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Chicken Korma Vs Butter Chicken (4 Key Differences)

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Today, we are going to resolve the conflict between chicken Korma vs butter chicken in a debate on which is the best Indian dish.

And it promises to be an engaging one since they are often mistaken as variations of one dish because they share similar ingredients and look seemingly the same when served.

So I suggest you open your mind to what I’m about to tell you because this article is filled with opposing viewpoints, facts, and opinions that will help you make the right pick.

No doubt, they are both aromatic golden chicken pieces in an incredible creamy curry sauce available at Indian restaurants likewise other areas.

But they don’t share the same spirit. And let me tell you why!

What Is Chicken Korma?

Chicken korma is a traditional Indian curry dish made with chicken, cloves, onions, garlic, ginger root, and garam masala.

It is rich, flavorful, and creamy.

Chicken korma has two parts. First, the curry gravy base. And secondly, the sauce that provides that magic chicken korma taste.

Interestingly, it has a lighter taste compared to other curries because it uses yogurt instead of coconut cream or heavy cream as its base.

Read Also: Red Pepper Flakes Vs Chili Flakes

What Is Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken is an Indian curry that originates in Delhi.

 It is traditionally made by marinating pieces of chicken with spices, ginger, garlic, and many other ingredients — which is then cooked with a creamy, mildly spiced tomato-based sauce until it softens.

You can also add some heavy cream as well as lemon juice for an additional flavor boost.

Mind you, this recipe is very similar to chicken tikka masala. And we’ve also compared them in a topic of their own, so endeavor to go check them out.

So that’s that!

Before we jump into the comparison and debate, let’s briefly look at the underlying causes of the misconception about these two dishes.

Chicken Korma Vs Butter Chicken: Key Similarities

  • Both Indian dishes use tomato-based sauce. Although, kormas are creamier than butter chicken, yet lighter in tanginess.
  • Even if the core ingredient “meat” is not the same, they are cooked with the same signature spice — onions, garlic, ginger, and more.
  • They’re both served with rice and naan bread alongside them in restaurants and virtually anywhere.

Difference Between Chicken Korma and Butter Chicken

Chicken Korma Vs Butter Chicken

1. Texture, Taste & Flavor

Chicken korma sauce has a chunkier and thicker texture thanks to the yogurt and nut paste.

Although they are also used in butter chicken but a smaller quantity. As a result, the sauce has more of a smoother finish.

Taste and flavor-wise, they are both delicious.

Chicken korma is a mild, creamy curry that is spiced for flavor and not for heat. So instead of using cumin and black pepper, korma uses ingredients such as cardamom and cinnamon.

Butter chicken, on the other hand, is also a mild, cream-based curry but it’s spiced with turmeric and chili peppers for that hit taste.

Aside from that, the meat differs. korma often calls for mutton. Meanwhile, butter chicken’s core has always been chicken.

Both use tomato in the sauce, but the tanginess in korma is much milder than that of butter chicken.

Read Also: Tomato Puree Vs Crushed Tomatoes

2. Calorie’s level

One serving of korma contains approximately 300-330 calories per serving.

However, butter chicken has up to 470-630 calories per serving.

3. Price

Butter chicken is quite pricier than chicken korma because it takes longer to prepare.

Contrarily, Chicken Korma is a more pocket-friendly option, as its ingredients are cheap.

4. Cooking method

Chicken Korma and butter chicken also differs in terms of their preparation process.

Chicken korma is either cooked on a stovetop or in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes until tender.

Butter chicken, on the other hand, takes almost forever to cook.

 It needs to be cooked on low heat for about 3 hours until tender and then simmered with butter and spices for another hour.

It is only then can you apply the heavy cream or coconut milk as the finishing.

Chicken korma is slightly seared before being simmered with the sauce, which gives it more character.

Furthermore, chicken korma is cooked using a pan; butter chicken is best cooked in a clay pot, or “tandoor”.


In summary, the purpose of this chicken korma vs butter chicken post is to brighten your knowledge about both Indian curries.

And from what you’ve gathered so far, we believe you can now choose the one that best suits your taste since you’ve known the difference, as well as similarities between these recipes.

If you still have doubts, let us know using the comment box below, else you are free to go enjoy your meal.

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