Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken

The Indian Restaurant Classic Made Simple

Butter Chicken Plate1

Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani is a North Indian dish that can be found in most Indian restaurants, and I have even seen frozen versions in my local market. But why buy mediocre frozen versions when you can make it fresh?

My goal with this recipe was to strip it to the basics to make a fast and easy version that is perfect for a weeknight meal.

The chicken is traditionally cooked in a clay tandoor oven, but wouldn’t you know it, mine was in the shop. So, I just browned the chicken in the pressure cooker pan.

Butter Chicken Ingredients

Some may scoff at the fact that I eliminated the yogurt marinade, but that can add anywhere from another couple hours to an entire day. So if you are one of the scoffers, I will allow you a minute or so to finish your scoffing.

Onions

Ok, we are back. As you may have noticed, this is not a super authentic recipe, but it is super tasty.

As I have mentioned, boneless, skinless chicken is not really my favorite but it works well for this recipe (and it was cheap at the store). I brown it with the breasts intact to make things easier, then cut it into 2-inch chunks before adding into the sauce.

Chicken Browning

Let’s start by heating a little coconut oil and butter on medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pan. Mixing the coconut oil and butter helps keep the butter from burning.

Add the chicken breasts to the pan and brown them until they are a nice golden color, then remove them to a plate.

Lower the heat to medium and add in the rest of the butter.

Veggie Sauté

When the butter has melted, add some diced onions, along with some finely chopped ginger and Serrano chiles. If you have read many of my recipes you have probably noticed that Serrano chiles are my favorite chile to cook with. I have no idea if they are readily available everywhere, but we have them up the ying-yang here in SoCal. If your local ying-yang is not full of Serrano chiles, jalapeños will work fine. Sauté the onions, chiles and ginger until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes).

Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so.

Dump in some garam masala, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cayenne and sauté for 30 seconds or so. I usually put all the spices together in a small bowl so I can just add them in one swell foop, which makes things a lot easier.

Chicken In Sauce

Add a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of brown sugar, one cup of coconut milk and some salt.

Stir everything together.

Now cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks and add into the sauce mixture.

Lock the top on the cooker and turn heat to high to reach high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 7 minutes.

When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for about 7 minutes on its own, then do a quick release.

If sauce looks a little thin, place over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to thicken, stirring often.

Chicken Finished

Serve with rice, naan, or any other flatbread. You can top with a little yogurt, which I had planned on doing but totally forgot until my dinner was totally digested. I did remember for the leftovers the next day, though.

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
The Indian Restaurant favorite, made quicker and easier in the pressure cooker
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Yogurt (optional, for serving)
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter on medium high heat in the pressure cooker
  2. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides and remove them to a plate
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the rest of the butter
  4. Add the onions, ginger and chiles and sauté until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes)
  5. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  6. Dump in the spices (garam masala, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cayenne) and sauté for 30 seconds or so
  7. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, coconut milk and salt
  8. Stir everything together
  9. Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks and add into the mixture
  10. Lock the top on the cooker turn heat to high to reach high pressure
  11. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain pressure and set time for 7 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 7 minutes on its own, then do a quick release
  13. If sauce looks a little thin, place over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to thicken, stirring often
  14. Serve with rice, naan, or any other flatbread

 

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  1. Just discovered your blog today and am now following you. Great site! How big is the size of the can of tomatoes called for in this recipe? Thanks!

        • I made this using the Instant Pot, which I am new to. I used the poultry setting and set it for 7 minutes. Twice it shut off and gave me the “ovht” overheat warning. The first time, nothing seemed to be sticking particularly to the pot, the second time there was some sticking on the bottom. The coconut milk I used was 85% coconut extract. Should I have used a lighter milk? The recipe, by the way, makes a delicious dish.

          • Elsie, I’m sorry to hear that you had some problems with the recipe. I don’t think I have ever made this particular dish in my Instant Pot. I will need to try it and see if I experience the same issues. The coconut milk I used was the full fat version, but was not made with extract, it was made from pressed coconut meat so that may have been an issue. I have never experienced the “ovht” warning while under pressure, I have only seen it a couple times on sauté mode.It sounds like you were at least able to salvage the meal. If I have the same problem with the InstantPot I will change the recipe if it needs tweaking or if I don’t have any issues I will update to specify the type of coconut milk.

  2. I made this last night. Very good! This recipe is very forgiving-I didn’t put all the spices in (didn’t have them all) and added some Thai pepper (we like muy picante) and turned out great. Also used Greek yogurt and a little heavy cream instead of coconut milk.