Aromatic yet mild Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry is a quick and easy one-pot meal that comes together in less than an hour. This hearty and comforting meal packed with Asian-inspired flavors will surely have everyone on the dinner table asking for seconds.
To make it a complete meal, pair it with naan, rice, and a salad on the side! Outrageously delicious, family-friendly, and gluten-free too!
A few words about Indian Chicken Curry!
As the name suggests, chicken curry is a curry dish that originates from the Indian subcontinent.
Traditional chicken curry is made up of an onion-garlic-ginger-tomato base sauce and flavored with a variety of aromatic spices.
To give this curry a smooth texture yogurt or cashew cream is added.
But India is a diverse country; therefore, every state has its way of preparing the chicken curry.
They have different spice blends that shape up this curry; some are mildly spiced while a few are the spicy ones. For example,
- Dhaba style chicken curry belongs to the Northern region.
- Chettinad chicken curry comes from the Southern region.
- Spicy Malvani Chicken Curry is a fiery dish made with a coconut base and originates from the Konkan region of Maharashtra.
- Kolhapuri Chicken Curry: comes from the Kolhapuri cuisine and is cooked in a spicy sauce but is loaded with flavor.
- Vindaloo Chicken curry: is a Goan specialty.
- In addition to this, every state has its regional names for the dish like Nagpur chicken curry, Marathi masala chicken, Maharashtrian chicken curry, and so on.
- If you know of more, then share it with me in the comments below.
But if you are here for a perfectly spiced, quick and easy chicken curry, then this is the recipe for you.
This Indian Chicken Curry is my heirloom recipe that is pure comfort food and a big hit in my family!
What makes Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry so good?
This recipe is cooked in common ingredients and spices like:
» Onion, garlic, and ginger – the staple squad in Indian cooking.
» Pureed Tomatoes: the above 3 plus tomatoes form the base of this recipe. This base sauce is popularly known as Masala or curry or gravy in India. It adds a depth of flavor to the curry.
» Yogurt: lends a deliciously rich and creamy texture.
» Spices: coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. These spices add a warm, earthy, and distinctive flavor.
» Kasoori Methi or dried fenugreek leaves adds intense flavor and texture to the chicken curry.
» Chicken breast cut into cubes or drumsticks. The star ingredient.
» Cilantro leaves: adds a nice flavor and color.
» Oil or ghee for cooking.
How to make Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry Recipe?
Wash and clean the chicken. Cut it into roughly 1½ inch sized cubes and set aside.
1. Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays ‘hot,’ add the oil to the insert.
2. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, and whole black cardamom.
3. Sauté the whole spices for 40 seconds until they start omitting their aroma. Add the chopped onions.
4. Cook onions for a minute, then add crushed ginger and crushed garlic to the insert. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
5. Pour in pureed tomatoes.
6. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the oil starts to separate.
7. Add yogurt.
8. Stir in coriander powder and red chili powder.
9. Add garam masala powder and salt.
10. Add kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves).
11. Mix to combine.
12. Sauté the yogurt and spices together for 3-4 minutes.
13. Add the chicken pieces.
14. Saute again for a minute.
15. Pour in water and de-glaze the insert. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to make sure there is no masala/sauce stuck at the bottom of the pot.
16. Close the lid and seal the pot. Press the Manual or pressure cook button and cook the chicken curry on High Pressure for 4 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position.
17. Once the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally.
18. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid. If the curry is thick, then feel free to add extra water to match the consistency you like. Feel free to remove the whole spices before serving.
19. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with white Basmati rice.
Faq’s related to Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry recipe!
» What can I use instead of chopped onions?
Minced onions work well too. I chose to add chopped onions because it makes a thick curry and lends a chunky texture to the curry.
Cook the onion-ginger-garlic long enough until the onions are translucent. A little bit of caramelized onion will add a depth of flavor to the Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry.
» Can I use store-bought tomato puree?
Of course, you can! It saves time and lends a smooth texture to the curry. Use the unsalted one.
» Can I cook Instant Pot Indian chicken curry recipe with mutton?
You sure can! Cooking time will vary as mutton takes longer to prepare.
» Do not add too much of kasoori methi!
Kasoori Methi takes this curry to a whole new different level, but going overboard may result in a bitter taste. Therefore, use as directed.
» Yogurt should be at room temperature!
Make sure the yogurt that is being added to the Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry is at room temperature to prevent curdling. This step is essential. Adding cold yogurt to hot curry will result in curdling.
» What can I use instead of yogurt?
Cashew cream is the best alternative. It lends a deliciously creamy texture to the curry.
» Can I marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices and then add to the curry?
Of course, you can!
» Can I use butter instead of oil/ghee?
Yes, you sure can! It will deliver the same result.
» Cooking time matters a lot!
What do you usually look in a chicken: tender, juicy meat, right! And this is what this recipe delivers. Chicken, as compared to other meats, is soft meat and gets cooked fast. Therefore, stick to the cooking time mentioned in the recipe. Overcooking may result in hard and rubber-like chicken pieces.
If you choose to cook with drumsticks, then prick the chicken pieces with a toothpick or a fork and prepare as directed. This way, it will soak in the flavors thoroughly.
» Can I cook Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry on a cooktop?
Absolutely! You may make this Indian chicken curry recipe over the cooktop too. Follow this recipe for the cooktop method.
» Can I use the Instant Pot Boiled Onion-Tomato-Masala for this recipe?
Yes. In fact, it will speed up the cooking process. In case you have missed the recipe here is the link.
For this Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry recipe, you will need 1/2 cup + 1.5 tablespoons of cooked Instant Pot boiled Onion-Tomato-Masala.
To cook the chicken with the above masala or sauce, add oil, whole spices, and then the prepared sauce/masala.
Cook until the oil separates then add yogurt and rest of the ingredients. Cook as directed.
Chicken Curry is a perfect make-ahead recipe and freezes well!
This Instant Pot chicken curry recipe keeps good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
And stays well for a month in the freezer. Once the chicken curry has cooled, store in an airtight container and freeze.
When ready to serve again, dump the chicken curry in a pan, bring it to a boil and serve hot with white basmati rice or homemade naan.
Let me know in the comments if you try this Instant Pot Chicken Curry recipe. Feel free to contact me with any questions or inquiries, and I would be happy to answer them.
CRAVING FOR MORE, TRY MY OTHER FLAVOR-PACKED MEALS LIKE –
Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry
- 1 lb Chicken breasts (or use 4 drumsticks with 1/2 lb boneless chicken)
FOR THE MASALA/BASE SAUCE
- 1 tablespoon Cilantro leaves chopped
- ¼ cup Cream to drizzle on top (optional)
- Wash and clean the chicken. Cut it into roughly 1½ inch sized cubes and set aside.
PREPARE THE CURRY/BASE SAUCE
- Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays ‘hot’, add the oil to the insert.
- Add cumin seeds, Bay leaves, and whole black cardamom. Sauté the whole spices for 40 seconds until they start omitting their aroma. Add the chopped onions.
- Cook onions for a minute then add crushed ginger and crushed garlic to the insert. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Pour in pureed tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until the oil starts to separate. Add yogurt along with all the spices: coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, and salt.
- Add kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves. Mix to combine. Sauté the yogurt and spices together for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces and saute again for a minute. Pour in water and de-glaze the insert. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to make sure there is no masala/sauce stuck at the bottom of the pot.
- Close the lid and seal the pot. Press the Manual or pressure cook button and cook the chicken curry on High Pressure for 4 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position.
- Once the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid. If the curry is thick, then feel free to add extra water to match the consistency you like. Feel free to remove the whole spices before serving.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves, a drizzle of cream (optional) and serve hot with white Basmati rice.