Chicken Tikka Masala is a regular for us. I’m all about minimal ingredients and simple steps when making dinner, and so this easy chicken tikka masala is the perfect recipe to throw in the Instant Pot.
Side Note: Do you have an electric pressure cooker? I have both the Instant Pot and the Pressure King Pro – I’ve not decided which one I prefer yet. Once I’ve compared them some more I’ll write a Instant Pot vs Pressure King Pro review 🙂
But, now, back to the easy chicken tikka masala recipe!
- 1tbsp olive oil (or your choice of oil)
- 4 chicken breasts (or 3 large ones)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1tbsp grated ginger (or 1tsp of ground ginger)
- 4tbsp chicken tikka masala powder (or you can make your own, see recipe notes at the end to see how)
- 300g passata
- 150ml chicken stock
- 150ml cream (you can substitute with coconut milk or yoghurt)
How To Make Easy Chicken Tikka Masala In An Instant Pot
Everything can be done in the Instant Pot, from sautéing the onions, garlic, chicken and spices, bringing it to the boil and then pressure cooking it. I like to use a chicken tikka masala spice powder that has already been mixed (we use a lot of it!) but you can make your own. The steps to making chicken tikka masala in an Instant Pot are;
Sauté onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add in the spice mix and stir to coat the onions and garlic. I like to add a little bit of the chicken stock at this stage to create a paste as well as deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot inner bowl. Make sure you scrape away any spices stuck to the base.
I then add in the chicken breasts (whole) and quickly sear them on each side, letting them get coated in the masala paste mix. I usually sear them for about 1 minute on each side, just enough for the meat to seal.
With the sauté function still on, add the passata and stock. Give everything a good stir to ensure there is nothing stuck to the bottom.
Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 7 minutes. It will take about 6 minutes to come to pressure. When it has finished do a quick release.
Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and using some tongs take out the chicken breasts.
Switch the Instant Pot to the sauté function to allow the sauce to thicken up.
In the meantime shred up the cooked chicken breasts. Once shredded, put them back in the Instant Pot. Add in your cream (or substitute) and stir through.
Garnish with coriander and serve with rice, naan bread and maybe some onion bhajis? 🙂
How Long Does It Take In The Instant Pot?
This recipe has very minimal preparation time, just a case of chopping up the onion and crushing the garlic. The sauteeing step takes about 5 minutes all in (onions, garlic, spices and chicken).
Cooking in an electric pressure cooker is quicker than other methods, but what a lot of the marketing doesn’t reveal is the time needed for the cooker to get up to pressure. How long it takes is dependent on what you have inside, that is, the quantity (large volumes will take much longer), as well as the temperature of what’s inside.
For this chicken tikka masala recipe, the Instant Pot took 6 minutes to get to pressure. I then set it for 7 minutes at high pressure with a quick release at the end. It was then left on the saute function for about 5 minutes whilst I shredded the chicken breast. This also gave the sauce some time to boil down and thicken up a little before adding in the cream (or your chosen substitute).
So, from first chop to plating up I would say to allow just under 25 minutes for this chicken tikka masala recipe. Plenty of time to tuck into the poppadoms 😉
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1tbsp fresh ginger, grated (or 1tsp ground ginger)
- 4tbsp tikka masala spice mix (see notes to make your own)
- 300g passata
- 150ml chicken stock*
- 150ml cream/yoghurt/coconut milk**
- Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot using the sauté function.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened (about 3 to 4 minutes).
- Add the tikka masala spice mix and ginger and continue to sauté for 1 more minute. You might need to add a little stock at this stage to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- Add the chicken breasts to the pot to seal them (about 1 minute on each side).
- Add the passata and chicken stock and allow to come to a gentle boil.
- Switch off the sauté function and put the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 7 minutes. It should take about 6 minutes to come to pressure.
- When the cooking time is up perform a quick release.
- Take the lid off and take the chicken breasts out. Switch the Instant Pot to sauté mode to allow the sauce to thicken up a little.
- Whilst the sauce is boiling down, shred the chicken breast up. It should come apart easily as it will be nice and tender from the wonders of the Instant Pot!
- Return the shredded chicken to the Instant Pot and stir in.
- Switch off the sauté function and remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot.
- Stir in your choice of cream, yoghurt or coconut milk.
- Garnish with chopped coriander (optional).
Making Your Own Tikka Spice Mix
2tsp garam masala
3tsp ground coriander
3tsp ground cumin
2tsp chilli powder
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt
Simply mix it all together!
I used 1 chicken stock pot in 150ml water, ignoring what the stock pot instructions told me to do. This will add more yummy flavour to your final dish.
Depending on your tastes and diet you might want to use an alternative to cream in this recipe. For a creamy chicken tikka masala texture you can use one of the following;
Fat free Greek yoghurt