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Chicken Tikka Masala: History, Flavors & Benefits

The term “tikka masala” can apply to the spice mixture and the well-known chicken tikka masala dish. Tikka masala is a spice mixture for a dish made up of bits of meat or a substitute because the words tikka and masala signify chunks or pieces. The dish has several origin stories, and the tikka masala spice combination was created for it.


According to an urban legend, a Glasgow restaurant owner created tikka masala in the 1970s. The tale claims that a patron of the Glasgow curry restaurant, Shish Mahal complained that his chicken was overcooked. The restaurant’s proprietor covered the chicken with spice-flavored condensed tomato soup before drizzling yogurt. According to the owner, the resulting meal was the first chicken tikka masala ever made.

The Glasgow origin narrative would put nachos and mole, which are all (supposedly) the results of last-minute improvisations, in the same category as chicken tikka masala.

One of the most well-liked dishes in Indian restaurants worldwide is chicken tikka masala. It is especially well-liked in Britain, where a 2012 survey found that cooking is the nation’s top foreign cuisine activity.

Many think butter chicken influences the chicken tikka masala and the spice mixture. The recipe for butter chicken was created in a New Delhi restaurant using butter, tomato, and the tandoori chicken marinade that was left over. One might think of tandoori masala as being milder than tikka masala.

Tikka masala flavor profile

There is no authentic version of tikka masala; the ingredients change depending on the cook. Coriander seed, black peppercorns, and Kashmiri chili powder are the spices that are commonly found in blends. 

Cumin, fenugreek, and mango powder are other potential ingredients. It would be best to roast all the spices before grinding them to give this dish a more genuine Indian flavor. By including tandoori masala, some tikka masala blends are brought closer to the dish’s butter chicken roots and become more complex.

Health benefits

The tikka masala spice blend’s components might vary. However, the most well-liked varieties offer the following nutrients:

  • Dietary fiber is in large quantities in several spices used in tikka masala. You can get a fair amount of fiber per serving by blending several high-fiber items.
  • Iron: Tikka masala is a good supply of minerals thanks to spices like cumin and paprika, which are renowned for being excellent sources of the element.

By consuming foods with tikka masala flavors, you may lower your risk of contracting ailments like:

  • Constipation: Using tikka masala spices increases your fiber intake, which is suitable for ensuring regular bowel movements and may help treat or prevent constipation.
  • Anemia, a condition in which a person lacks adequate hemoglobin, can be fought by increasing the iron in your diet.

Tikka masala uses

Consuming foods with tikka masala flavors may reduce your risk of developing conditions like:

Tikka masala spices boost your fiber intake, which promotes regular bowel movements and may help treat or prevent constipation.

Increasing the iron in your diet will help you fight anemia, a condition when a person doesn’t have enough hemoglobin.


What distinguishes chicken tikka from chicken tikka masala?

The texture of chicken tikka, an Indian dish, is dryer, so it is different.

Is butter chicken the same as chicken tikka masala?

Compared to chicken tikka masala, butter chicken is creamier and has less tomato gravy.

Stir well after adding the cream.

Is chicken tikka masala an Indian or British dish?

The UK is currently known for serving this meal.

What spices are required to make chicken tikka masala?

Garam masala, chili powder, ground coriander, and cumin powder.