Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken from Pressure Cooking Today

Tender chicken thighs in a rich, creamy, spicy, buttery tomato sauce. A favorite dish at Indian restaurants that is easy to make at home.

Ever since I posted my Naan recipe on Barbara Bakes I’ve been on the look out for Indian main dishes to serve along side the naan. Recently, Barbara from Creative Culinary mentioned on Facebook that she was making Indian Butter Chicken with “a great friend from India who is a terrific cook.” Her friend Ansh blogs at Spice Roots. Barbara sent me a link when she got her post up with the recipe and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe from Pressure Cooking Today - Tender chicken thighs in a rich, creamy, spicy, buttery tomato sauce. A favorite dish at Indian restaurants that is easy to make at home.

The recipe looked like it would be an easy recipe to convert to a pressure cooker recipe, and it was! I made a few changes to accommodate my family’s tastes, and of course I served it with homemade naan. If you haven’t tried butter chicken before, your in for a treat.

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken


  • 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cans (14 oz.) diced tomatoes and juice
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds (roast on the stovetop in a small pan)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed minced cilantro


  1. Cut the chicken pieces into quarters.
  2. Put tomatoes, jalapeno and ginger in a blender or food processor and blend to a fine puree.
  3. Add butter to pressure cooking pot, select Browning. When butter is melted and foam begins to subside, add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, and sear until they are nicely browned all over (about 2-3 minutes per batch). Remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl and put aside.
  4. Add ground cumin and paprika to the butter in the pot and cook, stirring rapidly, for 10-15 seconds. Add the tomato mixture, salt, cream, yogurt and chicken pieces (with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl) to the pot. Gently stir the chicken to coat the pieces. Cover and lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time. When timer beeps, turn off and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes use a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure.
  5. Stir in the garam masala and roasted cumin. Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir in to sauce in the pot. Select sauté and bring to a boil. Turn off pressure cooker and stir in minced cilantro.
  6. Serve with rice and naan.


Adapted from Spice Roots.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Dave Little says

    i fixed this for the kids and grandkids tonight. They loved it. Great flavor and not too spicy. I didn’t want to dirty another appliance so I added the tomatoes, jalapeño and ginger to the Instant Pot and gave it a few thumps with the potato masher. It worked fine. I’ll be making this again.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Dave – I’m glad it was a hit. Good to know it works to just throw it in and mash it. :)

  2. says

    In love! I adore Indian food, especially butter chicken. We bought a Cooks Essential pressure cooker last week and I am loving this method of preparing our food. Your recipe takes my love to a whole new level! I made this 2 days ago and everyone raved. I am making it again tonight. This time I am trying the recipe for naan bread and a favorite for fragrant basmati rice. I followed your recipe exactly as is and the results were perfect. Thanks for inspiring me! :)

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Adriana – so glad you loved the recipe and want to make it again so quickly! Now you’ve got me craving it.

  3. Karen says

    We made this tonight (minus the jalapeños) and it was soooo good!! Thank you for this recipe!

    We have an Instant Pot and it doesn’t have a Browning setting, so we used the Sauté setting to brown the chicken. My husband did this part and got splattered with hot butter. Any advice to avoid this in the future? We are very new to pressure cooking!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Karen – glad you enjoyed the recipe and are having fun pressure cooking with your husband. You could start with half the butter and add the second half when you’re cooking the second half of the chicken. A pair of long tongs helps keep your hands up away from the splatters. Browning in the Instant Pot does reduce the splatter around your cooking area because of the deep pot.

  4. Kristine says

    I only need to cook for 2, and while we love leftovers, 10 thighs seems like a lot. Can I safely half the recipe? I just got a pressure cooker for Christmas so I’m not sure on the rules. :)

    • Barbara Schieving says

      You can half recipes safely as long as you use the recommended amiynt of liquid. You could also freeze lefovers for another day.

  5. Robin says

    I made this yesterday and it was great! I was concerned it might be too spicy, but it is not at all. It has a warm and earthy spice from the cumin and garam masala. But do open up the windows 😉 it will fill the house. We loved it and It is my do again file.

    • Robin says

      I will also say use the full 2 teaspoons of salt. I was hesitant and only used 1 teaspoon and it needed the full 2.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Robin – my daughter doesn’t like things too spicy, so I try to find that perfect balance that most people will enjoy. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Robin says

        Barbara, We ate every single morsel of this. Even when the chicken was gone, I ate the remaining sauce over rice and it was delicious. My son loved this dish.

  6. C.J. says

    Yes! Now you’re talking. I know that Indian women use pressure cookers a LOT, and I’ve been looking for recipes to try. Can’t wait to try this.

  7. Susy says

    I was wondering if I could use coconut cream instead of the heavy cream and yogurt. Is there a substitute for Cornstarch? Could I use tapioca or arrowroot? I foliow a Paleo diet, that’s why i am curious if I could do this.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      I haven’t tried it, but coconut cream and finely ground tapioca or arrowroot would probably work fine.

  8. says

    I made Tikka Masala a few years ago, and loved it. I believe they are one in the same. Brilliant idea to convert this to a PC. Garam Masala has become one of my favorite spice blends. Pinning!

  9. says

    This looks delicious Barbara. It appears not to be too “hot” as in chili hot. Is it pretty mild? I like spicy hot but have family members who have no tolerance to it. I love my pressure cooker and Indian food. I’ll be trying this one.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Bonnie – yes it is pretty mild. The original recipe called for 6 jalapenos which would really kick up the heat. Let me know how you like it.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Lydia – you need enough liquid for the pressure cooker to come to pressure and then thicken or reduce the liquid after pressure cooking. Some times you need to reduce the liquid in a recipe for pressure cooking, but I didn’t need to with this recipe.