Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala are probably two of the most popular Indian dishes ordered by most people in restaurants. The creamy sauce and the tender pieces of chicken together make a perfect combination that everyone loves! These 2 dishes are the perfect introduction to anyone interested in Indian cuisine too!
But – do you know the difference between Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani) and Chicken Tikka Masala? If not, then you’re not alone! Most people (even some Indians themselves) don’t know the difference, or at least can’t tell the difference between both of these dishes because of their similiarities.
The difference between the two is flavor and texture! Butter Chicken has a creamier, sweeter, milder and “buttery” taste to it. Chicken Tikka Masala has more heat and complexity to their spices – simply put…it’s cooked with more ingredients. Plus, it has chunks of onions and pepper in it to make it a little more hearty.
Now, what would you say if you could have BOTH aspects of these curries cooked into 1 dish? You can enjoy the creamy, buttery gravy from the Butter Chicken fused into the seriously seasoned and spiced ingredients of the Chicken Tikka, creating a new “fused” version of curry that is sweet, spicy, intensely seasoned, creamy and has loads of tender chicken in it – perfect combination ever!
If having the best of both curries all in one dish is your cup of tea, then you will love my recipe for “Butter Chicken Tikka Curry.” Check out my recipe and definitely try making it – you will never miss out on flavors again!
CHICKEN TIKKA MAKHANI (Butter Chicken with Tikka Flavors)
Serves: 6-8 people
- 1 large onion
- 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp ginger paste
- 2 Tbsp garlic paste
- 1 large red bell pepper
- ½ bunch of fresh parsley or coriander
- 1 or 2 jalapenos (optional)
- 2 sticks of butter
- ½ tsp of cinnamon powder *
- ½ tsp freshly ground cardamom *
- ½ tsp freshly ground clove *
- 1 Tbsp freshly ground cumin seeds *
- 1 tsp of ground Anise (about 5 stars) *
- ½ tsp of ground black peppercorns *
- 3 Bayleaf *
- 3 to 4 Tbsp Jaggery (Indian style brown sugar) OR can use dark brown sugar (any brand)
- ¼ tsp of red food color (optional)
- 2 heaping Tbsp Curry Paste (Hot/Mild – Patak brand or Tiger Brand)
- 1 Tbsp salt (can add more per taste)
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 2 to 3 lbs cubed chicken thighs (can use chicken breast also)
- 2 to 3 medium sized potatoes (optional)
**NOTES: You can grind all spices ahead of time and use that in lieu of the whole spices.
- In large blender, add onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, parsley/coriander, jalapenos.
- Blend all items till very smooth and completely mixed together, almost soupy consistency. Keep aside.
- In large pot, melt butter on medium heat with all ground spices OR “Chet’s Spice Mix”.
- Let butter mixture cook for 1-2 mins till it sizzles and is almost golden brown in color (This helps flavor the butter and allows even permeation of all spices in the sauce.)
- Once butter is fully melted, add your veggie mixture, jaggery, curry paste and salt.
- Mix all ingredients together well, cover and let simmer on medium heat for 10-15mins.
- Once gravy is dark red/burgundy color, add your chicken and potatoes (optional).
- Mix chicken well into gravy till all coated, cover and cook on lowest heat setting for 35-45mins or until fully cooked.
- Once cooked, add ½ pint of heavy cream and allow to simmer for another 5mins on medium heat to fully incorporate and make curry creamier. (You may add remaining heavy cream if you want a creamier sauce.)
- Once it looks creamy (slight pinkish color), turn off heat and serve hot with Indian bread, rice, or alone.
If you happen to make this curry, let me know! Tag me on IG @cmspiceculture or leave a comment below!