No-Cream Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

By Garam Masala Kitchen
September 14, 2017
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Author Notes: Chicken Tikka Masala is a super popular Indian dish, where juicy grilled pieces of chicken are served in a creamy spicy tomato gravy. This is the British cousin of the popular Punjabi dish called Butter Chicken. Rumor has it that it is among the most popular dishes in United Kingdom. It is hard to find an Indian restaurant in the world, that doesn’t have this classic on it’s menu, and if you find one that doesn’t, don’t eat there:-)

Traditionally, the chicken is marinated and grilled in a clay oven called “Tandoor”. The gravy is made with fresh tomatoes, onions, fresh ginger-garlic and lots of garam masala. The gravy is finished with cream to balance the warmth of the spices, which makes it a delicacy. This is one of my children’s favorite dish. So, to make an everyday, low calorie version of this dish, I substitute heavy cream with greek yoghurt! The result is so spectacularly similar to the traditional version, I promise, you won’t miss the cream and you won’t have to hit the gym after this. Chicken Tikka Masala is best enjoyed with Zeera Rice (Cumin rice), or Butter Naan!
For more tips and recipes, visit: http://garammasalakitchen...
Garam Masala Kitchen

Serves: 4-6


  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (fat trimmed) OR boneless skinless breast
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (3/4 inch piece of ginger + 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1 Juice of a lime

SAUCE: (can be used with vegetables, tofu, paneer)

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped, or 1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (reduce to 1, if you prefer mild)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 12-15 cashews
  • 3-4 tablespoons plain greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (3/4 inch piece of ginger + 2 cloves of garlic)
  1. Prepare marinade for the chicken by combining all ingredients listed under "marinade". Pour it in a bowl, or gallon size ziplock bag (for easy clean-up), and toss the chicken in it, till well coated. Refrigerate for 15 minutes- overnight. If you don't have the time for that, leave it till you prep the sauce.
  2. Turn IP on SAUTE. When the display reads "hot", about 30 seconds, add olive oil + butter/ghee. Add chicken, grilling one minute on each side. The chicken will be raw at this point- in this step we're sealing the marinade flavors. Remove chicken and keep aside.
  3. For making sauce, add onion, tomato, green chili, ginger-garlic and sauté for one minute. Add garam masala, coriander, cumin, salt, paprika, turmeric and sauté for 30 seconds. Add 12-15 cashews and stir. Turn off IP. Transfer onion mix to a blender, cool for 5 minutes and blend into a smooth sauce.
  4. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size pieces.Add yoghurt to the cooled sauce and blend again. Add sauce back in IP along with chicken and 1/4 cup water (skip the water if you used canned diced tomatoes). Close lid. Vent set to SEALING. MANUAL (hi-press) for 6 minutes. Open lid after natural pressure release or QR after 5 minutes. If the tomatoes were tart to begin with, you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon sugar to balance flavors (optional). Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy Chicken Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice (Zeera Rice) or Garlic or Butter Naan!

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