Chicken basked in a rich and creamy tomato sauce loaded with sweet and savory spices, it’s no wonder that Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most sought-after meals on any Indian restaurant’s menu. And I always vowed to make my own version of it so that it not only tastes just as astounding as my favorite Indian joint, but also done easily and accessibly. Well folks, dreams do come true. I present to you an Instant Pot Tikka Masala so outrageous and authentic-tasting (with my own spin on it of course), that it just may be devoured in one sitting. Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Like nearly every savor dish, it starts with an onion…
Then take some boneless, skinless chicken thighs (yes, you can use breasts instead)…
…and slice them into bite-sized pieces.
Now add some olive oil to the Instant Pot and give it some heat.
Once the oil’s heated…
…add the onion…
Sauté until the chicken is pinkish-white in color (it should not be fully cooked at this stage).
Add in some garlic and ginger…
…and sauté for another moment.
Now we need to add some unsweented coconut milk to the mix.
But make sure it’s a thin, watery consistency. NOT thick and lumpy. This will ensure the pot comes to pressure properly.
And now let’s spice it up with some garam masala (a classic Indiana blend spice – Rani is my fave brand), seasoned salt, cumin and turmeric.
Stir until combined.
Lastly, add in some cilantro (if you don’t like it, leave it out)…
…and a bay leaf.
Give it a final stir, secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, remove the bay leaf and discard.
Now to give it that tomatoey-creamy finish! Add in both a can of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes…
…and some Greek yogurt.
If you want to make this Tikka Masala stand apart from the rest, it’s time to get a little unconventional. TOTALLY OPTIONAL, but achieve this by adding in a package of Boursin or any spreadable herb cheese.
And we’ll finish it off with another blast of the garam masala, seasoned salt, cumin and turmeric. The reason we add some before pressure cooking and some after is all for the flavor potency as adding spices after keeps them lingering on the tongue more intensely.
If you want it spicy, add in some cayenne pepper (but you don’t need to!)
Stir until combined…
…and then finish it off with a touch of sweet with some pure maple syrup.
Give it a final stir and look at that pot of beautiful and aromatic genius!
Serve it over some rice and with some naan (a delicious Indian flatbread).
Show off your masterpiece…
…try it out…
…and that’s it! Foodie nirvana, achieved! Easy and the REAL DEAL!
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) refined coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon ginger, crushed or minced
- 1 (13-14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (it must be thin like water and not thick and lumpy) or unsweetened almond or cashew milk
- 2 tablespoons garam masala (an Indian spice blend that can be found in many markets or easily online)
- 3 teaspoons seasoned salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 2 teaspoons turmeric, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 5.2-ounce package of Boursin (or any spreadable herb cheese, any flavor – optional for extra creaminess)
- 1 (14-15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14-15 ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for spice)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for topping (optional)
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot and hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add the chicken and onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is pinkish-white in color and the onion is slightly softened. Add the garlic and ginger sauté for 1 minute longer.
- Add the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of the garam masala, 1 teaspoon of the seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1 teaspoon of the turmeric, cilantro (if using) and bay leaf. Mix until well-combined.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit the Manual or Pressure Cook button at High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done and remove the bay leaf.
- Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, yogurt, Boursin (if using), maple syrup, remaining 1 tablespoon of the garam masala, 2 teaspoons of the seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1 teaspoon of the turmeric and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir until well combined and let rest for 5 minutes until it thickens slightly and comes together.
- Serve over Cilantro Lime Rice topped with additional cilantro, if desired.
If you’d rather use cream in place of the Greek yogurt, have at it. Same amount.
As mentioned, the Boursin (or any spreadable herb cheese) is completely optional and definitely unconventional. It just adds a final surge of creamy flavor and sets this Tikka Masala apart from the rest.