I hate when people praise their own cooking and recipes–but I’m going to break my own rule because this Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe is the bomb. This is my most popular recipe ever. Try it for yourself and you’ll see why!
And if that weren’t enough, it’s super easy and you probably have all the ingredients at home already. It took me three tries. Everyone around me has had to taste all the iterations. This is the one.
I’ve seen so many Indian Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipes lately that have no butter, no cream but that call for cornstarch, onions (heresy, y’all, no onions in butter chicken for the love of all that’s good) and coconut milk instead of cream, so I’ve decided it’s time to fix that.
I also can’t be bothered with recipes with multiple steps and marinating the chicken two different ways etc. Additionally, the thing that takes the longest in Indian cooking is making the sauce anyway.
So what if there was a recipe where you cooked once and were able to save half the sauce for later?
I didn’t start out planning this but no matter how I made it, I had lots of very tasty sauce–too much sauce. So I decided to go with it.
Here’s what’s going to happen. You’ll cook the tomatoes along with spices and aromatics with the chicken on top, infusing its flavors into the sauce.
Once it’s cooked and you’ve puréed and finished the sauce, you’ll TAKE OUT half the sauce and save it.
Only then will you put the chicken back. This means you now have the lovely buttery tomato-ey sauce ready for the next time you have chicken left over.
How efficient is that?
Tips & Tricks for Making the Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe:
- Do not re-pressure cook the butter and cream filled sauce for a second time as it gets thin and unappetizing. Cook the chicken when you first make the sauce, save half the tomato sauce frozen, and when you’re ready, add cooked chicken, or paneer, and heat it through in a skillet. Instant dinner!
- For this recipe, the garam masala is very, very, important. Unlike other recipes, I didn’t use whole spices because I’ve learned that not everyone has whole cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and green cardamom lying around. So we’ll use garam masala instead.
- You’ll note there’s no added water in this recipe. Between the tomatoes and the chicken, there’s more than enough to create pressure in this recipe. Any more water and it’s going to taste insipid.
- Let the sauce cool just a little before adding the butter and the cream. Adding it to the boiling sauce will make your sauce very thin. If that happens, just put it in the fridge for a little and let it thicken up. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
UPDATE: I’ve created a handy-dandy FAQs of Butter Chicken post here, to answer all the questions that get posted about this dish. Please read this before contacting me, because although I love hearing from you, I’ve answered most of the questions you will have here.
Equipment & Ingredients You May Need to Make Keto Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Instant Pot Mini Duo or Instant Pot 6 quart or Instant Pot 8 Quart
- Immersion Blender
- Measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Cayenne Pepper
- Diced Tomatoes
- Garam Masala
HOW TO PRONOUNCE MURGH MAKHANI:
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Super easy yet authentic Keto Indian Butter Chicken. An easy Instant Pot Keto Recipe that's family-friendly and ready in 30 minutes.
- 1 14- ounce can diced tomatoes
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1-2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or use breast, bone-in, or whatever works for you. If frozen, add 1-2 minutes to total time)
- To finish
- 4 ounces butter cut into cubes (use coconut oil if dairy free)
- 4 ounces heavy cream (use full-fat coconut milk if dairy free)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Place all ingredients into an Instant Pot in the order listed, EXCEPT for the butter, cream and 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, mixing the sauce well before you place the chicken on top of the sauce. If it's frozen, push it into the sauce a bit so it defrosts better
Close the cooker and set for 10 mins on high, and let it release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. After that, release all remaining pressure.
- Open up the pot and remove the chicken carefully and set aside
- Blend together all the ingredients, preferably using an immersion blender
- Add the cut up butter, cream, cilantro, and garam masala and stir until well incorporated.
- It's best to let the sauce cool just a little before adding the butter and the cream. Adding it into the boiling sauce will make your sauce very thin. If that happens, just put it in the fridge for a little and let it thicken up. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon
- Take out half the sauce and freeze for later or store in the fridge for 2-3 days
- Add the chicken back in and heat through. Break it up into smaller pieces if you need but don't shred it.
- Serve over rice, or zucchini noodles
- Use leftover cooked chicken and mix in with the gently heated sauce, let it simmer for a few for the flavors to meld together and there you go. Add some fresh cilantro on top.
- You could also use this for Paneer Makhani. Defrost a cup of peas and 1 cup of paneer and mix gently into the heated sauce and let it simmer for a few for the flavors to meld together and there you go.
If you use a stand blender, be very careful with the hot sauce and be sure to leave the inside lid open to vent.
Other questions? Check out this FAQ with the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. Please read this before contacting me, because although I love hearing from you, I've answered most of the questions you will likely have in that FAQ, and you can get a faster answer than by emailing me.
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- 50 Quick and Easy Recipes requiring minimal ingredients and 60 minutes or less of prep and cook time
- Prep Advice for stocking your kitchen with the best tools and spices
- Instant Pot Guide making the most of your Instant Pot for delicious Indian dishes
- Handy Tips substituting ingredients for variations on your favorite recipes
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