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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Author: Mike
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x


This is one of those fun-for-the-whole-family meals. Everyone in my house - from my wife, to the college kids to the four-year-old absolutely gobbles this one up. Personally, I love it's boldness. There's a flavor here that you really can't recreate with any normal meal. Your pallet will thank you! 


  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 yellow onion (sliced)
  • 2 oz cashews (grounded)
  • 1 green onion (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic (diced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 15 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf



  1. Combine spices in bowl together, then dust over chicken, using about 2/3 of the spice mix. Let rest in fridge for 30 minutes to let flavors penetrate.
  2. Slice onions into thin half moons.
  3. Chop scallions
  4. Dice garlic


  1. Turn Instant Pot (affiliate) to "Saute->More" and wait for display to read "HOT". Add ghee to pot and allow to heat for 30 seconds. Add chicken, skin side down and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add onions to pot and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in remaining spice mixture and cook for another minute. StAdd garlic and chopped green onion and cook another minute.
  3. Pour in chicken stock and scrape up the fond off the bottom of the pan as soon as it begins to simmer. Get all that fond scraped up so that we get those spices and flavor into the dish.
  4. Add in tomato sauce, ground cashews and freshly grated ginger. Stir everything together well. Place chicken on top of mixture, and pour in any pan drippings that collected while the chicken rested.
  5. With vent set to "venting" close lid to Instant Pot and twist until the pot chimes. Sitch vent to "Sealing" and set to "Manual->High" for 18 minutes.
  6. While Instant Pot is cooking, prepare rice according to directions on package. I run mine in a rice cooker alongside my Instant Pot.
  7. When Instant Pot timer is off, flip vent to "venting" for a quick release. Always be careful of that steam, it's hot! When pressure has released and the indicator valve is down, open the lid. Remove chicken to a bowl for shredding.
  8. In a small bowl, add heavy cream and a ladle of the hot curry from the pot. Stir together for about 30 seconds, then add to the pot. This will help your cream from splitting from being too cold.
  9. Shred chicken from the bone and add meat back to pot, again pouring in any pan juices.
  10. Stir in chopped all but a pinch of the cilantro and taste for salt.
  11. Turn Instant pot back to "Saute->More" and cook for 2-3 minutes to thicken. When it's reached the viscosity of a thick soup, turn Instant Pot to "keep warm"
  12. To plate, first spoon rice into one side of a wide bowl. Then, ladle curry in opposite site, creating a half-and-half look. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve hot!


  • If you're looking for a non, Instant Pot (affiliate) version, we have a great stovetop Chicken Tikka Masala recipe as well.
  • I prefer to start by searing raw chicken thighs in my pot here, because I think that step really builds another layer of flavor. That said, this is also a great recipe to make with leftover rotisserie chicken. Simply skip the step of searing the chicken and go from there.
  • There's a lot of flavors going on here, but the key is to build them in layers. Season the meat, season the veggies, season the sauce. Add a little bit each time, tasting along the way. By the time it's ready to serve, you should have a wonderfully built bite through these simple steps.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: British, Indian

Keywords: Indian, Curry, Chicken and Rice

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