Turn on instant pot. Press “SAUTE” and pour oil in. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Season chicken chunks with half of the salt and add them to the pot. Brown, for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the rest of salt, turmeric, ginger and garam masala and cook for about a minute, stirring from time to time. Turn off the saute function by pressing “CANCEL”.
Pour in coconut milk and pureed tomatoes. Stir well. Cover with a lid and lock it into its position. Turn the steam releasing valve to “SEALING” and press “PRESSURE COOK” (or MANUAL) and adjust timer to 3 minutes (high pressure).
When the time is up, wait until the pressure drops naturally (the pin will drop down) before you open the lid.
Press “SAUTE” and stir in yogurt and chopped cilantro.
To thicken the sauce, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water and 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce. Pour this in and stir until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
Turn the pot off and serve with rice, naan bread or flatbread.
If you don’t have olive oil, use vegetable or sunflower oil.
Coconut milk cannot be substituted with cream of coconut (this one contains a ton of sugar as it is meant for desserts). Coconut milk drink will also not work. If your coconut milk has separated (liquid at the bottom and solid on the top of the can), simply mix it before you add it to the pot. This is a sign of a good quality coconut milk.
Chicken – it is important to use fresh chicken as the cooking time is only 3 minutes. Frozen chicken breast must be thawed completely before you use them. Chicken thighs will work great as a substitute for chicken breasts.
Instead of 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (about ½ thumb-size), 1 teaspoon of ground ginger will also work great.
Pureed tomatoes can be substituted with tomato passata (which is pretty much the same thing- but mostly seedless).
Natural yogurt can be substituted with unsweetened plain Greek yogurt. Sour cream should also work here.
This recipe was developed for a 6-quart/6-liter instant pot pressure cooker.
The overall cooking time does not include time the pot needs to come to pressure (10 minutes) nor time the pot needs to release its pressure naturally (about 15-20 minutes).
This chicken tikka masala can be stored in the fridge (airtight container) for up to 3 days.
For more information about serving ideas, FAQs and more, please read the full post above this recipe card.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Keyword: Chicken tikka masala recipe, Quick instant pot meals
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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