Indian homes to prepare food. Also, the typical tangy, sweet, sour, creamy tomato-based masala soups are characteristic of numerous Indian lentils, vegetables, and paneer dishes; they are correlated to it.  

There are other stories where it is believed it originated in 1971 in Scotland when a Bengali chef had to serve chicken curry to an off-duty bus driver who had stopped in a local Indian restaurant on a dark, stormy night in Glasgow in 1971. 

The chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, delivered the chicken dish, but the bus driver was displeased and returned it for being too dry. So Ali used a simmering creamy tomato soup to moisten the dish, and the bus driver enjoyed it so much that he regularly returned for years, bringing his friends and family to enjoy the recipe. 

Indian Foods

What Are The Differences Between Garam Masala, Tikka Masala, And Curry Powder?

Tikka Masala Definition: - Masala is a blend of herbs and spices. Tikka masala is pieces of meat or chicken marinated with spices, whereas garam masala is the term used for 'hot spices' that are not spicy but can keep the body warm. Garam masala powders may contain chilli and peppers, although they can be aromatic but are not spicy.

Tikka masala may contain fenugreek paste, turmeric, garlic, and chillies, and garam masala does not contain any.

The ingredients in Tikka masala vary regionally, and garam masala is added to tikka masala during the preparation of tikkas. In contrast, curry is often the seasoned blend of ginger, garlic, turmeric, paprika, coriander and cumin.

Are Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken the same thing?

Kundan Lal, the founder of the famous restaurant Moti Mahal (New Delhi, India), used grilled roasted dry chicken and crafted a soupy, flavourful, nutty butter chicken.   Butter chicken or Murg Makhani is similar to chicken tikka masala and can be used as a substitute. However, tikka masala has a complex flavour layered with spices, and butter chicken has a sweet, mild, buttery taste.  


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