Chicken Tikka Masala vs Tandoori Chicken

Like Chicken? Then You’ll Love This Chicken Tikka Masala vs Tandoori Chicken Comparison

If you are a chicken lover, then you must be aware of that juicy and chewy texture of freshly cooked chicken. In India, you’ll find a number of delectable chicken dishes. However, the amazing spice blend in chicken tikka masala and the special flavor of tandoor in tandoori chicken will take your heart away. Stay with us for this interesting chicken tikka masala vs tandoori chicken comparison, and choose which one is your favorite among the two. 

What is Chicken Tikka Masala? 

Chicken tikka masala is a dish made of roasted chicken chunks that are marinated, fried, and later served in a spicy gravy. The gravy is usually orange and creamy. It is made of pureed tomatoes, cream, and a mix of spices. 

This dish became famous in Britain when Indians living there introduced this dish to people in Britain. Now, this dish is served in restaurants all over the world. 

According to The Guardian, Chicken Tikka Masala is now “a true British national dish”:

Fun Fact- Both the preparation method and appearance of chicken tikka masala are a lot similar to that of butter chicken. 

How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala? 

Checkout this easy recipe for making chicken tikka masala at home: 


  • Boneless chicken breasts 
  • ½ cup yogurt 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 tbsp Salt 
  • 2 tbsp Cumin seeds 
  • 2 tbsp Garam masala
  • 2 tbsp paprika or red chili powder 
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander 
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • Water
  • Heavy cream 
  • Ginger garlic paste 
  • Vegetable oil 
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)

Preparation Method

  • Cut the chicken into small pieces. Marinate the chicken pieces with a marinade made of yogurt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, salt, cumin, garam masala, and paprika. Marinate the pieces until they all are well-coated. 
  • Cover the marinated chicken pieces and put them in the fridge for at least 2-3 hrs. 
  • Set the oven to 500°F (260°C) and turn it on. Line a baking pan or roasting tray with parchment paper that goes up the sides. 
  • Put the chicken pieces that have been marinated on bamboo or wooden skewers, and then place them over the baking pan. Make sure there is space under the chicken tray to help the heat spread more evenly. 
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are just a little bit dark brown. 

Preparing the sauce

  • Heat some oil in a large pot on medium flame. 
  • Sauté the chopped onions along with ginger-garlic paste until they are soft. 
  • Add cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander, paprika, chili powder, and garam masala to the pot and constantly stir for about 30 seconds. 
  • Now pour tomato puree, tomato sauce, and 1 1/4 cups of water into the pot. Cook the gravy for 5 minutes and pour some heavy cream on it. 
  • Take the chicken off the skewers and add it to the sauce.
  • Cook for another minute or two and your chicken tikka masala is ready to be served!

Check out this preparation video of chicken tikka masala for a better understanding. 

What is Tandoori Chicken? 

Tandoori chicken is a style of cooking chicken that originated in the Indian state of Punjab. Tandoori chicken is prepared by roasting chicken that has been marinated in yogurt and spices in an oven constructed of clay that is shaped like a cylinder. 

After the Partition of India in the early 1950s, Kundan Lal Gujral and Kundan Lal Jaggi created the dish in Delhi, India. Now it is well-known in several different locations all around the world.

How to Make Tandoori Chicken? 

Checkout this easy recipe for making chicken tandoori at home: 


  • Chicken legs or chicken thighs (according to number of servings) 
  • 1tbsp Red chili powder 
  • 1tbsp Salt 
  • 1tbsp Ginger garlic paste 
  • 1tbsp garam masala powder
  • 1tbsp black pepper 
  • 1tbsp Coriander powder 
  • 1tbsp Kasuri methi 
  • 1tbsp Cumin powder 
  • 1tbsp Pepper 
  • 1tbsp Turmeric
  • 1tbsp Lemon juice 
  • Chopped onion (according to the number of servings)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Oil 
  • Yogurt

Preparation Method

  • Take a bowl and mix yogurt, ginger garlic paste, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, kasuri methi, black pepper, cumin powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, lime juice, and heavy cream. 
  • After making a thick paste out of these ingredients, add your chicken pieces to it and marinate well. 
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours. For best results, try refrigerating overnight. 
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and set the baking tray by keeping the wire rack on it. 
  • Take out your chicken from the fridge and place it over the wire rack. 
  • Set your oven to broil and broil the chicken for 5-6 minutes until the chicken gets slightly grilled.
  • Take out the chicken when done and sprinkle it with some chaat masala and lemon juice. 
  • Your homemade chicken tandoor is ready to be served!

Check out this interesting post about tandoori chicken.

Tandoori Chicken Vs Chicken Tikka Masala: The Similarities

While researching the comparison of chicken tikka masala vs tandoori chicken, we came across the following similarities between the two: 

  • Both these dishes are prepared in tandoor (clay oven).
  • Basic ingredients such as salt, red chili powder, chaat masala, and lemon juice are used in both tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala. 

What is The Difference Between Tandoori and Tikka Masala?

There were not many similarities when talking about chicken tikka masala vs tandoori chicken. However, the differences between the two dishes will make you think twice before choosing your favorite one. Here is a list of differences between the two authentic dishes: 


The biggest difference between chicken tikka masala vs tandoori chicken is their date of origin. Chicken tandoori was invented back in 3,000 BCE in Harappa, Punjab. In contrast, chicken tikka masala originated in the 1970s in a Scottish Curry House. 


Another major difference between chicken tandoori vs tikka masala is their preparation methods. Chicken tikka is cooked on a skewer by heating marinated pieces of boneless chicken. Whereas chicken tandoori is made by heating one single bigger piece of chicken in tandoor (clay oven). 

Also, don’t miss our article on tandoori chicken masala powder!


Chicken tikka masala and chicken tandoori are specially served with rice or Indian bread.

Nutritional Value

If we talk about the nutritional value, chicken tikka masala has a lesser amount of nutrients than tandoori chicken. Checkout the table below to get a better understanding of the nutritional value of both dishes: 

Nutrients (Per 100g)Chicken Tikka MasalaChicken Tandoori 
Protein 15.37g23.36g
Calories 160 kcal220 kcal

What’s Healthier: Tandoori Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala?

When compared to chicken tikka masala, chicken tandoori is a more nutritious option. Chicken tikka masala indeed contains ghee and heavy cream, whereas chicken tandoori contains the ideal amount of all of the nutrients.

Here are a few frequently asked questions to clear your doubts: 

Why is Tandoori Chicken So Red?

Kashmiri red chilies are the reason behind the vibrant red color of tandoori chicken. These chilies are great for most North Indian-style cooking because they don’t add much spiciness to the meal. 

Is Tikka Good For Weight Loss?

No, chicken tikka is not an ideal meal to consume if you are on a weight loss diet. Chicken tikka has less amount of protein and a lot of fat content. Consuming chicken tikka will not only cause you to gain weight but may also lead to more complications in your body if not consumed in moderation. 

How Spicy is Chicken Tandoori? 

Spices can be added to a tandoori chicken dish based on a person’s taste or ability to handle spicy foods. Some people like it very spicy, while others like it just a little bit spicy, and some don’t like any spices at all. If you cook it yourself, you can always add more or fewer spices to make it taste the way you want. 

Wish to read other interesting comparisons like this? Checkout chicken masala vs chicken tikka masala and chicken paneer masala vs chicken tikka masala

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