Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

While traditional chicken tikka masala is cooked in a skillet or saucepan on the stovetop, this Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala shaves a ton of time off the recipe while still providing just as much flavor – maybe even more thanks to the pressure cooking!

This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe is packed FULL of flavor!

Marinated tender chicken pieces are cooked to absolute perfection together with the rich and spicy gravy – great for serving over freshly steamed white rice or a side of naan bread and a light green salad.

This hearty and comforting meal is sure to be a hit with the family. Now that you get to make it with the added convenience of an Instant Pot, you’ll love it even more!

How Can I Make a Supremely Rich Curry Sauce?

The secret to getting a rich sauce of any type, not just curry, is to allow the water to simmer off very slowly. This is the reason why so many marinara sauce recipes call for forty minutes on the stovetop – that’s the process of the water coming out of the sauce, resulting in a richer, thicker sauce.

Thanks to the use of the Instant Pot, you’ll be achieving that slow cooking process in a short period of time by cooking in a high-pressure environment. That high-pressure environment allows for more of the flavors to be extracted rapidly, leading to a rich, tasty curry sauce.

What’s the “Secret” to a good Chicken Marinade?

The secret “sauce” to marinating chicken (or any meat for that matter) is allowing the meat to rest in the marinade for a sufficient amount of time. In this recipe, I suggest a marinating time of at least 6 hours.

This will tenderize the chicken pieces, adding incredible flavor to the meat which is exactly what you want to achieve for a delicious chicken tikka masala dish. 

You could opt to marinate your chicken for longer than 6 hours (or even overnight) but I don’t recommend extending this beyond 24 hours as this can start to make the meat stringy which will compromise the dish. 

Some people opt to tenderize their meat with a meat tenderizer which creates small holes, allowing for better penetration of the marinade but this isn’t entirely necessary for all dishes and I haven’t done so for this chicken tikka masala. 

How Should I store this Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala?

This chicken tikka masala can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator once completely cool.

You also have the option of making this dish ahead of time and storing it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in a large saucepan on a medium heat or in the oven till heated throughout.

What Should I Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala?

You can serve this chicken tikka masala with rice or any traditional curry side dish, such as saag aloo (a spinach and potato dish that’s a wonderful accompaniment for all sorts of Indian food).

Plain or garlic naan bread is another obvious choice to serve with this dish. Naan is a wonderfully thick and succulent bread that can be used to scoop up sauce or gravy,  and adds bulk to the meal – great if you’re serving a larger crowd!

Tips for Making Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Don’t be afraid to add more butter! Butter is one of the core flavor components for this dish, and it results in a tasty and rich final gravy that’s hard to say no to. For that reason, I’d recommend adding a little extra butter if you give the gravy a taste and find that it comes up a bit short in some way.
  • Use unsalted butter for this gravy since the gravy already calls for the addition of salt. If you use salted butter instead, simply omit the teaspoon of salt from the gravy ingredients.
  • Take it slow! While cooking under pressure allows us to take a lot of time out of the cooking process, there’s no substitute for allowing your dish some time in sauté mode – trust me, your tastebuds will thank you!

For the Visual Learners, here’s the step by step process on how your food should look at during certain stages!

instant pot chicken tikka masala inprocess photos that show step by step instructions

More Delicious Instant Pot Recipes You’ll love to Make

Yield: 4

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

This hearty and comforting chicken tikka masala meal is sure to be a hit with the family. Now that you get to make it with the added convenience of an Instant Pot, you’ll love it even more!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 40 minutes



  • 500 gm (1.1 lbs) chicken breast cut into cubes.
  • ½ cup hung curd or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon gram flour
  • 2 tablespoon mustard oil (If available otherwise you can use any other oil)
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 1 medium-sized onion cut into cubes


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tomatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Kasuri Methi
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar(optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cream + 1 tablespoon for garnish


    For Marinating And Cooking Chicken

  1. In a pan take mustard oil, let it heat up. Next, add the gram flour and roast it for a few
  2. seconds until fragrant, remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. In a bowl take hung curd / plain Greek yogurt, add ginger garlic paste, garam masala, red chili powder, Kasuri Methi, coriander powder, salt, pepper powder, and lime juice, and give it a nice whisk.
  4. Next add in the prepared oil-gram flour mixture and mix everything properly.
  5. Add in the chicken pieces, rub and coat the chicken properly in the marinade. Also, add the cubed bell peppers and onions, let them rest for a minimum of 6 hours.
  6. Set the instant pot on the SAUTE function, let it heat up. Add 1 tablespoon of butter.
  7. Add the chicken pieces, in a single layer and cook the chicken on both sides until it
  8. changes color to light brown.
  9. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  10. Next add in the marinated bell peppers and onions, cook for 1 minute and transfer to a
  11. plate. (reserve the leftover marinade mixture)
  12. CANCEL the SAUTE function.

For Gravy

  1. Add ½ cup water and deglaze the pot properly, throw away the water to make the pot
  2. clean.
  3. Set the instant pot on the SAUTE function.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of butter in the pot, add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and
  5. sauté it for a few seconds until it becomes fragrant, add red chili powder, salt, and
  6. coriander powder.
  7. Add the chopped tomato and mix, stir and cook for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes
  8. become mushy, at this stage add in the leftover marinade mixture.
  9. Next puree the tomato mixture with a hand blender until smooth and creamy.
  10. Add in the chicken pieces and 1 cup water.
  11. CANCEL the SAUTE button.
  12. Close the lid and pressure valve. Select the PRESSURE COOK button on HIGH PRESSURE
  13. and cook for 6 minutes.
  14. Once the pressure-cooking cycle is over. quick release pressure by manually moving the valve from SEALING to VENTING position.
  15. Open the lid carefully.
  16. Select the SAUTE button.
  17. Add Kasuri Methi, Garam Masala, sugar, bell peppers, and onions and let it simmer for 2
  18. minutes.
  19. Finally add in cream and 1 tablespoon of butter.
  20. CANCEL the SAUTE button.
  21. Garnish with fresh cilantro and some cream.
  22. Serve hot with rice, naan, or Rotis.


You can buy Kasoori Methi here on Amazon.

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