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Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Cooking your favorite Indian dish just got so much easier! This Instant Pot Indian butter chicken makes a great weeknight meal. Only 2 spices, 10 minutes of prep, and 10 minutes in the pressure cooker! Plus, we’ve made a few healthier modifications for your healthy family!

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

I’m seriously in love with my Instant Pot! I find myself using it almost daily. It just makes cooking and cleanup so much easier for so many meals – and they turn out so well too!

Well, now my love of the Instant Pot has just deepened. I’ve started experimenting with Indian food in the Instant Pot… and so far it’s amazing! Pressure cooking helps everything cook so well and so quickly, and I feel like it helps the flavors come out so well. Maybe that’s just me – I have no science to back it up. But I’m pretty smitten.

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink
Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe Notes

The first Indian meal I have for you in the Instant Pot is butter chicken. It’s so incredibly EASY! It’s a coconut-tomato paste base with just TWO spices (they’re mixes, but still). So often Indian food is intimidating just because of how many spices are called for – so I narrowed it down to garam masala and curry powder (did you know curry really just means mix of spices? Now you do!).

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

It’s also not spicy because I didn’t add any hot spices, but you’re welcome to if you like heat. I fed this to my ten month old, and she even loves it! So it’s flavorful but mild in terms of heat – perfect for kiddos learning to like new flavors.

I used reduced fat coconut milk to cut down on excess fat and I really couldn’t taste the difference from when I’ve made it with full fat. Win! I also add some Greek yogurt at the end for added creaminess and some protein.

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Plus, I have added a few veggies just because I always add veggies (it’s literally my job). But if you want pure butter chicken, feel free to add a bit more chicken and omit the veggies. I won’t be offended.

How to make Indian butter chicken in the Instant Pot

First, spray the Instant Pot with cooking spray. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, tomato paste, garam masala, curry powder, ginger, garlic, and salt. I’ve done this in the pot itself, but I think it partially removes the cooking spray. Since this dish seems to leave some residue on the bottom, keeping cooking spray in place is best, so I mix outside of the pot now.

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Now prep your veggies by dicing half an onion, cutting the green beans into 1-2 inch pieces, and chopping cauliflower into bite-sized chunks. The smaller the veggies, the more well-cooked they’ll be. I made mine on the larger size so they were cooked by still firm. Drop these into the Instant Pot. Now cut chicken into small cubes and dump them on top of the veggies.

Pour the coconut mixture into the Instant Pot over the veggies and chicken. Agitate slightly until everything is coated. Top with 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes and sprinkled on top. (We needed some butter – it is butter chicken after all).

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Close the lid and make sure the vent is sealed. Push “Manual,” make sure the pressure is “high” (toggle using the “pressure” button), and set the time to 10 minutes.

Once the pot reaches pressure (mine did quickly – probably 5 minutes) and cooks, it will beep indicating it is finished. I recommend a quick release to avoid burning (as always, be careful). Mine actually let out little to no steam, so it was the quickest release I have had yet!

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Give the pot a quick stir, then add 1/2 a cup of plain Greek yogurt. You can really use any kind of plain yogurt you like, but Greek has extra protein and less sugar so I like it best. A cooked layer of sauce may accumulate at the bottom. Mine didn’t taste burnt but it worried me at first. So don’t worry if yours does this – you can either mix it in or just avoid scraping the bottom when serving.

Mix it all up and serve over brown rice and naan, if desired. Cilantro also tastes great as a garnish, though it’s not necessary.
Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

What Indian recipes does your family love? What should we make in the Instant Pot next?

Easy Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Ingredients
  • 13.5 ounce – coconut milk
  • 6 ounce – tomato paste, canned
  • 1 tablespoon – ginger root, fresh
  • 4 clove – garlic
  • 2 tablespoon – curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon – garam masala spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon – salt
  • 1 cup – green beans
  • 2 cup – cauliflower, florets
  • 1/2 medium – onion
  • 1/2 pound – chicken breast
  • 1 – cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoon – butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup – Greek yogurt, plain
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together a can of light coconut milk, tomato paste, grated fresh ginger, minced garlic, spices, and salt.
  2. Cut green beans and cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Dice onion into small pieces. Cut chicken into small cubes.
  3. Spray the inside of the Instant Pot with cooking spray. Layer onion, then veggies, then chicken. Pour the coconut-spice mixture over the top and agitate just a little so it evenly coats everything. Cube the butter and sprinkle on top.
  4. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is sealed. Push "manual" and make sure high pressure is selected, then set the time to 10 minutes.
  5. Once done cooking, press "Cancel" to turn off the heat, then open the vent to do a quick release of the pressure.
  6. Add Greek yogurt and mix well. The bottom may have a layer of cooked sauce, so just avoid scraping this if you do not want to mix it in.
  7. Serve with brown rice and/or naan. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.

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8 Comments

Debbie Perkins

Thanks for the recipe! Vegetable korma is my favorite Indian dish, so I’d love to see a recipe for that next!

Reply

Hi Katrina just stumbled on your wonderful blog. I am a nutritionist from Mumbai, India and even I am pretty impressed with the way your butter chicken has come out and am tempted to follow your recipe myself! Greek yoghurt is unfortunately not available widely in India so I will just add some regular yoghurt!

Reply

Wow, thanks Krupa! I spent some time in India and absolutely love Indian food, so it’s flattering to hear you like the look of it. Regular yogurt will of course work really well – enjoy!

Reply
Maiteeny

I really wanted to like this but I found it much too acidic. Also, mixing the yogurt into the hot sauce caused it to break down instead of blend into the sauce uniformly. Any suggestions?

Reply

Hi Maiteeny! Sorry it’s not quite to your taste. To temper the acidity you could add a little sugar or honey, perhaps? As far as the yogurt breakdown goes, I haven’t noticed that when I’ve cooked it, but perhaps you could temper it before adding – put the yogurt in a small bowl and then slowly add a half cup of the sauce, whisking all the while. Then add the yogurt/sauce mix into the pot. I haven’t tried this, but short of waiting for the sauce to cool down a bit before adding yogurt, that’s my best guess. I have noticed that the coconut milk separates a little, but it’s harmless so I don’t worry about it. Hope this helps!

Reply
Corey

Unfortunately, this recipe simply did not work. The contents never came up to pressure, so it just sort of simmered for ten minutes. That is not a safe way to prepare chicken.

Every other instant pot recipe we use involves much more fluid than this one, perhaps that’s the issue?

Reply

Hi Corey, sorry to hear that it didn’t get up to pressure for you. I’ve made this a few times and it’s always worked so something likely went wrong. Recently I made a different chicken recipe in the IP and it didn’t get to pressure either – I was puzzled and frustrated. Upon inspection I found out that my pressure valve had a bit of a clog, so maybe check that. And sometimes the rubber ring can cause pressure issues if it’s not on just right.
That’s a good question about the liquid, but it should be more than enough since only 1 cup is required for the Instant Pot to pressure cook and the coconut milk is more than that. Hope this helps!

Reply

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