Chicken Tikka Masala Baluchis

Race to My Place: Baluchi’s vs. Taj Tribeca/Indian Express

Chicken Tikka Masala Baluchis
Who's chicken tikka masala won the race?

For each installment of Race to My Place, we pit two restaurants with similar cuisines, estimated delivery times, and prices against each other to see whose delivery reigns supreme! We will compare delivery speed, packaging and presentation when applicable, quality and taste, and value.  This week, our contestants are Baluchi’s and Taj Tribeca.

Indian food is one of the most flavorful cuisines in the world, and for most people, authentic Indian is just way too spicy.  Therefore, one of the most popular “Indian” dishes is Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish that actually may have originated in the UK.  The dish is made with chunks of chicken that have been marinated in yogurt and baked in a tandoor oven, and then paired with a creamy tomato sauce.

Both restaurants serve their Chicken Tikka Masala with rice, but I decided to order plain Naan on the side as well to dip into the left over sauce.

Delivery Speed:  Taj Tribeca
Both restaurants delivered their meals in under half an hour, but Taj Tribeca beat Baluchi’s by a little over five minutes.

Quality & Taste: Baluchi’s

Baluchi’s Chicken Tikka Masala was really creamy and buttery.  The chicken was soft and moist, but you could tell they actually roasted the chicken beforehand in a tandoori oven- the tandoori flavor was discernible through the sauce.  You could taste the tomato in the sauce as well, and the Naan was soft and pillowy, perfect for soaking up the sauce!

Taj Tribeca’s chicken on the other hand was really dry, but it still managed to be strangely soft and tender.  The sauce was nice and spicy, but it really didn’t taste like tikka masala- there wasn’t much of that buttery tomato flavor.  Instead, it tasted kind of sweet like a Malaysian curry.  The Naan was flat and dry, and wasn’t really the best for dipping into sauce.

Value: Tie
Both Taj Tribeca and Baluchi’s Chicken Tikka Masala cost $13.95.  Although Baluchi’s naan was 45 cents more expensive than Taj Tribeca’s, Baluchi’s  naan was definitely worth the extra price.

Although Taj Tribeca’s delivery speed and price were marginally better, Baluchi’s was definitely the clear winner.  What really gave Baluchi’s the upper hand was their use of a tandoor oven, or at least something similar to one.  The tandoori flavor really shone through in the chicken, and their Naan was puffy as it should be.  Taj Tribeca’s chicken wasn’t roasted or marinated in a tandoori style, and the naan was more like a pita.

About Jenn

Jenn was raised in Battery Park City and as a child one of her favorite places was Picasso Pizza. Being older and wiser, she now is a connoisseur of all the fantastic restaurants and bars in the area as the food/culture writer for

3 thoughts on “Race to My Place: Baluchi’s vs. Taj Tribeca/Indian Express

  1. taj is way way better. i have no idea how it stays in business though. every time i eeat there its just me.

  2. Hey Eric, you just might be solely responsible for keeping Taj in business!
    Just kidding! I could tell that Taj may be a little more authentic as far as the spices they use and the heat factor, while Baluchi’s is what you’d expect to eat in London. Since this was a chicken tikka masala race, Baluchi’s was the winner, but it’s possible that Taj would win a different race. What dish would you recommend?

  3. Jenn, I have tried your Baluchi, Salam Bombay & Taj Tribeca. I must say that u are not fair in making a comparison based on speed. I used to be regular at Salam Bombay & Baluchis till I found Taj. All 3 have Tandoor. Baluchi food is a factory finish meal. Taj Tribeca has the best Indian Food anywhere in NYC. You have taken so much time comparing, take some time & try their Buffet. I am there every tuesdays with my colleagues. Hard to miss us, cause we are a boisterous group. I am Indian & I know spices, not just British Chicken tikka masala which is not Indian, there is no food in India as Chicken Tikka Masala. Try something different.

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