chicken tikka masala

I’ve been wanting to venture out of my normal “safe” recipes and try something new. Chicken tikka masala has been on my list for quite some time. A few months ago I had intentions to make the meal and bought the main spice for the dish (Garam Masala), but never pulled the trigger and made it.

Not going to lie sometimes I get nervous when making something new. Will it be disgusting? If so, would I throw the entire thing away and waste it all? I hate to waste food (my parents raised me to always aim to be a member of the ‘clean plate club’). Not to mention this dish has a decent amount of ingredients and that’s money my friends!

However, how are you expected to learn new flavors and cuisines if you don’t TRY. So I recently made it a goal to aim for one completely new recipe a month (if not more), particularly focusing on different ethnic dishes.

I spend a lot of time researching different recipes, how they are prepared, ratios of ingredients, various cook times & methods, and then I piece together my recipe based off what I think would work best.

While this dish is easily made on the stovetop, I decided to try it in the instant pot. The chicken I was using came out of the freezer and the instant pot always perfectly cooks it without over drying. I don’t use my instant pot much, but the times I have resulted in some tasty (and quick!) dishes.

The babies obviously didn’t participate in this meal since I can barely get June to eat a plain piece of chicken so I was able to make it a bit spicy. Luckily my nerves about it being bad and tossing it went to the wayside because it turned out really great. The flavor was certainly unique, but that is exactly what I am looking for with my new cuisine adventure.

The turmeric gives a small kick of curry flavor and the garam masala presents sweet hints of cinnamon and cloves, perfect for this time of the year. I served it with green beans and brown rice, but would be great with naan for dipping in the extra sauce. The ingredient list is a tad longer than I like, but it was a simple preparation and the instant pot does all the cooking, no stirring required.

If you want to pair a wine with this dish, I recommend something pretty mild or sweet to counterbalance the spiciness. Scout & Cellar’s Che Fico Pinot Grigio or Bookbinder Apprentice White are great options! Click the links below to purchase your perfectly matched bottle.

Are you adventurous in the kitchen or do you tend to stick with a regular rotation? I challenge you over the next year to make one new ethnic dish a month and share your creations by tagging me (@czubasn) on Instagram or Facebook!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipe by Not So DoughieCourse: MainCuisine: Indian


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1.5 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut in half

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 can (14.5oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes

  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped (~ 1/2 cup)

  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 Tbsp garam masala

  • 2 tsp coriander

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

  • handful of cilantro, chopped


  • In a ziplock bag, mix together all marinade ingredients. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to 24 hours.
  • Turn instant pot on to sauté setting. Add about 1/2 tsp vegetable oil & chopped onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Add all other ingredients for sauce EXCEPT coconut milk and cilantro. Stir to combine.
  • Place chicken and marinade on top of the sauce.
  • Place lid on instant pot and change setting to Pressure Cook on high for 8 minutes. Close the vent.
  • Quick release steam once the timer goes off.
  • Take out chicken and set on serving platter.
  • Add all sauce ingredients into a blender with the coconut milk. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour blended sauce mixture over chicken & top with cilantro.
  • Serve with naan or brown rice.

  • Don’t have an instant pot? No problem. Sauté the onion on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the other sauce ingredients and then chicken + marinade. Cook about 25-30 minutes depending how thick your chicken is, flipping them halfway & stir often. Blend sauce as instructed above.
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