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+ servings
Chicken cooked in tomato sauce served on rice

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Tikka Masala
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings


For Marinade

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt whisked
  • 1/2 tsp smoked spanish paprika
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika / kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tsp cumin powder
  • 4 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 3 tsp ginger paste
  • 3 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 lb chicken bone in medium pieces

Sauce ingredients

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped fire roasted tomatoes canned
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder (spanish paprika/ kashmiri chilli/ degi mirch)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cream / yogurt whisk the yogurt if using
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped

To finish

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro to add after chicken finishes cooking
  • 1/4 cup cream

Searing chicken

  • marinated chicken
  • 2 tbsp oil


Marinate Chicken

  1. whisk the yogurt and add the spices and the ginger & garlic paste in a medium size bowl. Add in the salt and mix to combine. Add in the chicken pieces and make sure the marinade coats each piece completely.

  2. Cover and let this marinate for 3 hours or upto 48 hours in the refrigerator.

Sear Chicken

  1. One hour before you are ready to sear, bring chicken out and allow to sit in room temp.

  2. Heat a skillet. Add in the oil and put chicken pieces into it - a few at a time, without crowding the pan. Keep the heat high. Do not turn the chicken until it is ready to release from the pan on its own. Sear on all sides and remove to a separate plate. Continue with the rest of the chicken.


  1. Put the instant pot on saute mode

  2. When hot, add in the oil. Add in both the kinds of tomatoes and sauté for a bit. Then add all the spices, water, cream/yogurt. Add in the seared chicken and the 2 tbs of cilantro.

  3. Now put the instant pot on manual mode, close lid and pressure cook chicken and the sauce for 8 minutes on high.

  4. Allow to release pressure naturally for 20 minutes.

  5. To finish , Add in the 1/4 c cilantro and the cream to the chicken after the pressure releases. Mix well.

  6. Serve with a cumin pulav

Recipe Notes

  • Use plain greek yogurt that is full fat.
  • if doubling recipe, do not increase water quantity
  • If you find the sauce a bit on the thin side after you finish cooking, remove chicken from the sauce and put the Instant pot on saute mode to cook off some of the sauce.
  • You can cook the chicken longer and reduce the natural release time.