Make restaurant style Instant Pot butter chicken with authentic taste following this Indian butter chicken recipe. This is quick and easy Butter Chicken recipe . It’s rich, creamy, not too spicy, buttery and packed full of flavors.
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Update – NOTE – Recipe mentioned is not whole30 complaint, but I have mentioned how to make it whole30, KETO complaint option in the post. Thanks Chris for bringing it to our notice.
This buttery tomato-base sauce-y curry is a favorite side dish at any Indian Restaurant and the world LOVES BUTTER CHICKEN. So it is only fair to join the world to make and share the popular butter chicken made in Instant Pot.
Instant Pot butter chicken is the ultimate comfort food in Indian cuisine. We love to call it decadent butter chicken curry. Butter. Chicken. That’s enough said, explains it all why the world loves butter chicken. Can there be anything better than chicken cooked in rich butter!
This recipe is as authentic as I can imagine. We are about to cook THE most delicious Butter Chicken recipe with authentic taste. I’m keeping in mind my friends from the west while I write this post, to help them cook Indian curry the right way!
That means you will have to ditch that “curry powder” packet that you would have in your pantry. According to me, curry powder is just the label, it’s not the real stuff! Curry powder is great for some curry but it definitely lacks the complex flavors that a real curry should have and definitely not how authentic curry should taste!
Let’s go shopping!
If you already do not have the spice powder that I mention in the recipe, you will go grocery shopping to Indian stores before you decide to make Perfect Instant Pot* Butter Chicken Curry.
You’ll need to take little effort to get right spice powders. And if you live in a world where access to Indian store is not easy, only then let’s just use the curry powder. After all cooking is all about making it convenient and comfortable.
Indian cooking is not too complicated as many might think. Yes, the spices we use a bit elaborate but trust me each one of the spices adds a layer of taste to the curry. But most of the curries use almost the same particular set of spices.
Just in case if you wonder what you would do with the spice powders that you end up buying say to make just one curry! No they don’t go waste. You can use them in so many other curries as well.
Forget hours of cooking, bring dinner to the table in 30 minutes using Instant Pot. If you are a regular here, you would have known by now that Instant Pot* is my newest addition to my kitchen and I’m already in love with it. I’m experimenting with it each day. And love this magic appliance. It ‘s all worth it.
Alert – you’ll see me sharing more Instant Pot recipes here! So buckle up!
Let me know if you guys have anything in specific that you want to see here in Instant Pot category? I’ll try to fit in my schedule and do it for you guys! Also I love to read your comments and thoughts on my posts, so don’t forget to share your experience with Instant Pot down in comments block.
What spices do you need to make authentic Instant Pot Butter Chicken?
Few spices is MUST for butter chicken Instant pot recipe, and they are –
Red chili powder (can be substituted with cayenne pepper if you have hard time finding Indian spices)
Coriander powder (don’t skip this)
Turmeric powder (don’t skip this as well, for that gorgeous vibrant curry)
Garam masala (this is a special Indian masala powder, added last to the curry, another important spice)
Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
That’s it! Didn’t I say it wasn’t too complicated?! Now you believe me?
Wait – I see some of you scrunch your face!! OH it’s not really simple spice powders is it?
Well, then instead of all the array of spice powders I have mentioned, you can use just these 3 spice powders –
and Garam masala powder
This butter chicken Instant Pot* recipe is a bomb, I’m not exaggerating guys! It’s easy, yet authentic. Once you try it it’s going to be your family favorite dinner recipe. And I bet you’ll be making it on weekdays as well, it’s takes 30 minutes, guys! You guys have to try it and you’ll know!
When I decided to make Indian Butter Chicken recipe and went researching on internet, what I saw was loads of Instant pot Indian butter chicken recipes that used coconut milk (no cream), may be it was meant to be lighter butter chicken!!? I don’t know!
Also there was no butter!!! Butter chicken with NO BUTTER?! I’m not sure if I’ll call that butter chicken, if there is no butter in it. And recipes called for corn starch to thicken the curry sauce, I mean corn starch!? No way!
I rolled up my sleeves to cook and share with y’all authentic butter chicken recipe instant pot.
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
No compromises here and no we aren’t aiming for lighter version or healthier butter chicken. This is the best AUTHENTIC instant pot Indian butter chicken made the right way. For that you need –
Onions(chopped in food processor)
Ghee (this is Indian clarified butter, optional to use, use double the amount of butter if you skip ghee)
Chicken (thighs boneless, skinless are great, you can use chicken breasts as well)
Tomato puree + paste (canned tomatoes or fresh homemade tomato puree)
Ginger + Garlic
Red chili powder (can be substituted with cayenne pepper if you have hard finding Indian spices)
Coriander powder (don’t skip this)
Turmeric powder (don’t skip this, for that gorgeous vibrant curry)
Garam masala (this is a special Indian masala powder, added last to the curry)
Salt to taste
Fresh cream (I wont recommend coconut milk, the taste of butter chicken changes if you use coconut milk in place of fresh cream).
Don’t skip garnish with coriander leaves
I seen chives/green onions used for garnish. As an Indian I can assure you we don’t use green onions for garnish especially when it’s not one of the ingredients. And no sesame seeds too, please!
How to Make Perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry
Heat butter and ghee (if using) in instant pot (set IP to Saute setting).
I’d like to use onions that are finely chopped in food processor. That mean minus one step and one less dish to clean up. I’m talking about blending the sauce in immersion blender after it’s cooked. We are not doing that. 1 less dish to clean, yay to that!
Finely chopped onions and tomato puree gives you creamy sauce without even blending the sauce. Isn’t that great?!
Cook ginger + garlic paste
Cook tomato puree and paste
The spice powders goes in (except garam masala powder)
Add chicken pieces and mix.
Add a cup of water, close lid and cook using Poultry setting set for 10 minutes
Natural release of pressure for 10 minutes in resting mode.
Open lid, add cream, stir, simmer for 3 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves!
Viola thick, creamy, rich, sauce-y perfect chicken curry is ready. And there is no corn starch.
Butter Chicken is best served with rice cooked in Instant Pot and fresh homemade naan.
How To Adapt This Recipe To Make It Whole30 Complaint
To change this delicious butter chicken recipe to whole30 complaint, please replace the following ingredients with the mentioned whole30 complaint ingredients. We missed out this section earlier. So updated as per comment from a reader.
Dairy clarified butter(ghee) and butter with dairy free butter
Replace diary cream with full-fat coconut milk
OTHER INSTANT POT FAVORITES FROM CURRYTRAIL –
You must also try our other favorite Instant Pot recipes –
Tips to Make Best Ever Butter Chicken Recipe in Instant Pot
- Onions tomatoes are the base of this curry with loads of other flavors from ginger, garlic and spice powders. You definitely use them all.
- Use a mix of butter and ghee for aromatic, rich curry. I wouldn’t recommend coconut oil like you would see in many other recipes out there. Double the amount of butter if you are not using ghee.
- Garam masala is one of the main spice powder in this curry. It has to be added in the end always! You may note I have not mentioned any whole spices in the recipe, garam masala is a spice blend of all whole spices, so I decided to use just garam masala. But no harm in adding small bay leaf, 2 whole cardamom, small piece of cinnamon stick to melted butter just before sautéing the onions.
- I highly recommend using tomato puree and tomato paste instead of whole tomatoes chopped up. That way you can forgo the stick blending which is a pain.
- Always use fresh ginger and garlic paste. The aroma, taste of fresh ginger, garlic paste make whole lot of difference in the curry.
- Fresh cream should be added after chicken is fully cooked with Instant Pot turned off. Cream will splutter if you add it to boiling curry. Won’t recommend coconut milk or coconut cream.
- No corn flour please. The butter chicken cooked in Instant pot once cooked will be naturally thick enough, you wont need corn flour.
- Chicken thighs(boneless, skinless) works great. It keeps the pieces moist. Chicken breasts can also be used.
- Do not re-heat prepared curry by pressure cooking for the second time. Cream added in the curry will change the taste of the curry if pressure cooked. It’s unappealing!
- The curry sauce can be easily doubled up and half of that can be stored in refrigerator for later use. You can even freeze this curry base or sauce in zip lock bags.
- Stored sauce can turn into other delicious curries like – with tofu, with chickpeas, with potatoes.
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More easy chicken recipes you must try –
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Instant Pot or Pressure cooker
For Curry Base(Sauce)
- 1.5 tablespoon butter (For whole 30 - replace butter with diary free butter like coconut butter or almond butter)
- 1 tablespoon ghee double the butter if not using ghee. (And to make it whole30, use 1 tablespoon almond butter)
- 2 large white onions chopped fine in food processor
- 12 ounce tomato puree or canned tomatoes (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon ginger paste
- ½ tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 ¼ pound chicken thigh boneless skinless – cut into 1-2 inch cubes
- ½ to 1 cup water depending on the consistency of the curry you want
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder or use a mix of cayenne pepper and paprika powder
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt or sea salt- adjust to taste
- 2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 3/4 cup heavy cream fresh cream. (For whole30 complaint use full-fat coconut cream)
- 2 tablespoon butter (Whole30 alternate , use coconut butter or almond butter or any other diary free butter)
- 1 teaspoon Chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tablespoon cream for drizzle (Whole30 option - use full-fat coconut cream)
- 1 cube butter on top (To make it Whole30 use any diary-free butter)
- 2 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- Select “Saute” setting on Instant Pot. When display turns on, Melt butter and ghee.
- If using whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaves) add at this point.
- Saute finely chopped white onions until it changes color to pink.
- Add ginger and garlic paste. Cook with constant stirring until the raw smell of paste is gone.
- Add fresh homemade tomato puree or canned tomato . I did stir the mix, but be carefully of burning. Let the tomato cook without stirring if you are worried of burning.
- Add tomato paste and let it cook for some time.
- Mix all the spice powder except for garam masala in a bowl. Add spice powders to the pot.
- Add chicken pieces and just spread it out evenly on the pot.
- Turn off the saute setting.
- Pour little water. Stir everything well. There should be enough liquid in the pot covering chicken.
- Close the lid, ensure the steam release knob is in “sealing position”.
- Turn on the poultry setting on the Instant Pot and select 10 minutes on the timer (I have shown in the video 15 minutes poultry time, But I actually used 10 minutes, was too lazy to shoot the edited time setting)
- Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 10 minutes. Then manually release any pressure if still inside the pot by turning the pressure release know to the “venting position”
- Switch in the “saute” setting on the pot.
- Open the lid. Add garam masala, little more butter and pour cream into it. Simmer for 3 minutes. Sauce should thicken by then.
- Turn off Instant pot.
- Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve warm with instant pot rice or butter naan (Indian flatbread)
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