Vindaloo vs Tikka Masala

Vindaloo vs Tikka Masala: Which One Is Better?

If you enjoy the spicy curry, you may be a fan of vindaloo. This authentic Indian dish is a firm favorite for those who prefer dishes with an added kick.

So how does a vindaloo compare to a tikka masala? And which one is better? Vindaloo vs tikka masala; let the games begin!

Tikka Masala vs Vindaloo: Are They Similar?

There aren’t too many similarities when it comes to vindaloo vs tikka masala, as they are generally quite different. 


One in which they are similar is in color. The finished product of each is orange or red in color. This is mostly due to the addition of tomatoes found in each recipe. 


It is true to say that the scent of each curry is similar, and it would be difficult to tell the difference between the two based on smell. The spices used in each create an intense and mouth-watering scent. 

What’s The Difference Between Tikka Masala And Vindaloo?

When it comes to a tikka masala vs vindaloo comparison, most of us would assume the major difference is the level of spice used in each dish. While this is true, there are also other ways you can tell them apart. 


One of the most notable differences is the texture of each curry. Tikka masala is generally quite runny in consistency, whereas a vindaloo is much chunkier. 

Dishes with runny gravy bases, like tikka masala, are always a hit. Check out the difference between makhani vs tikka masala by clicking here. 


The spice composition is another way to tell the difference between each curry. Masala is a blend of ground spices that can be used in a variety of dishes, including tikka masala, paneer masala, etc. 

A vindaloo, on the other hand, contains a mixture of both whole and ground spices which is why it is spicier than other Indian curries. 

To give you an idea about the level of spice contained in each dish, we’ve created a small table so you can see the difference.

Tikka Masala Vindaloo 
Ground cinnamon Ground cinnamon 
Cayenne pepperCayenne pepper 
Ground cumin Ground cumin 
Ground nutmegCoriander seeds 
Paprika powder Green cardamom 
Ground black pepper Dried Kashmiri chilies 

It’s clear to see that while some spices are the same, the addition of Kashmiri chilies in the vindaloo recipe is what gives it that spicy heat we all know and love. 

Chicken Vindaloo vs Tikka Masala: A Short History

We love a little back story, which is why we took it upon ourselves to share the history behind these popular dishes that many of us have probably eaten at some point in our lives: chicken vindaloo vs chicken tikka masala.

Vindaloo curry is actually based on a Portuguese dish known as “carne de vinha d’alhos” which is a meat dish marinated in garlic, red wine vinegar, and spices. It was brought to India during the 15th century when the Portuguese occupied Goa.

The story of how chicken tikka masala came about is much more fun, and although it’s just a theory, it’s an interesting one! 

During the 1970s, it is said that a customer dining in a Glaswegian curry house complained the chicken dish he had been served was too dry. The chef took it upon himself to create a sauce out of tomato soup, spices and yogurt, thus creating the world’s first chicken tikka masala dish. The rest is history! 

Let’s compare one of the hottest curries in the world to one of the mildest. Vindaloo vs Korma: how do they compare? Find out here. 

And what’s the difference between chicken tikka vs chicken tikka masala? Find out by following this link. 

Also, take a look at this video to see how a traditional vindaloo is often prepared.

Vindaloo vs Tikka Masala: How Are They Served?

On most Indian restaurant menus, both dishes are often served with a choice of meat such as chicken, lamb or beef. However, they can be served as a vegetarian dish with paneer, potatoes, or other vegetables which act as a meat substitute. 

It is not uncommon to find both curries served at celebratory events such as birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. 

Vindaloo or tikka masala is often served with a choice of the following types of rice:

  • Basmati rice
  • Steamed rice 
  • White rice
  • Jeera rice

Indian flatbreads such as naan or roti may also be offered as a side dish. 

Is Vindaloo Hotter Than Tikka Masala?

Yes, a vindaloo is much hotter than a tikka masala, and this is down to the addition of Kashmiri red chilies. 

Is Vindaloo Very Spicy?

A vindaloo is as spicy as you want it to be. If making it yourself, you can of course add as much or as little as you want. If ordering in an authentic Indian restaurant, the chances are that you’re going to receive a pretty spicy dish. So let that be a warning!

Is a Vindaloo the Hottest Curry?

This is really down to personal opinion. Some may argue that a jalfrezi is spicier, and a quick Google search will show that Phaal curry is top of the leader board. 

What is the Spice in Vindaloo?

While a vindaloo contains many of the same spices as other curries, the ingredients that set it apart from others are down to the addition of Kashmiri, bird’s eye chilies, and even scotch bonnet chilies. 

How Hot is a Vindaloo?

If we’re talking about how hot a vindaloo is on the Scoville scale, then it is around 175,000 – 500,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Unit), depending on what kind of chili’s included in the recipe.

What Does Vindaloo Taste Like?

We’re going to be brutally honest and say that the prominent flavoring in a vindaloo is pretty much just HOT! Spice is the main character in a traditional vindaloo, so don’t expect to taste much else. However, if you prefer a mild dish, then a tikka masala would be better for you. 

Recent Posts

Popular Posts