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Milk Street Recipe
Instant Pot

Butter Chicken (Fast & Slow)

FAST: 1 hour
Slow: 3½ to 4½ hours 25 minutes active

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Butter Chicken (Fast & Slow)

This Instant Pot version of classic Indian butter chicken is rich and flavorful, but its creaminess is supplied by just 2 tablespoons of butter along with pureed cashews, not by glugs of heavy cream, as often is the case. For best flavor, use roasted salted cashews rather than raw. The cilantro is used at the very end, so to save time and ensure it remains fresh and fragrant, prep it while the chicken cooks. Serve with basmati rice or warm naan.

4-6

Servings

Tip

Don't bother washing out the blender between pureeing the tomatoes and cashews; you can leave the cashew puree in the blender jar until ready to use to avoid dirtying another bowl. After adding the chicken and tomatoes to the pot, stir well to ensure the spices in the marinade are distributed throughout.

FAST: 1 hour
Slow: 3½ to 4½ hours

25 minutes active

Reviews
Miwa S.

I need a stovetop instruction.

Janelle C.

Hi Miwa,

The non-Instant Pot version is linked under the ingredients list, but for your convenience: https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/butter-chicken

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Maryanne W.

For those with cashew allergies, is there a substitute?

Janelle C.

Hi Maryanne,

Unfortunately, because the cashews are such an integral part of this recipe there is no substitute you could make that wouldn't drastically alter the recipe.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Joel S.

We continued to get a “burn” error on our instant pot ultra with this recipe, even with dumping the contents out and scraping the bottom clean between errors. Any suggestions?

Michael L.

I got the same message twice before I just went with a Dutch oven on the stovetop. Some websites said it could be caused by a loose gasket.

Bill R.

I got the same. This is not unusual with tomato-based sauces. In my case, I tried it again and it worked OK the second time. I would suggest adding maybe 1/2 cup of water before pressure cooking. That should thin out the liquid enough to stop it from burning. Then you can cook it on low saute (or medium saute) for longer than the recipe says -- maybe 10 minutes instead of 4-5 min, to reduce the sauce enough.

Jovanna K.

Made this in my Ninja Foodi and it was amazing! The honey, lime juice, and cilantro at the end just puts this dish over the top. I added siracha at the end as well because we like it spicy. Stocking up on Garam Masala for plans on making this dish often.

Caron F.

This butter chicken recipe is absolutely the best! I’m not to fond of really spicy food and this has just enough heat for me! My family loves it. The cashews add flavor and thicken the sauce as well.

Caprice S.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Donee D.

I'm wondering if the instructions are missing broth or water. Having tomatoes as the only liquid typically isn't enough. My pressure cooker was unable to get up to pressure. It is a delicious recipe though!

Janelle C.

Hi Donee,

One of the tricks we use here at Milk Street to concentrate the flavors of our stews, braises and etc. is to use less liquid.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Donee D.

I totally appreciate that, but the liquid level was too low to allow the instant pot to reach pressure. Is it possible something was left out?

Lynn C.

Hi Donee -

The recipe calls for the 28 ounces of tomatoes with their juice, cashews, and 3/4 cup water to be blended together. Is it possible you missed that 3/4 cup of water?

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Donee -

The recipe calls for the 28 ounces of tomatoes with their juice, cashews, and 3/4 cup water to be blended together. Is it possible you missed that 3/4 cup of water?

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Donee D.

I totally appreciate that, but the liquid level was too low to allow the instant pot to reach pressure. Is it possible something was left out?

Lynn C.

Hi Donee -

The recipe calls for the 28 ounces of tomatoes with their juice, cashews, and 3/4 cup water to be blended together. Is it possible you missed that 3/4 cup of water?

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Donee -

The recipe calls for the 28 ounces of tomatoes with their juice, cashews, and 3/4 cup water to be blended together. Is it possible you missed that 3/4 cup of water?

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Archer G.

This recipe turned out perfect for me. Better than any restaurant
Butter Chicken I've had!

Emily S.

Excellent food!! Followed IP recipe to the letter (without the garlic, sorry to say) it came out perfect with some toasted naan. YUM.

Jessica G.

This is absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it produced so much flavor and was so rich without being heavy from being loaded with cream and butter like other recipes. I made this in a 6qt Instant Pot and it never fully got up to pressure during the pressure cooking time, however, the chicken was still cooked all the way through between the pressure cook time and the additional sauté time at the end.

christine d.

This chicken was delicious! I let the chicken chill with the spices for a few hours as I prepped everything in the afternoon. I would definitely make this again.

Barb M.

Milk Street! Wowza, thanks for yet another fab recipe. I did get the burn error (I was using an 8 qt IP) - I hit cxl, reset the time and it started cooking just fine although I had two areas of slight scorching on the pot when done. Loved making the cashew cream and how it thickened the sauce. I threw in some red pepper flakes and served each bowl with a large wedge of lime - PERFECTION!
would love to see a Milk Street tikka masala recipe some time

Katie C.

Awesome recipe, Milk Street. I followed the recipe as it was stated and it came out perfectly. It was better than the Indian food we had out last week! Please keep coming up with these recipes. I find that I turn more and more to you for that "what's for dinner tonight?" question. Thanks again!

meghan R.

Somewhat Bland and Disappointing. I’ve made this recipe twice and the stove top version twice as well. On the first run of each version it turned out bland and just lacking. I figured the error was my part and my deep desire for yummy Indian food at home caused me to persist and remake each recipe again. I painstakingly followed the recipes, stove top and instant pot. Again just a bit bland, and flat. I made my own naan and added a dollop of yogurt and that helped a bit. Overall I will not be making it again. Still searching for a recipe that comes close to our local family take away restaurant.

Robin Z.

I made this last night and had no issues with reaching pressure levels in the instant pot. My family loved this and they are real Butter Chicken lovers. I did actually saute the onion, garlic and mix the chicken and tomatoes on the stove in a dutch oven with a greater surface area, which I usually do when asked to saute in a 6-quart instant pot. Another pan, I know!! But the flavors were complex and delicious!!!

Diana L.

This was very good. My family loved it. I did not put 1/4 cup of masala as my kid will not eat. I put 1 tablespoon and it was plenty for all of us. Very good flavors. I could eat an entire pot.


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