Chicken Korma VS Tikka Masala: What’s The Difference?

Chicken korma and tikka masala both are Indian-originated and rich in flavor dishes. Even though both dishes are prepared from chicken, there are some major differences. These differences between chicken korma and tikka masala are: 

  • Chicken korma is a gravy dish with a mild and creamy flavor while tikka masala is a dry dish with a strong and spicy flavor.
  • The key ingredient of chicken korma is cream and yogurt and the key ingredient of tikka masala is tomatoes and heavy cream.
  • Chicken korma is cooked slowly at a low temperature while tikka masala is cooked at a high temperature. 
  • Chicken korma has more fat and calories than tikka masala so tikka masala is healthier. 

To learn more about the differences between chicken korma and tikka masala, follow the article.

Chicken Korma Vs Tikka Masala

Key Takeaways 

  • Chicken korma is a gravy dish and tikka masala is a dry dish.
  • Both dishes have strong flavors. Chicken korma is creamy while tikka masala is spicy. 
  • Tikka masala is healthier than chicken korma. 

Chicken Korma VS Tikka Masala: A Brief Overview

Here is a brief overview of the differences between chicken korma and tikka masala:

Factors Chicken Korma Tikka Masala
Texture Gravy dishDry dish 
Color Yellow-ish Orange-ish 
Ingredients Cream & yogurtTomatoes & heavy cream 
Meat Seared chicken legs Small pieces of boneless chicken 
Cooking Method Slow-cooked at low temperatureCooked faster and at high-temperature
Flavor Mild, creamy flavor with a hint of sweetnessStrong, spicy flavor with tomato base sauce
Heat Mild high heatHigh-temperature 
Nutritional Comparison Calorie: 500Total fat: 30gProtein: High Calorie: 400Total fat: 20g Protein: High
Side DishPlain rice or simple cheese nun Side dish with stronger, sweeter taste like coconut rice

Chicken Korma VS Tikka Masala: Detailed Explanation

Here’s an elaboration of the differences between chicken korma and tikka masala:


The Main Difference Between Chicken Korma and Tikka Masala is that Chicken Korma is a gravy dish while Tikka Masala is more of a dry dish.


Tikka masala is orange-ish in color because of the tomato-based sauce used in the dish.

Chicken korma is yellowish in color because ingredients like yogurt and cream are used in the dish. 


When it comes to the ingredients, chicken korma is typically made with a mixture of yogurt, cream, and spices. Tikka masala, on the other hand, is made with tomatoes, onions, and a variety of different spices.

Meat type:

Both tikka masala and chicken korma used chicken meat. However, chicken korma is mostly made with seared chicken legs. On the other hand, tikka masala uses small pieces of boneless chicken. 

Cooking Method: 

Chicken korma is typically slow-cooked, which allows the flavors to really develop and meld together. 

Tikka masala is typically cooked at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time, which gives it a slightly more grilled flavor.


Chicken korma has a slightly sweet, earthy, and nutty taste. So, if you’re looking for a dish that is richer and creamier, chicken korma is the way to go. 

However, Tikka masala is spicy and creamy in taste. So, if you’re looking for a dish that is slightly spicier and has more of a tomato-based flavor, tikka masala is the better option. 


Chicken korma is cooked slowly over low temperature while tikka masala is cooked over high-temperature heat. 

Nutritional Comparison: 

Here is a nutritional comparison of chicken korma and tikka masala: 

Nutritional values Chicken korma Tikka masala 
Calorie 500+400
Fat 30g +20g
Protein High High 

Tikka masala has fewer calories and fats. So, if you are looking for a healthier option, you should opt for tikka masala. 

Side Dish:

Tikka masala usually goes well with something that tastes strong and sweet like for instance coconut rice. 

On the other hand, chicken korma tastes well with plain rice simple naan, or cheese naan. 

How To Cook Chicken Korma?


  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic cloves, finely grated
  • Ginger, finely grated
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground turmeric
  • Ghee or vegetable oil
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Tomato paste
  • Coconut milk
  • Fried shallots (for serving)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)
  • Cooked basmati rice (for serving)


  • Season the chicken with salt, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric.
  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the ghee or heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook until browned all over.
  • Stir in the onion and tomato paste and cook until the onion is softened about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened about 15 minutes.
  • Serve with fried shallots, cilantro, and basmati rice.

This Chicken Korma recipe is Indian comfort food at its best. Tender chicken thighs are simmered in a fragrant and creamy sauce made with coconut milk, ginger, garlic, and spices. Serve it over basmati rice for a complete meal. For an extra touch of luxury, top it with fried shallots and fresh cilantro leaves. Enjoy!

You can get help from this video

Chicken Korma recipe
Source: Swasthi’s Recipe

How To Cook Tikka Masala?


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, garlic, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and cloves.
  • Pour into a slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, yogurt, cream, salt and pepper.
  • Stir well to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving. Serve over steamed rice or with naan bread.
  • Enjoy your homemade Tikka Masala!
Cook Tikka Masala
Source: Cafe Delites

For further help watch this video

Now that you know how to cook chicken korma and tikka masala, learn how to cook rice-a-roni in a rice cooker. Also, learn the differences between congee and risotto

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Are There Any Similarities Between Chicken Korma And Tikka Masala?

Yes, the origin and cooking time of chicken korma and tikka masala are similar. Both  Tikka masala and chicken korma originated from India. As Muslims and Hindus were prohibited from having pork and beef, these chicken dishes originated. 

What Are Some Spices Used In Both Dishes?

Some common spices used in both dishes are garam masala, cumin, turmeric, paprika, coriander, ginger, garlic, and chili powder. The combination of all these spices creates the rich flavors in both chicken korma and tikka masala. 

Is Chicken Korma And Tikka Masala Gluten-Free?

Yes, both chicken korma and tikka masala are gluten-free. Both dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients and spices that are gluten-free. However, it can depend on the restaurant or the one who prepared the dish. 

Closing Words 

So, which is better chicken korma and tikka masala? Both chicken korma and tikka masala are delicious options that will leave you satisfied. If you’re looking for a richer, creamier dish, chicken korma is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a lighter, more tomato-based flavor, tikka masala is the better option. Whichever you choose, you really can’t go wrong!

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