Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken

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Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken is moist and tender, and packed with the flavor of fragrant Indian spices, yogurt and citrus. Cooked to perfection, this Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken recipe is made quickly and easily in your Instant Pot.

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)Tandoori Chicken on a white plate


Hi there, I’m Neena from Paint the Kitchen Red and I’m so excited that Barbara has invited me to share my Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken recipe with her readers. Thank you, Barbara!

6 pieces of Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken garnished with raw onion and sliced jalapenos

How to Make Tandoori Chicken in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this Tandoori Chicken!

Tandoori chicken is hands-down the most popular dish at any Indian restaurant, and one of my favorites. This Indian take on barbecue chicken is flavorful, spicy, and has universal appeal. Tandoori chicken is traditionally made in a tandoor, which is an Indian clay oven that comes to very high temperatures with a live coal or wood fire. 

Since a tandoor is out of the question for most of us, I normally use a grill or oven to cook tandoori chicken. I’ve been making this tandoori chicken for many years, but recently adapted it for the pressure cooker. This pressure cooker tandoori chicken recipe gets you tender chicken without a long marinating time, and finishing it under the oven broiler gives it the traditional grilled look.


The nice thing about making tandoori chicken at home is that you can make it just as tasty as the restaurant version, but adjust the spiciness to suit your tastes. This chicken is perfect for a dinner party. Just cook the chicken in the pressure cooker ahead of time and put it under the broiler before your guests arrive. So easy, but they’ll never know!

To make the chicken, you’ll blend the ingredients for the sauce, pressure cook the chicken in the sauce, reduce the sauce and then baste and broil the chicken. When you’re all done, you’ll have leftover sauce that can be served on the side or even be used later in a separate curry. Store the sauce in the fridge.

white platter of Pressure Cooked Tandoori Chicken

If you’ve had tandoori chicken in an Indian restaurant, you probably noticed the red or orange color. Well, this color comes from food coloring. Since I’m not a big fan of food coloring, I don’t use it but feel free to add some to the sauce while you’re reducing it.

All the Indian spices in the recipe should be easily available at a well-stocked grocery store. For maximum flavor, I prefer to use bone-in skinless chicken thighs. Chicken breasts tend to become too dry, especially under the broiler. Serve the tandoori chicken with naan or rice and a salad or raita (Indian yogurt relish.)

Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)Tandoori Chicken on a white plate

Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Cooked to perfection, this Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken is moist and tender, and packed with the flavor of fragrant Indian spices, yogurt and citrus.


  • 1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno (or spicy green chili pepper), coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skinless)
  • vegetable oil to coat tray


  1. Combine onions, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, black pepper, paprika, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, yogurt, and chicken broth in the container of a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Pour contents of blender into pressure cooker and add chicken pieces.  Stir to coat chicken.
  3. Cover and lock the lid.
  4. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  5. Do a quick release of steam.
  6. Carefully remove the thighs from the pressure cooker and set aside.
  7. Select Saute or Browning and reduce remaining sauce until it thickens to the consistency of barbecue sauce; Stir occasionally. This may take up to 10 minutes.
  8. While sauce is reducing, preheat broiler.
  9. Line a rimmed baking tray with foil and lightly coat with oil.
  10. Brush both sides of chicken with sauce and broil until chicken has a grilled look, turning once.
  11. Serve tandoori chicken with rice or naan.



  • Leftover marinade can be served on the side and/or used for a curry for later.  Store in the refrigerator.
  • Adjust the quantity of jalapeno and cayenne to suit your taste.

Thanks Neena for guest posting.  I’m looking forward to trying this one. I always get tandoori chicken when I’m at my favorite Indian restaurant. Visit Paint the Kitchen Red for more great pressure cooker recipes.

More Indian dishes to make in a pressure cooker:

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photo collage of Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken

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originally published February 19, 2017 — last updated January 1, 2019
Categories: Chicken