Chicken korma vs butter chicken: Know the difference

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Indian cuisine is as varied and diverse as its culture, languages, regions, and climate. India is home to a plethora of aromatic spices and herbs that make each dish unique and special. Regarding Indian food, there are two popular dishes that often get confused – chicken korma and butter chicken.

While both dishes are made with chicken, they differ in terms of their preparation, ingredients used, and flavors. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between these two popular Indian dishes so that you can order the right dish next time you’re at an Indian restaurant!

What is chicken korma?

What is chicken korma

Chicken korma is a curry dish made with yogurt or cream, spices, and vegetables. It is typically milder than other curry dishes and can be served with rice or bread.

Butter chicken originates from Punjab in India, while chicken korma is believed to have originated in the Mughal courts of Central Asia. Butter chicken is a relatively new dish, while chicken korma has been around for centuries.

What is butter chicken?

What is butter chicken

Butter chicken is a popular dish from India that is made with chicken that is cooked in a gravy of tomatoes and butter. Usually, rice or naan bread is served alongside the entrée.

Compared to korma, chicken butter has more chicken and is spicier. 

What is butter chicken made of?

What is butter chicken made of

Butter chicken is a rich and creamy dish that is made with yogurt, cream, tomato, and butter. The chicken is cooked in a mixture of these ingredients until it is fall-apart tender.

Butter chicken gets its name from the generous amount of butter used in its preparation. The chicken is first cooked in a tomato-based sauce; then, butter is added to give it a rich, creamy texture. Garam masala, chili powder, and turmeric are some of the spices typically used to flavor butter chicken.

What is chicken korma made of?

What is chicken korma made of

A typical chicken korma dish comprises a yogurt or cream-based sauce, with various spices added to give it flavor. The chicken itself is usually marinated in yogurt before being cooked in the sauce. Cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, and cardamom are common in a chicken korma. 

Chicken korma vs butter chicken: Main difference

When it comes to Indian chicken dishes, two often come to mind: chicken korma and butter chicken. While both are delicious in their own right, there are some key differences between them. Here’s a look at the main difference between chicken korma and butter chicken.

Chicken korma is a dish that originates from the Mughal Empire. It’s a creamy, gravy-like dish made with yogurt, cream, nuts, and spices. The chicken is slow-cooked in this mixture until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender.

On the other hand, butter chicken is a more recent dish created in the 1950s. It’s a tomato-based curry with a creamy texture thanks to adding butter or cream (hence the name). The chicken is cooked in this sauce until it’s well coated and infused with flavor.

And finally – the most important difference – is that chicken korma is usually made with green chilies (optional), whereas butter chicken is not.

So, what’s the main difference between these two popular Indian chicken dishes? Chicken korma is richer and more decadent, while butter chicken is lighter and has more of a tomato flavor. Both are absolutely delicious, so it really comes down to personal preference!

Butter chicken ingredients

There are a few key ingredients that set butter chicken and chicken korma apart. 

For butter chicken, you’ll need boneless, skinless chicken breasts, garam masala, cumin, paprika, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, tomato paste, heavy cream, and butter. 

Chicken korma ingredients

Chicken korma also requires boneless, skinless chicken breasts, garam masala, cumin, paprika, ginger, garlic, and salt. However, instead of tomato paste and heavy cream like in butter chicken recipes, you’ll use coconut milk and yogurt to create a more rich and more creamy sauce.

What does chicken korma taste like?

Chicken korma is a mild, creamy curry made with yogurt and spices. It originates from the Indian subcontinent and is popular in India and Pakistan. Chicken korma is usually made with chicken breasts or thighs that are first cooked in a lightly spiced onion and tomato gravy, then simmered in the yogurt-almond sauce until tender. The finished dish is garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and served over basmati rice or naan bread.

What does butter chicken taste like?

Butter chicken is a richer and more flavorful curry dish made with tomatoes, butter, cream, and spices. It originates from Northern India and is one of the most popular Indian dishes worldwide. Butter chicken is typically made with chicken thighs or legs that are simmered in a tomato-based sauce until tender. 

Chicken korma nutrition facts

Here is a look at the chicken korma nutrition facts and the Butter Chicken nutrition facts so you can see for yourself which dish is better for your health.

A 160-gram serving ( 1 cup) of chicken korma contains:

  • Calories: 230
  • Total carbs: 7.4g
  • Total fat: 16g
  • Protein:  14g
  • Potassium: 266mg
  • Sodium: 257mg
  • Cholesterol: 53mg

There are also trace amounts of calcium and vitamins A & C.

Butter chicken nutrition facts

Butter chicken is quite similar to chicken korma nutrition-wise. For comparison, a 240-gram serving of chicken butter contains:

  • Calories: 355
  • Total carbs: 14g
  • Total fat: 23g
  • Protein:  23g
  • Potassium: 610mg
  • Sodium: 251mg
  • Cholesterol: 92mg

Unlike chicken korma, butter chicken also contains trace amounts of iron, from the butter, used.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is butter chicken sweet or spicy?

Butter chicken is both sweet and spicy. But on a slight note in both tastes. This only makes it acceptable for a very wide range of tastes.

Is butter chicken healthy?

Butter chicken is healthy due to its high amounts of proteins and fats. However, remember to consume moderately, as an excess of anything is certainly not good.

How spicy is a korma?

Depending on the ingredients and how much is used, korma chicken can be mildly spicy, or fiery. Check out the ingredients before ordering.

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