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instant pot curry recipes

Easy Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice (with Dairy-Free option)

Tender and juicy chicken, cooked in a creamy-buttery tomato sauce, served with Saffron flavored Basmati Rice. This recipe for Easy Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice is the super-easy adaptation of my recipe for Authentic Butter Chicken. Butter Chicken is one of my kids’ favorite Indian curries. With this recipe, I simplified the cooking process to be less than 30 minutes, without losing any of that amazing rich flavor.

In my original recipe, I marinate the chicken overnight, grill it and then simmer it in the sauce. In this easier and time saving recipe, I skip the marination, add extra Garam Masala to the sauce, use diced boneless skinless chicken and pressure cook it. As a result, the flavors seep into the chicken and it tastes phenomenal. This recipe is my weeknight-friendly variation that’ll leave you amazed. Try it and enjoy a restaurant style Indian treat, right in the comfort of your home, even on a weeknight!

Instant Pot Easy Butter Chicken with Saffron Rice by Spice Cravings. Tender and juicy chicken, cooked in a creamy-buttery tomato sauce, served with Saffron flavored Basmati Rice! This 'Easy Butter Chicken' is a quick & easy "weeknight"  recipe. I simplified the butter chicken recipe, cut down cooking time, and still retained that amazing delicious flavor.  #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Traditional Recipe

In my original recipe for Authentic Butter Chicken, I follow the traditional method and marinate the chicken overnight in yogurt and toasted ground Garam Masala. I then grill it and simmer it in a tomato-cream sauce for a few minutes.   Marinating the chicken makes the chicken moist, juicy, and flavorful.  Grilling it adds a delicious char-broiled smoky flavor to it.  Believe me, all that effort is worth the time it takes to make it. But I was looking to simplify this recipe, so I would be able to make it more often since my kids enjoy it so much. After a few attempts, I finally succeeded, as in, it was approved by the “butter chicken connoisseurs”, aka, my kids 🙂

I skipped the marination step, boosted the flavor of the sauce by adding more garam masala, added smoked paprika to add a subtle smoky flavor, and pressure cooked the chicken so it would take all of those wonderful flavors.

The Origin of Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani, literally means ‘chicken cooked in a buttery rich sauce’. It is an authentic Punjabi dish (North-Indian) that was created in the 1950s, in a super popular restaurant in New Delhi called ‘Moti Mahal Delux’. The founder and chef of the restaurant decided to use left-over Tandoori Chicken (Indian-Spiced Grilled Chicken) in a rich and buttery tomato gravy. Little did he know, that he was creating one of the most popular curry dishes from the Indian subcontinent.

Instant Pot Easy Butter-Chicken by Spice Cravings. Tender and juicy chicken, cooked in a creamy-buttery tomato sauce, served with Saffron flavored Basmati Rice! This 'Easy Butter Chicken' is a quick & easy "weeknight"  recipe. I simplified the butter chicken recipe, cut down cooking time, and still retained that amazing delicious flavor.  #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Click here to see some of my other POUR-and-START recipes.

Dairy-Free/Lactose-free & Gluten Free:

This recipe can be made dairy-free by substituting the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk. It’s as easy as that. There is no other substitution required. And, this recipe is Gluten-free, which makes it perfect for entertaining as well.

Make it Vegetarian:

The base sauce that I make this recipe is vegetarian. So, you can easily switch the protein in this dish and make it vegetarian. You can add Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese), extra-firm Tofu, mushrooms, or, a medley of veggies as well. Check out the recipe for a vegetarian favorite that I make with this sauce,  Paneer Butter Masala, or, Paneer Makhani.

Instant pot paneer butter masala, instant pot paneer makhani

Pairing Suggestions for Easy Butter Chicken

I love pairing Easy Butter Chicken with Saffron Rice! Both these dishes are aromatic and have intense flavor, as a result of which, they compliment each other so well. Basmati rice is cooked in a Saffron infused broth to make Saffron Rice.  Saffron compliments the aromatic and nutty basmati rice and elevates it to an elegant side dish. Another popular pairing with Butter Chicken is Cumin Rice (Zeera Rice). A side of Cucumber Raita really completes this meal. Since this recipe uses warm Indian spices, yogurt balances that warmth and adds a cooling freshness to this Easy Butter Chicken meal.

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita

Jeera rice , basmati rice flavored with fried cumin seeds

Cumin Rice (Zeera Rice)

POT-in-POT: Cooking Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice in the same pot

In this recipe, I have cooked everything in one-pot, using the pot-in-pot technique in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Since chicken and basmati rice have the same cook time (6 minutes on high pressure), it is a great combination to make in one-pot. Watch the video above to see how easy this process is.  Continue Reading…

Punjabi Chole | Punjabi Chana Masala | Chickpeas Curry

Punjabi Chole is perhaps one of the most popular vegetarian north-Indian dish. Creamy, spicy and slight tangy, this dish is a party in your mouth! To make this dish, Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi), are soaked overnight to re-hydrate, and then cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend. Almost everyone I know has their own spin on Chole, and they all taste great, but what makes Punjabi Chole different and stand out, is the unique combination of garam masala, Anardana (Pomegranate) Powder, and amchur (dry mango powder), which gives it an earthy and slightly tart taste!
Punjabi Chole or Chana Masala Instant Pot by Spice Cravings. Punjabi Chole is a vegetarian north-Indian dish. This creamy, spicy and slight tangy dish is made with chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi) cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Different Cooking Processes

For the longest time, my Mom used to make Chole in a 2-step process. She would pressure cook the chickpeas with salt and turmeric for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, she would prepare the onion and aromatics masala, and then simmer everything together for another 10 minutes on medium heat. Years ago, when my kids were babies, and I had very little time to cook, I developed this recipe, which cut down the time and steps involved, while maintaining the same lip-smacking taste.

Punjabi Chole or Chana Masala Instant Pot by Spice Cravings. Punjabi Chole is a vegetarian north-Indian dish. This creamy, spicy and slight tangy dish is made with chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi) cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Serving Suggestion

Punjabi Chole are best enjoyed with a deep-fried puffed flour bread, called Bhatura. Growing up, Chole-Bhature used to be our regular Sunday brunch.  This happens to be my kid’s favorite Indian vegetarian meal, and it has now become a tradition in our home, to make it for our Diwali dinner.  We like to enjoy it with some sweet and spicy lemon pickle . Yum! Chole also go really well with Kulcha, Puri, Naan or Cumin rice.

Chole Bhature, Punjabi Chole or Chana Masala Instant Pot by Spice Cravings. Punjabi Chole is a vegetarian north-Indian dish. This creamy, spicy and slight tangy dish is made with chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi) cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Chole or Chickpeas, take a very long time to cook on the stove-top. It would take around 45-50 mins to achieve the soft texture that we love in this recipe. Plus, you have to be there, stirring and keeping an eye on the stove. So, using my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot, or any stove-top pressure cooker, works great for this recipe and reduces the active cooking time significantly.

How to make this recipe in under 30 minutes

By using Canned Chickpeas, you can reduce the cooking time to less than half. Simply rinse out the canned chickpeas and add them to the pot as per instructions, and pressure cook everything for 6-8 minutes. Wait 10 minutes before releasing the pressure manually, open lid and you’re done! Continue Reading…