|September 26, 2022

Tikka is Not Really Spicy or Is It?

Tikka is Not Really Spicy or Is It?

The word Tikka means pieces or chunks. The Tikka Masala is commonly made with chicken, however, paneer is also used as a substitute for vegetarian Tikka Masala.

The steaming tikkas will take the cake every time. If we talk about Tandoori Tikka, chicken tikka is the first idea we think of. This wildly popular delicacy will be the undisputed winner in the snack battle, all because of the rich flavor of the spicy ingredients used and, of course, the earthy smoky flavor that penetrates its depths.

Let us explore the spiciness level of Tikka and different dishes that are made from Tikka such as Chicken Tikka, Tikka Masala and Chicken Tikka Masala. Each of these dishes is the evolution of Tikka into many forms carrying the traditional flavor of Tikka with themselves. Let’s begin with Chicken Tikka, know about the ingredients and flavor of Tikka as well as Tikka Masala. Then finally we shall be able to figure out the tang and heat of Tikka and Chicken Tikka.

Chicken Tikka

The word "tikka" refers to the way of making chicken in boneless "chunks".

People confuse chicken tikka (which is more like a method of preparing chicken) for the very popular chicken tikka masala dish.

Ingredients and Flavor

Tikka masala generally has more complex flavors and layered flavor of spices. The combination of spices in this creamy tomato sauce is perfect and gives curry a full flavor. Most tikka masala recipes include a seasoning list for the marinade and a list of actual dishes.

The spices used are -

  • Garam Masala
  • Chili Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Ground Coriander
  • Cumin Seeds

Each spice has its own flavor, aroma and texture that gives Tikka an overall authentic flavor. The spices are generally common to the Tikka dishes, the difference can be found out in the case of curry and its creaminess.  

Chicken Tikka masala

History: Like many recipes, the true origin of this dish is also controversial. Some people say it is a British version of curry, some believe it comes from India, and some say it was created in Glasgow, Scotland.

Chicken Tikka Masala is an Indian dish, although it is the most popular in the Western world. The ingredients and cooking techniques used in this dish are derived from Indian cuisine. Creamy and flavorful Chicken Tikka Masala feature marinated chicken and a delicious spice sauce. Both tikka and tikka masala is made from chicken pieces. As the name suggests, Chicken Tikka masala is slightly spicier than Chicken Tikka. 

How spicy is Chicken Tikka?

Chicken Tikka is as spicy as you ask for it, there is no determined level of spiciness and is best enjoyed mild. Traditional boneless chicken is roasted in a tandoor oven and then topped with creamy tomato sauce. The quality of chicken tikka depends on the marinated masala; the chicken itself has a neutral flavor. Indian flavors (excluding spicy flavors) make this dish an excellent appetizer.

Tikka masala combines the creaminess of the mildest curry with a hint of spice from the spicy variant to form a perfect medium dish. Tikka Masala perfectly balances the creaminess of light dishes with the spices used in warmer dishes. Tikka masala contains more masala or spices in it than Tikka. Since tikka masala is spicier, it is slightly spicier than regular tikka. Tikka and tikka masala come with red sauce. The sauce is creamy, spicy, and contains tomatoes. The sauce may also contain a few other ingredients, such as coconut cream, chili powder, and turmeric.

When talking about the difference between tikka and tikka masala, it is difficult to distinguish them because they have almost similar flavors. As mentioned earlier, the only thing is that tikka masala contains added masala or a series of spices.

You can’t say that Chicken Tikka is a spicy dish, as you can adjust the level of spiciness as per your taste. Some people prefer it tangy and the other mild. However, the combination of different spices used in the dish gives it a rich spicy flavor. When we talk about the traditional Indian flavor in Tikka or more commonly Chicken Tikka, the heat of the dish remains slightly higher. The fact here is that Indian food is spicy and has good heat because of the authentic Indian spice mix. 

Chicken Tikka can be spicy if we talk about it traditionally. However, if you’re not the one whose taste buds would not enjoy the heat of the dish then you can also cool down the spiciness of the dish. You can give Chicken Tikka a spicy makeover a Tikka Masala recipe and believe that this customization of the dish makes the original Chicken Tikka more delicious.

The Chicken Tikka is best served with Indian bread such as naan and basmati rice. 

How do you enjoy Tikka and Chicken Tikka? Mild or spicy?


Sign up for early access to sales, product launches, the latest Alcoeats news and more!