Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala! A quick and healthy, one-pot pressure cooker recipe for this extremely popular Indian curry. And the best part is, you get the same rich and creamy taste without using any heavy cream.
Course: Main Course
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Chicken tikka masala recipe, Chicken Tikka Masala without Cream, Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Combine all ingredients listed under "Marinade" and toss the chicken in it, till well coated. Refrigerate it while you prepare for the sauce.
Turn the instant pot on SAUTE high mode. When the display reads "hot", add olive oil. Add chicken and cook it for one minute on each side. By doing this, we seal the marinade flavors. Remove the chicken and keep aside.
Add onion, ginger, garlic and cashews, and sauté for one minute. Add tomatoes, spices, yogurt and sauté for 30 seconds. Add water and stir. Turn off Saute.
Place the chicken back in the pot. Close lid and pressure cook on high pressure, 8 mins for chicken breast, or 6 mins if using thighs. If using Instant Pot DUO, Turn vent to SEALING.
Wait 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually by turning the vent to 'Venting' in DUO model, or, press down the pressure valve in ULTRA model. Open lid after pin has dropped.
Remove chicken and dice into bite size cubes. Using a hand blender, puree the sauce to a smooth consistency. Add chicken pieces, dried fenugreek and simmer on saute for 2-3 minutes. Add agave or honey to balance the flavors, and you're done!
Optional Step For Extra Creamy Curry
I usually stop at the previous step, but if you like your Tikka Masala extra creamy, you can always add a 3-4 tablespoons of heavy cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Alternative 30-Minute version
If you are in a rush, you can skip the marination process in Step 1 and add the chicken straight to the sauce and pressure cook. Simply add an extra teaspoon of Garam Masala to the sauce to compensate for the flavors in the marinade.
Marinate the chicken and refrigerate till you prep for the sauce.
Heat a wide bottom sauce pot on medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add chicken and grill it one minute on each side. By doing this, we are sealing the marinade flavors. Remove chicken and keep aside. Skip this step if you're skipping the marination process.
In the pan, add chopped onion, tomato, ginger and garlic, cashews and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomato puree, spices and yogurt, and sauté for a minute. Add water and place the chicken in the sauce. When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir a few times to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom. If it looks dry, add a little water and continue cooking.
Remove chicken and dice it into bite size pieces. Using a hand blender, puree the sauce to a smooth consistency. Add the chicken back along with dried fenugreek. Simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes. Add agave or a little sugar to balance the flavors.
Pro Tip for Marination: I start by marinating the chicken, refrigerating it, and then doing the cutting-chopping for this recipe. This allows the chicken to sit in the marinate for 10 minutes or so. If you want to plan ahead, the chicken can be marinated and refrigerated overnight too.
For an Extra Creamy Curry: You can add ¼ cup heavy whipping cream to make this curry extra rich and creamy.
This curry can be made with Chicken Breast as well as chicken thighs. If using chicken thighs, reduce the pressure cooking time to 6 mins.
Estimated Time includes roughly 10 mins for pressure build-up. Cook time = Time to set for pressure cooking.
This recipe has been tested in a 6 qt Instant Pot. If making this in an 8Qt size, increase water quantity to 1 cup.
Recipe updated to make it a convenient one-pot recipe, with updated tips and photos.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.