Instant Pot

Butter Chicken - Instant Pot

July 10, 2017
7 Ratings
Photo by Archana Deshmukh-Mundhe
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

A tender spiced chicken in a creamy tomato gravy with the warm aroma of garam masala and fenugreek. This authentic recipe is cooked with a healthy twist by using ghee and coconut milk instead of butter and cream. —Archana Deshmukh-Mundhe

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 cups onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder, kashmiri or any mild variety
  • 3 plum tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (allow these to separate - DO NOT shake. Best if left in fridge overnight)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro. chopped
  1. Set Instant Pot on Saute(More) mode, after the 'hot' sign displays, add ghee.
  2. Add onions and salt. Cook until onions are soft and translucent for 2-3 mins (with a glass lid on to speed this process)
  3. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric and red chili powder. Mix well and cook until fragrant for 2 mins.
  4. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric and red chili powder. Mix well and cook until fragrant for 2 mins.
  5. Add only the watery portion of coconut milk and pureed tomatoes mixing with spices. Add chicken and stir well.
  6. Close instant pot with steam release handle to sealing position. Set to Manual Mode and cook on high pressure for 8 mins followed by quick release. (Note: If using chicken breasts, cook on Manual(Hi) for 5 mins followed by 5 mins NPR)
  7. Open the Instant Pot, stir in coconut cream, tomato paste, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, sugar and half of the cilantro. Add more salt if needed.
  8. Turn the instant pot to Sauté mode. Cook without the lid to allow the curry to thicken for 10 mins. If the sauce starts to splutter, set adjust to Saute(Less).
  9. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
  10. Note: Add more red chili powder and garam masala for spicer version.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Lee
    Karen Lee
  • Shital Lakhani
    Shital Lakhani
  • Sheena Shano
    Sheena Shano

3 Reviews

Karen L. July 8, 2020
I used to add coconut cream at the end (from my own recipe) but Archana's method of adding watery part of coconut milk first and adding the cream at the end is brilliant! It's so so good!
Shital L. January 6, 2018
My family requested this again after such success with your chicken biryani last night and it was AMAZING! I mean better than any Indian restaurant. I agree with the comment below, definitely don’t even notice that there is no butter or cream! This recipe is becoming a staple in our family and I can’t wait to try with paneer for the vegetarian grandparents.
Sheena S. August 31, 2017
Tried this last night. Ultimate comfort food! As someone who can't eat dairy, this is the first butter chicken recipe I found that didn't have loads of cream in it, and yet somehow managed to be thick and creamy! An absolute delight! Definitely will make this again.