Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Butter Chicken is a classic Indian restaurant favorite that is easy to make at home. You’ll love the combination of tender chicken thighs and a creamy, buttery tomato sauce.
There’s something special about Indian butter chicken—flavorful chicken thighs marinated in yogurt and spices and smothered in a delicious tomato sauce.
Traditionally, butter chicken is made with chicken cooked in a tandoor oven and marinated in a creamy curry to make it tender. However, when you make it in your electric pressure cooker, you can have tender butter chicken on your table in just 30 minutes.
How to Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken in Any Electric Pressure Cooker
This Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, and Mealthy MultiPot. Pressure cookers are perfect for cooking chicken thighs until they’re tender and flavorful! (See more of my favorite Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipes here.)
Browning Your Chicken in Butter
They don’t call this butter chicken for nothing! This Indian Butter Chicken recipe calls for a whole stick of butter! While I enjoy a lightened-up version of butter chicken, my family insists on making this full-flavored version.
Technically, you can reduce the butter and sub in half-and-half for the heavy cream, but I don’t recommend it—you’ll lose out on the flavor and thickness of the sauce. (This flavor is worth the calories, I promise!)
Don’t skip the step of browning the chicken in the butter, since this adds quite a bit of flavor to the meal.
If you’re in a hurry, brown just one side of the chicken thighs. The sauce will still get the flavor of the browning, but you’ll be out of the kitchen in half the time.
What Is Garam Masala and Where Do I Find It?
The spices you choose will make or break your Indian Butter Chicken.
The secret to a great butter chicken is garam masala, a blend of classic Indian spices. It seems like every brand makes a different blend that includes different spices. Garam masala generally includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, plus something to add a little heat like cumin or black pepper.
While my local grocery store carries this spice, I prefer the blends available from a specialty spice store or an Asian food market. In a pinch, you can also make a quick garam masala at home.
While this dish is mild by Indian standards, if you prefer to keep things extra mild side, substitute the fresh ginger for 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger and reduce the jalapeno peppers to just one.
(This is the way my grandkids like it; when I’m cooking for them, I’ll make a batch this way and add a bit more spice to my own bowl. )
What to Serve with Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Butter Chicken
This Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken isn’t complete without a side of rice. Normally I’m not too picky about what kind of rice I use, but I definitely prefer to use basmati rice with this dish.
I also like to do the hot water soak with Basmati rice. (Read more about it on my Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot White Rice recipe.)
Naan is also a must-have with this meal. When I’m in a hurry, I’ll use frozen naan from Costco or Trader Joes. However, when I want to make it extra special, I’ll make homemade naan.
Is Indian Butter Chicken the Same as Chicken Tikka Masala?
You might be surprised how often I’m asked if Tikka Masala is the same as this Indian Butter Chicken recipe.
Honestly, I find the two to be very similar. My favorite local Indian restaurant serves both Butter Chicken and Tikka Masala, and the only difference I can see is that their Tikka Masala includes onion.
If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Neena, one of my favorite food bloggers and my go-to expert on Indian food. In her excellent post for Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala, she says:
People often wonder what the difference is between the two most popular dishes at Indian restaurants: Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala. They’re very similar. And ever-evolving.
Every Indian restaurant probably has its own take, and opinions vary on what constitutes an ‘authentic’ version of this curry. But this much is true: Butter Chicken (Murgh or Chicken Makhani) originated in North India, whereas Chicken Tikka Masala is a British adaptation of Butter Chicken.
Both dishes are popular because they are relatively mild dishes and are a great introduction to Indian food.
No matter what you call it, you’ll love the results you get from this Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken recipe!
If you haven’t tried Indian Butter Chicken before, you’re in for a treat!
Update: This recipe has been on the blog for over five years, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s such a forgiving recipe—I never measure the cilantro, use what peppers I have on hand, often eyeball the spices, and add more cream (never less!). As long as I serve it with naan and basmati rice, and my family is happy!
I’ve updated the recipe to be closer to how I currently cook it, so you’ll notice the recipe now places the spices in a different order than in the video. (I still wanted to show the video so you can see how easy it comes together!)
Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Butter Chicken
This Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Butter Chicken is a classic Indian restaurant recipe that is EASY to make at home. Tender chicken thighs cook in a creamy tomato sauce—and it's ready in about 30 minutes!
- 2 cans (14 ounces each) diced tomatoes and juice
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger*
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds (if needed, roast on the stovetop in a small pan)*
- 1/4 cup firmly packed minced cilantro
- Prepared white basmati rice, for serving
- Naan, optional, for serving
- In a blender, combine the diced tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, ginger, paprika, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Blend to a fine purée and set aside.
- Select Saute and melt the butter in the pressure cooking pot. Add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, and sear until they are nicely browned all over (about 2 to 3 minutes per batch). Remove chicken thighs to a cutting board and set aside. Repeat until all the thighs are browned. Turn off the pressure cooker.
- Add tomato puree to the cooking pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits.
- Slice the chicken into large bite-size pieces. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot and stir to combine. Gently stir the chicken to coat the pieces.
- Cover and lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time. When cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and use quick pressure release.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water. Add the slurry to the cooking pot. Select Saute and bring the liquid to a boil. Turn off pressure cooker and stir in the heavy cream, yogurt, and cilantro.
- Ladle the chicken and sauce over a bed of basmati rice, with a side of naan, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Creative Culinary and Spice Roots. Instructions updated in 2019 to match the cookbook; originally I added the yogurt and heavy cream before pressure cooking.
*Some members of my family are quite sensitive to spice; when I'm cooking for them, I'll cut down on the heat considerably by replacing the fresh ginger with 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and omit the roasted cumin seeds.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 820mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 38g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
More Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot recipes inspired by Indian food
Pressure Cooker Curried Carrot Soup
Pressure Cooker Saffron Risotto
My husband and I make this religiously! We have a number of Indian friends who have commented that it is one of the best tasting Butter Chicken dishes they have ever had…admittedly we are pretty heavy handed on the spices and paprika! We love this recipe and it is just so easy! There has not been a takeaway type that has ever even come close, and this is definitely my ultimate comfort food. Don’t forget the paratha and raita!!
That’s so fun to hear – thanks Beau!
I made your butter chicken from your cookbook this weekend using bottled sauce (added in after pressure cooking the chicken as instructed) and cooking the rice in a pan on top of the chicken. We usually order in Indian food on Saturday. It was hard to tell the difference between the ordered in butter chicken and the Instantpot version. The rice cooked perfectly. Only changes I made was that I used boneless chicken thighs (much prefer to chicken breast) and basmati rice.
Thanks Lesley! I wasn’t a huge chicken thighs fan until I cooked them in the pressure cooker. Now I prefer them too. What brand of sauce did you use?
Did I miss how to use the roasted cumin seeds? Can’t find it in the instructions.
It was delicious, and after I added the yogurt and slurry, I tasted it and felt it was great as is so didn’t add the cream. We lived it!
Hi Kathleen – so glad it was a hit! Roast on the seeds on stovetop in a small pan with no oil over medium heat just until they’re fragrant.
This was perfect Barbara. It was the first recipe I made in my new Instant Pot. I actually added a cup of diced pumpkin, 2 sliced carrots and a handful of beans to it as there was so much delicious sauce. Where is the 5 stars rating?
Thanks Simone – a great pick for a first recipe. Those sound like delicious additions. Click the 5th star right below the print button in the recipe card to give it a 5 star rating. 🙂
Out of the 12 people I made this for, they all said it was good, but not to make it again. They said it just wasn’t good enough to have again. Made this exactly as written.
Hi Taz – your comment would be more helpful if you explained why. Are they not use to Indian food? Did they want more spices? What spice blend did you use etc?
I saw a recipe recently for green rice. I’ve taken lately to adding subbing 1/3 quinoa to 2/3 rice to pump up the protein and fiber to better meet dietary restrictions of our house. Will the pablano peppers, green onions, and punch of cilantro in my green quinoa/rice stand up to this Indian butter chicken?
Hi Wendy – sounds like your green rice would be a delicious addition to me>
this is huge favorite in our house now!!!! we love it had to google cilantro as we in New Zealand don’t call it that . We roast the cumin seeds and have ground them and added them at the end as thats what we thought when the recipe said roasted ground cumin seeds lol was not until tonight when i looked at ya video and seen you don’t ground them and it still tastes amazing!!!! thank you so much all the way From New Zealand.
That’s great – thanks for sharing Justine! Now I’m curious what you call cilantro in New Zealand?
If I had to guess, I’d imagine they call it Coriander. It’s what they call it in India.
Cilantro is called Coriander in New Zealand.
This was delicious just as written…Thank you.cC
Great – thanks Carol!
I haven’t made this yet but I plan to do so. However, I wanted to point out you have made a basic fatal flaw in the composition of this recipe. You should NOT be putting dairy products under pressure. This causes them to curdle and separate. Hence, your need to add cornstarch in the end. You should cook it without the dairy (yogurt, cream) and then after releasing pressure, stir these items in until the dish is warmed through. Then there would be no need for cornstarch in the end.
The reason you’ll need to thicken after pressure cooking is because of the liquid released from the chicken and the tomatoes, not because the yogurt and cream have been added before pressure cooking. “Dairy products with higher fat contents, such as whipping cream and heavy cream, are less prone to curdling. Restaurants use heavy cream for making sauces and soups because unlike milk, it can be boiled without curdling.” https://www.thespruceeats.com/prevent-milk-from-curdling-when-cooking-996067 The recipe works great as written, but if you prefer to add the yogurt and cream after pressure cooking, that should work great too.
Read number 2 here: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/5-things-not-to-do-with-your-instant-pot/
In my experience, making something like rice pudding in the pressure cooker was OK as the rice soaks up the milk.
However, as the above article mentions, even coconut milk can curdle. I once followed a pressure cooker recipe using coconut milk I found on the internet for the pressure cooker. The photos on the blog showed it looking nice and white and coconut milk-creamy. What came out was something totally different. Watery and separated coconut milk.
Traditional recipes do not use cornstarch. I do realize that the ingredients will release water as they have no place to go in the pressure cooker, but then you have options to avoid this as well, namely reduce the liquid (drain off some of the juice from the tomatoes) or simmer it down a bit after releasing the pressure. Personally I would just drain off some of the tomato water from the can and set it aside. It could always be added back at the end if necessary or if not necessary, used in another recipe.
I will stop back in after I make this and let you know how it turns out.
The link you shared is from a good friend of mine, Karen. She lives not too far from me and we get together occasionally for lunches. I encouraged her to start sharing pressure cooking recipes. Draining the tomato water is an unnecessary step, but you could certainly do it if you prefer. My daughter and I have made this recipe more times than I can count and it works and we love it. You can, however, just use it as a guide and change whatever you want to change.
Butter chicken tastes like butter. Chicken korma does not. Probably essentially the same recipe just minus the butter and maybe just a smidge more cream.
I have an Instant pot Ultra 60 and have a hard time changing the pressure time. What do I do if I want stew that sets automatically at 30 min and my recipe calls for 18 min as an example. Hope you can help me.
Hi Klarissa – the Ultra can be a little more tricky to set the time. You have to carefully watch which section is flashing and then push in on the dial to select it and then once it’s selected, then you can turn the dial to change the time. A box around the time will flash – that’s when you can change the time.
I cannot get the PRINT link to work for this recipe (naan & bread bowls worked fine.)
Hi Jean – the print feature is working just fine for me. Can you try a different browser or restart your browser? Thanks!
I make butter chicken all the time, but never made it in my pressure cooker until now. I am hooked.
Great – thanks Sam!
I’ll never order Indian take out again. So easy to make and full or flavor!
Absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and the whole family loved it. Accompanied by rice and home made garlic naan bread – perfect, thanks! I’ll definitely be making it again. 😀
Great – thanks Charlotte!
With such great comments on you butter chicken, I can’t wait to make it in my IP!
Thanks for the motivation 😊
Great – let me know how you like it!
This is the best thing I cook. The second time I sauteed a shallot and added more Graham marsala and finished it with some cayenne pepper. I have had it 2 or 3 times in restaurants, and I actually like this better
Sounds like delicious changes – thanks for sharing Rob!
This is a new favorite! Absolutely amazing! I substituted boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the thighs and did not use the roasted cumin seeds at the end and it was SO delicious! The recipe makes a lot but I enjoyed the leftovers for days so I don’t mind that at all. Thanks so much for all the great recipes!
That’s great – thanks for sharing Shannon!
I just made this and its SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD! OMG! Better than any ive ever had in a restaurant.
That’s great – thanks Thayne!
I have the Instant Pot Duo Mini 7 in 1 3qt. Can I just halve this recipe as it would be too much for the 3qt pot?
Thank you so much,
Hi Susan – yes, halving the recipe in the 3 quart should work great. Enjoy!
Thus sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to try it. Can you recommend a good substitute or Cilantro? My family has the gene that causes this herb to taste awful.
Thanks Bill – I would just sub parsley.
I do not have cumin seeds. Should I use extra ground cumin?
Hi Stacy – yes, I’ve done that before.
Great recipe! Makes lots of sauce! Suggest adding more chicken!
I’m new to pressure cooking what is an instant and natural pressure release
Hi Judy – here’s a link to a post that explains it https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/quick-pressure-release-or-natural-pressure-release/
You are so helpful thank you!
We love Butter Chicken in Australia, its a bit of favourite here. I make all Indian dishes from scratch but I cannot beat this version., its the simplest easiest dish to cook and every one asks for the recipe.
Pataks (preferred) or any brand of butter chicken paste 1 jar
4 chicken breasts or chicken thighs
1 tin of tomato soup
1 600ml cream
Sauté chicken in paste, add tomato soup and cream into a pressure cooker and cook for 15 mins under pressure.
This makes loads of yummy sauce easy to soak up Naan bread or rice.
Thanks for sharing Annie – I’ve never seen butter chicken paste in the US – definitely sounds easy -thanks for sharing!
I can vouch for Patak’s curry pastes! I stock up on them whenever I see them.
I also add a teaspoon of it (whichever is open at the time) to a blended, home-made soup or tomato sauce. Lovely 🙂
She means patka butter chicken simmer sauce in a jar. Its sort of like jarred alfredo or pasta sauce. Just heat, add meat and starch of choice 😉
By the way, barbara, you’re recipe looks great! From scratch is the best when you have the time and instant pot makes that so much easier. Cant wait to make this.
What is minced cilantro? Is it fresh or dried ?
Hi Shirley – it’s a fresh herb, but you could use dried in a pinch. Here’s a video about mincing it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ0-H-BVnPI
AMAZING! My first non-dump recipe, I use a Cuisinart 6 qt. Since cooking for one, have you tried doing half recipe?
I have a power XL pressure cooker. Will the settings make a difference to the cooking times.
Hi Mary – here’s my post on using the XL. https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/how-to-use-the-power-pressure-cooker-xl/ For this recipe, I’d use the bean button.
What is a happy substitute for garam marsala? I bet it is even better the next day!
Here’s a link to make your own garam marsala http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/quick-garam-masala-82968#activity-feed It is better the next day 🙂 Enjoy!
I am dairy free. What can I substitute for the heavy cream and yogurt that will yield an equal results?
I haven’t tried it, but you could probably substitute something like cashew milk and then thicken it with a cornstarch slurry.
Barbara (and R), Urvashi Pitre in her recipe for IP Butter Chicken recommends substituting coconut oil for butter and full-fat coconut milk for heavy cream if you’re dairy-free.
Made this last night. Substituted equal amount of home made non-Greek yogurt for the heavy cream/Greek yogurt. My jalapeño was very mild so I may bump it up next time. Otherwise made as directed. Sooo easy and sooooooo very good. Thanks!
Mine came out really watery….I followed instructions exactly. What went wrong?
Hi Katie – some chicken releases more liquid as it cooks, especially if it’s frozen and injected with water. Next time just use more cornstarch slurry until it’s as thick as you’d like.
What changes do I need to make for a standard gas pressure cooker instead of an instant pot?
Hi John – you shouldn’t need to make any changes as long as your stove top pressure cooker doesn’t lose a lot of liquid as it cooks. If it does, you may want to add some chicken broth. Start you timing when your pressure cooker comes to pressure and you reduce the heat as usual. Enjoy!
I want to try this. I have Faberware 7-1 Gen II. What would be the high pressure setting?
Hi Linda – it looks like the Faberware always cooks at 10psi so similar to high pressure on the Instant Pot. So you won’t need to worry about setting the pressure. Have fun!
HI there– could I substitute chicken breasts? And if so, how many or how many pounds? Also, would you adjust the cooking time at all?
Hi Caitlin – you can use the same cook time for breasts, but I’d cook the breasts whole and cut them in to pieces before serving. Enjoy!
I’ve made this several times now, and aside from leaving the jalapenos whole (we like spicy), the recipe is PERFECT! Better than takeout, and so much cheaper! And since there’s only 2 of us, lots of leftovers for lunch for a few days. 🙂
This sounds like a fantastic recipe. Two questions:
1 – Do you think it’s too large for a 6qt pressure cooker?
2 – Any guess as to how well left-overs would freeze?
Thanks Kim! All my recipes are tested using a 6 quart pressure cooker, often the Instant Pot. It freezes and reheats well. Enjoy!
Made this today. Outstanding recipe. I expected the cumin and ginger to be overwhelming, but the flavor was amazing. The flavors all came together perfectly without any particular one stealing the spotlight. It was creamy, buttery, and decadent. Like something you might get at a restraunt. Fyi, I did not thicken with cornstarch. It was still creamy. Served with rice and garlic naan.
Thanks Diana! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I love your description.
This looks promising. Could you offer a start to finish time estimate?
Thanks Sarah! About 40 minutes
Approximately how many pounds of chicken thighs? My go to ones are rather small.
Hi Emily – about 3 lbs.
First recipe in the IP. Pretty ambitious. Forgot to put the garlic and onion in. Not mentioned in the instructions. Still pretty good considering I’ve never had Indian Butter Chicken! Used breasts instead of thighs. Will try again.
Hi Donna – glad you enjoyed it. No onion or garlic in this one 🙂
I just want to say thank you. This was the second recipe I prepared in my new Instant Pot and it was amazing!
New to instant pot but love love butter chicken if I try this recipe will the seal or instant pot have a odour after I wash it? Just worried every meal after will smell like Indian food lol. Not that that’s a bad thing lol
Hi Sherri – yes, unfortunately, your silicone ring/gasket will absorb the wonderful aroma from the butter chicken and it won’t wash off easily. Fortunately, most meals will not absorb the odor. However, mild tasting foods like cheesecake could potentially absorb a bit of the smell. Many people, myself including, have ordered a second gasket to keep on hand for cooking mild/sweet foods. It’s probably a good policy to have a second on hand just in case something happens to the first one.
What exactly do you mean cut chicken into 4 pieces? Do you remove the bones from the the thigh meat or just chop, bones and all?
Hi John – the recipe uses boneless skinless chicken thighs. The butcher removes the bones and skin so it saves you the prep, but if you don’t have access to boneless skinless thighs, definitely remove the skin and bones before cutting into 4 pieces.
Of course it’s good. It’s got, what? — two tons of dairy fat in it. It’s easy to be a good cook if you pour on the butter fat.
I know, every time I go to a recipe that looks amazing, it inevitably has heavy cream in it.
Hi Esther – don’t be discouraged. If you don’t like using heavy cream, substitute it with something lighter and just use a little more thickener. 🙂
Mmm.. loved this. I added a little extra garam masala because Tikka Masala is my favorite. Quick and easy!
Does this recipe need to be adjusted in any way for a 6 qt Instant Pot? I understand they have a lower PSI than regular pressure cookers. Do I need to adjust the time it cooks under pressure? Thanks!
Hi Sydney – no need to adjust, most of my recipes were created using the 6 quart Instant Pot. Enjoy!
Is there s total of 4 tsp of ground cumin in the recipe? 2 regular and 2 toasted?
Seems like an awful lot. I don’t remember butter chicken tasting that strong of cumin.
Hi Julie – that is correct. The cumin blends with the other spices and doesn’t have a very strong cumin flavor. Enjoy!
Thank you for the recipe. It was yummy. The sauce on basmati was addicting! I made it n a stovetop pic and it was great.
Barbara, thanks for sharing this fantastic looking recipe.
Just for clarity’s sake though, is it two cans of tomatoes, 14oz each, or 14oz total?
Two cans each 14 ounces, or 28 ounces total. Enjoy!
Really good. I cut the salt down to 1 Tablespoon and added 3 quartered red potatoes. Is this the same as Tikka Masala or chicken kourma?
Thanks Jaycee – Butter chicken and Tikka Masala are very similar. Generally butter chicken has more butter and tikka masala has my masala.
Could I cook basmati rice PIp with the chicken or will it be overcooked?
Hi Nancy – Hi haven’t tried it, but I think it would work well.
Thank u so much for sharing!!! I made this and it is absolutely delicious!!!! I was the all star for this one and it is so flavorful and authentic tasting!!! I used chicken breasts and cut them into pieces and browned them as instructed until they were almost cooked through with the same cook time! Thanks again!!!
Quick question, I’d like to decrease the calories/amount of fat in the recipe. Could I use lite coconut milk instead of the heavy cream? Or would I replace both the heavy cream and greek yogurt if I could use coconut milk? Thank you for your help! Can’t wait to try it!
Hi Krista – I think you could easily replace both with the coconut milk but you may have to add more cornstarch to thicken it and it won’t have the richness of the original dish. But definitely change it up and make it just the way you like it.
I have recently bought an electric pressure cooker and I’d like some recipes that can cook quickly in this .
The electronic pressure cooker is totally different to the old pressure cookers of hearing beeps before you know it’s cooked etc .
My biggest learning right now is that I am still learning how much water to use in it as I end up with plenty of thin sauce rather than just enough water to make it a rich curry or casserole or soup even . Even rice cooking in the pressure cooker made it glucky yet the same amount of water with rice in a microwave makes the rice fluffy .
Are there Any rules that I should follow regarding water or stock in cooking ?
I recently did a post with tips on converting a recipe that discusses how much liquid to use https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/how-to-convert-a-recipe-into-a-pressure-cooker-recipe/ as well as other tips that will help you get started.
This recipe actually originated with Julie Sahni’s Velvet Buttered Chicken, a recipe in Classic Indian Cooking, not with Spice Roots as noted above.
While it is commonplace among cooks to take and adapt recipes from various sources, it is polite, correct and the honorable thing to do to credit the original source wherever possible. Failure to do the right thing would allow me to change a few word’s in Julia Child’s various recipes and claim them as my own, which I would never, ever do.
By law, if a cook alters a recipe ten percent they can legally call it their own. However, just the fact that Barbara cited her adaption from Spice Roots gives her credibility enough. I would say that’s pretty honorable and polite.
Thank you Barbara for adapting recipes to use specifically for the pressure cooker.
Is there any reason the garam masala couldn’t be added in earlier? Could it be added at the same time as the tomato puree? Not sure it’s added at the very end – I love the flavor of garam masala.
Hi Jen – I was just adapting Ansh’s recipe, but I assume it would work to add it earlier as well.
I wanted to update my comment. I added the cumin and garam masala at the same time I added the tomato puree, cream, yogurt, etc.
It turned out delicious. I don’t think those flavors need to be added after cooking – it works just fine to be added before cooking.
Delicious recipe. And low carb!
Thanks for the update Jen – so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
If using breast meat, does the IP cooking time have to be altered or would it be the same as when using thigh meat?
Hi Amy – you can use the same cook time for breasts, but I’d cook the breasts whole and cut them in to pieces before serving.
Barbara, you did it again! The most time consuming part is de-fatting the already boneless skinless chicken thighs. I bought a tray at BJs which stated “2-3 thighs per pouch” but only had 2 per pouch for the entire tray; so that left 1 pouch of the tray untouched, and 2 thighs are not enough for dinner for the 2 of us (or else DH would ask, “What are you planning on eating?” So I cut up 12 thighs into 4 pieces each. For the Instant Pot, I heated up the pot on Saute-High WITHOUT butter. Apparently that is the only way for the IP to reach a high heat saute temperature. My 12 thighs took 3 batches to brown on both sides.
Question: would there be any problem in blending the jalapenos, tomatoes, diced tomatoes with the heavy cream and yogurt at one time?
While this cooked in my IP, I measured, rinsed and cooked 1 cup parboiled rice in a stove top PC for 6 minutes at LOW pressure/ Perfect!
This recipe was delicious, DH is glad that we have leftovers. My only concern is whether the leftovers could be frozen with the dairy sauce?
Thanks Kathryn! Aren’t leftovers great. I hadn’t thought of adding the cream and yogurt with the other blender ingredients, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as long as you didn’t blend it too long. I have frozen it with no problem.
I’m so addicted to this butter chicken.. Loved the look of your butter chicken. How do I adjust spices for a 1kg of chicken as I have a large family? Would appreciate your help as I don’t want to mess it up..
Hi Jane – according to my research, 1 chicken boneless skinless chicken thigh weighs about 150 grams, so 10 would be about 1.5 kg.
Just made this for dinner tonight and think it’s definitely missing some spices. I’m not Indian, but I love Indian food and have several Indan cookbooks. Might try this again, but I’d consult some other recipes and make adjustments.
Hi Lorraine – I feel it’s pretty authentic since it is adapted from a recipe from someone who is Indian. But everyone’s tastes are different so definitely change it up however you enjoy it.
This is one of the best Indian recipes I have tried to date. I like to follow a new recipe exactly the first time I make it, but I was pressed for time (and inherently lazy) so I cut a few corners. I seared the thighs whole and then cubed them; substituted 3 X 10oz cans of Rotel for the diced tomatoes and fresh jalapenos; and finally roasted the cumin seeds whole and just threw them in. Didn’t seem to impact the flavor, which was delicious. Especially like that this recipe is scaled to feed more people than my other Butter Chicken recipes. Thanks for posting it.
Thanks for the rave review George. Glad you changed it up to use what you had.
i I’m making this dish tomorrow night for the in laws and I have bought all of the ingredients. I heard about the fenugreek and bought ground fenugreek but I’m not sure how much to use. Can you help me please?
I’ve never used it before, so I checked some other butter chicken recipes and how much they used varied greatly, between 1/4 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon. I’d probably start with 1/2 teaspoon.
do you think that simply halving everything will work for making a smaller amount? I’m just cooking for me and my toddler so I think if I made a full recipe – I would be eating it for a week!
Hi Erica, you should be fine to half it. Enjoy!
This was super good! My very first time using a pressure cooker. I used a manual pressure cooker and it turned out just wonderful. Next time I will probably use a little less butter per my own tastes. I also put in the cream at the same time as the corn starch slurry, and I added garlic in the food processor with the tomatoes (just because I’m obsessed with garlic). This was EXCELLENT, though, I will definitely make this again.
Thanks so much for letting me know how much you liked it. You can’t go wrong with adding garlic.
Making this for dinner tonight, with a few modifications. First, after comparing to other recipes, I am marinating the cut up chicken thighs in spices and yogurt for a few hours in advance. I also added in a bit of turmeric and finely minced garlic/ginger to marinade. Then I am going to start by browning a diced onion, and add the ginger with garlic and jalapeño to that, then the spices, then the marinated chicken, then the tomato purée. Holding the cream until after (worry about it curdling). Pressure cook as directed, then heat with cream and cornstarch slurry. Recipes to me are a playground, and this one looks like fun to play with 🙂
This recipe was fantastic. I only used one Jalapeño pepper and it was just right for my wife and daughter who don’t like spicy food. Definite winner
So glad you loved it. Thanks for letting me know Josh!
We enjoyed this, but it was a lot more runny than I expected. Any suggestions?
One thing I just realized though is since I put the chicken in from frozen it probably released a lot of excess water so maybe that was the problem?
I think you’re right Lori. Next time just make another cornstarch slurry and thicken it to your liking. So glad you enjoyed it.
we are not fans of chicken thighs…can you substitute chicken breast?
Hi Moe – I’m generally not a fan of chicken thighs either, but cooked in the pressure cooker and in this recipe they’re great. But if you don’t want to give them a try, you can definitely substitute chicken breasts. I would reduce the cook time a few minutes, depending on how small you cut your chicken.
I’m trying this for dinner tonight. My husband is from Scotland, and ate Indian food almost every day there. It’s a new experience for me. My question is since I don’t have cumin seeds, can I substitute an equal amount of ground cumin? I wasn’t sure if the 2 tsp is before or after the seeds are ground.
Hi Bev – I hear Indian food is very popular in the UK. I hope he enjoys it. You may want to substitute less ground cumin for the cumin seed. It is 2 teaspoons before the seeds are ground.
This was delicious! My husband loved it, and is taking leftovers to work tomorrow for his lunch. Thanks for the great recipe!!
That’s great – thanks for the update 🙂
I made this last night and have lots of leftovers. Can u please give me suggestions to make this sweet. We r from the UK and used to sweet butter chicken. Thanks
Hi Gail – If I wanted it sweeter, I’d probably try stirring in some honey to taste.
How long will it take to cook double ?
Hi Lynnette – this is no increase in time when doubling most pressure cooker recipes unless the meat is a thicker piece of meat.
How long should I set it to if I use frozen chicken thighs? Is 10 minutes too much? Thanks!
Hi Maxime – chicken thighs are pretty thin and will thaw pretty quickly, so you probably won’t need to add any time. It will just take longer to come to pressure. Enjoy!
I don’t have cumin seeds in the house. Can I use ground cumin instead & if so, how much
Also do you use regular paprika or the smoked kind? Looking forward to making this tomorrow
Thanks for all your great recipes
Hi Meryl – Yes, you can substitute ground cumin. I used regular paprika. This is one of my favorite meals. Enjoy!
Does anyone think I could make this a vegetarian dish by adding paneer or tofu instead of chicken ? Has anyone tried this ?
I haven’t tried it, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work.
For a vegetarian version, I use a potato diced into bite-sized cubes and a can of chickpeas. The five minutes of high pressure is enough to cook the potatoes, but you have to use canned (not dried) chickpeas because dried beans take much longer.
Great idea. Thanks for sharing Ashley!
Made this tonight, my first attempt at pressure cooking…received one for Christmas…this was delicious..Next time I may add a bit more heat and little less butter…but I really enjoyed it..popped some naan bread in the oven and had rice with…Really good….
Thanks Fred – glad to be part of your first pressure cooking experience. Have fun cooking!
Can I omit the jalapeno? My daughter is not a fan of spicy food at all, but we love indian butter chicken!!
Hi Annie – of course. If you feel it needs just a little bit of heat, you could sub chili powder.
Made this tonight, only change I’d make is to leave in the jalapeño seeds for more heat. It was very good but just kidding a kick.
Have started a little Instant Pot cooking club where we get together to try IP recipes and drink wine. Last night we tried your Indian Butter Chicken and it was a huge hit! Every recipe I’ve made of yours turns out great. Your website is on top of the list when referring new IP owners for recipes. Thank you for being here. I’d post a pic of our finished product, but I see that’s not an option. Trust me, it was good! 😉
Thanks so much Susan! What a fun cooking club. I’ve glad everyone loved it. I’d love to see a picture. You can post it on my Pressure Cooking Today Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/PressureCookingToday/
Thanks! I also really appreciate that you participate on the Instant Pot Community Facebook page. Very helpful. 🙂
What a great idea Susan – an Instant Pot cooking club. I wonder if your group is still meeting.
Wow, I’m drooling! Recently bought the InstantPot and now will make sure I try this receipt ASAP. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you for another wonderful recipe. I made this today. I love my pressure cooker now that I came across your site. I’m grateful.
This is an awesome receipt!! I was so proud of myself. I did ad more seasoning as I always feel it is too light in this area. If you do ad more do not double the salt.
Thanks Teresa. Glad you enjoyed it.
Tried this tonight. Cooked well but wasn’t overly keen on the taste imparted by the yoghurt. Think I’d double the cream as inthe the original recipe instead (and take the calorie hit 😉 )
I’ve had my pressure cooker for 4 years now, and have only been using it randomly. Mostly for rice, chicken stock and roasts. I just found your site today, and found so many amazing, and easy, recipes that I could have been making all along! I can’t wait to try them out!
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.
Thanks Dave – I’m glad it was a hit. Good to know it works to just throw it in and mash it. 🙂
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! 🙂
Thanks Adriana – so glad you loved the recipe and want to make it again so quickly! Now you’ve got me craving it.
My first recipe with the Instant Pot, loved it!
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!
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.
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. 🙂
You can half recipes safely as long as you use the recommended amount of liquid. You could also freeze lefovers for another day.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next post thanks once
I think we’re gonna love this….thanks Barbara.
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.
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.
I haven’t tried it, but coconut cream and finely ground tapioca or arrowroot would probably work fine.
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!
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.
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.
That looks outstanding. I am really excited to try this in a pressure cooker. Thank you, Barbara.
Thank you for sharing the recipe. We loved it!
I knew you would pressurize it! I’ll have to try that next; we were together so quick wasn’t important since we wanted to spend the day cooking! Looks great and of course I just happen to know it is!
Thanks for posting it Barbara. It is great.
Oh wow, this looks like such a winner! I’ve only had butter chicken in restaurants, but this recipe sounds spot on!
Thanks Kalyn – definitely a winner!
I need to learn more about adapting recipes for the pressure cooker, so it’s really helpful to read a recipe like this and note the changes you’ve made. Thanks!
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.