Instant Pot Butter Chicken


(Adapted, barely, from Ashley Thomas’ recipe on

Generously serves 4

 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons butter (or ghee or oil)

½ large onion, diced (about 1½ cups)

5 garlic cloves, minced

1-inch knob ginger, minced

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 red bell pepper, chopped in large pieces (or green bell pepper)

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce


1 cup canned coconut cream (or canned coconut milk)

½ teaspoon of dried fenugreek leaves (“kasoori methi” – I ordered it online. Ashley says it gives butter chicken its unique taste. There’s no substitute that I know of, so just omit it if you don’t have it.)


Cilantro for garnish, optional


1.    Use the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Add the butter and onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are starting to brown. (This will take 6 – 8 minutes.)

2.    Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds.

3.    Add the spices and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds.

4.    Add the chicken. Stir so it is well coated with the spices. Then cook, stirring often, for about 4 – 5 minutes.

5.    Add the tomato sauce and red pepper. Stir and press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to stop the Saute function.

6.    Put the lid on in the locked position and turn the steam release handle to the sealing position. Press the Manual button and set the time for 15 minutes. (The Instant Pot will show ON until it is up to pressure and then it will display 15 minutes.)

7.    When it is done, press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn the pot off and let the pressure release naturally. After 10 minutes you can turn the steam release handle to Venting to quickly release the rest of the pressure.

8.    When the pressure is fully released, the float valve will drop down. Open the pot and stir in the coconut cream and fenugreek leaves.

9.    Serve in a bowl and garnish with cilantro, if desired. (It’s great served with rice or naan.)