Vibrant tantalizing Perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry made in minutes!
Butter. Chicken. Were there ever two words more perfect together?
Although I can think of a lot of names to better describe this classic Indian favorite, Butter Chicken is definitely the most tantalizing title.
We love making Indian curries at home. The bold spices and vibrant colors are such a great way to liven up a mundane mid-week meal.
However, many traditional curries take hours to make. The layers of ingredients must be meticulously added at different times to create the depth of flavor we associate with Indian cuisine.
Because of this, our “quickie” Indian curries often taste better the next day after they have had time to rest and mingle.
This Perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry is an exception to the rule.
Using the “Pressure Cook” setting on the Instant Pot allow you to pack in hours of slow-cooked flavor in minutes!
You get all the complexity of restaurant-made Butter Chicken, in a speedy recipe you can make in a pinch. You’ve got to love that.
How To Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry
Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger in butter, in the Instant Pot. Add in curry powder, garam masala, and smoked paprika.
In traditional Butter Chicken recipes you usually find a long long list of Indian spices. However, all of these spices are found in most curry powder and garam masala spice blends.
Once the spices and onions have cooked down, add in chopped chicken thighs and canned tomato sauce.
Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 7 minutes.
Then stir in heavy cream to create the rich silky Butter Chicken sauce we all know and love!
I know what’s coming next… Someone is going to ask me if this Perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry can be made dairy free.
In short, no.
However, the honest answer is yes and no.
You can make this exact recipe substituting coconut oil or non-dairy butter spread for the butter, and thick canned coconut milk for the heavy cream.
It will still taste delicious and will convert this recipe to not only a gluten free meal, but a dairy free and gluten free meal.
Yet, is it really Butter Chicken without butter?
It’s not even Chicken Tikka Masala, a similar British-Indian fusion dish, without a little dairy.
When you take out the dairy and add coconut milk, what you end up with is more of a Goan-style curry. So technically, you should rename it. Just saying.
Butter lovers unite!
Our Perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry is going to rock your dinner table tonight.
Perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 tablespoons butter, or ghee
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
Place the butter, chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and all spices in the Instant Pot. Set on Sauté for 5 minutes. Stir to make sure the ingredients don't burn. Once the onions are soft, turn off.
Add the chopped chicken thighs and canned tomato sauce. Lock the lid into place and turn the Instant Pot on Pressure Cook High for 7 minutes. Once finished, turn the Instant Pot Off, then perform a Quick Release to release the steam pressure. Once the valve button drops, unlock the lid and remove.
Stir in the heavy cream. Set the Instant Pot on Sauté again and simmer for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with basmati rice.
Don't have an Instant Pot? You can make this recipe in the slow cooker! Follow step 1 on the stove top, then transfer the onions and spices to a slow cooker. Add the tomato sauce and chopped chicken. Cover and slow cook for 6-8 hours on low. Then stir in the cream and serve.
Burn Notice: Some Instant Pot users have reported they get a "burn notice" with this recipe. Although I have not experienced this personally, different models of IPs vary a little in the cooking process. If your IP is prone to flash the burn notice, add 1 cup water to this recipe.