Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry Recipe

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There are so many things you can do with chicken but lately, we’ve been loving this spicy and aromatic North Indian style chicken curry.

This simple and easy Indian curry chicken recipe is one more reason you’ll love cooking in your Instant Pot. 

An overhead shot of Indian chicken curry served with naan, rice, lemon wedges and Mango lassi
Indian Chicken Curry made in Instant Pot

Chicken curry, though finds its origins in India, is a commonly found entree in many parts of the world. That is why there is no standard recipe to make it. Even in India, there are so many variations to this recipe because of cultural/regional influence that no two recipes are alike. 

I grew up in a south Indian household where chicken curries were made with coconut milk like this Mangalorean chicken curry recipe (Kori gassi). They were spicy, creamy and paired well with rutti (rice flakes), rice or neer dosa

This recipe is different though. It has a North Indian influence. What I mean by that is marinated chicken is added to a spice-infused onion-tomato gravy and then pressure cooked together. This results in a soft and moist curry chicken which is bursting with flavors. 

How to make chicken curry Indian style

If you think Indian chicken dishes end up bland when cooked in Instant Pot, I have two tips for you 

  • Saute the chicken before adding any liquid. This gives the meat a chance to brown and add on flavor. 
  • Or marinate the chicken for at least 20-30 minutes before pressure cooking it. 

Here are the steps to make this simple chicken curry recipe with yogurt

Chicken curry marinade

  1. Mix yogurt, lime juice, oil, chili powder, garam masala, salt, and fenugreek leaves to prepare the marinade.
  2. Make 3-4 incisions on the chicken drumstick on both sides. These incisions allow the marinade to seep in making the chicken even more flavorful. 
  3. Coat the chicken drumsticks with the marinade till all pieces are evenly covered. Set it aside for about 20 minutes till you get the curry ready.
A collage of images showing how to marinate chicken

The process to make the chicken curry sauce

  1. Select the Saute setting in the Instant Pot and adjust it to normal.
  2. Add oil and once it is hot, add all the spices – bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, green cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves and fennel seeds (if using).
  3. Let the spices sizzle in the oil for about 20 seconds or so. Add the chopped onions and let it cook till it is evenly browned (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add the minced ginger and garlic. Let them saute for about a minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and mushy (about 10 minutes).
  6. Add salt and Kashmiri chili powder and mix well.
  7. Add the marinated chicken to this curry and stir it in. Let it cook in the sauce for about 2 minutes.
  8. Add 1/4 cup water and mix well. Deglaze – use a spatula to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  9. Cover the Instant Pot, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  10. When the cooking cycle is complete, move the vent carefully to the venting position.
  11. Open the lid, add garam masala and mix well.
  12. Garnish the chicken with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice, roti or naan.
A collage of images depicting how to make Indian chicken curry in Instant Pot

Indian Chicken Curry – step by step

Tips to make the best chicken curry

  1. Marinating the chicken makes it moist and flavorful.
  2. Make sure to cook the onions till it is evenly browned. Caramelized onions add an extra oomph to this dish.
  3. Saute the chicken in the gravy before pressure cooking. This allows it to absorb the flavors. 
  4. If possible, use either bone-in chicken or chicken thighs. These cuts are more flavorful than chicken breasts.
  5. Instant Pot does not evaporate water so you have to make sure you don’t add more than 1/4 cup water to cook the chicken. Don’t worry there will be enough liquid because of the yogurt and the tomatoes. 
  6. Don’t forget to deglaze – use a spoon to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Variations

  • Coconut chicken curry – Add about 1/4 cup of coconut milk along with water to make this chicken curry both creamy and south-Indian style. 
  • Like it really spicy? Add 1-2 finely chopped green chilies along with minced ginger and garlic to amp up the spice levels in this Indian chicken curry recipe. 

Craving for some more easy and spicy chicken curry recipes? Here are a few of my favorite ones.

And don’t forget to check out this extensive list of 30+ Indian curry recipes.



Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
A close up shot of Indian curry chicken served in a gray bowl accompanied with naan and lassi

Indian Chicken Curry (Murgh Curry) Recipe

4.48 from 17 votes
Looking for a simple and easy chicken curry to make in your Instant Pot? This North Indian-style Chicken curry recipe won’t disappoint. Simple, easy, and flavorful, this chicken dish is a crowd-pleaser. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Pressure building time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Servings: 4
Diet : Gluten-free, Nut-free
Course : Main Course
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks

For the marinade

For the curry

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the ingredients in the marinade section (yogurt, lime juice, oil, chili powder, garam masala, salt, and fenugreek leaves) to prepare the marinade.
  • Make 3-4 incisions on the chicken drumstick on both sides. These incisions allow the marinade to seep in making the chicken even more flavorful. 
  • Coat the chicken drumsticks with the marinade till all pieces are evenly covered. Set it aside for about 20 minutes till you get the curry ready.

Making the curry

  • Select the Saute setting in the Instant Pot and adjust it to normal.
  • Add oil and once it is hot, add all the spices – bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, green cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves and fennel seeds (if using).
  • Let the spices sizzle in the oil for about 20 seconds or so. Add the chopped onions and let it cook till it is evenly browned (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the minced ginger and garlic. Let them saute for about a minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and mushy (about 10 minutes).
  • Add salt, Kashmiri chili powder and mix well.
  • Add the marinated chicken to this curry and stir it in. Let it cook in the sauce for about 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/4 cup water and mix well. Deglaze – use a spatula to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Cover the Instant Pot, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, move the vent carefully to the venting position.
  • Open the lid and add garam masala and mix it in.
  • Garnish the chicken with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice, roti or naan.

Notes

Tips to make the best-tasting chicken curry
  1. Marinate the chicken – it makes it moist and flavorful.
  2. Make sure to cook the onions till it is evenly browned. Caramelized onions add an extra oomph to this dish.
  3. Saute the chicken in the gravy before pressure cooking. This allows it to absorb the flavors. 
  4. If possible, use either bone-in chicken or chicken thighs. These cuts are more flavorful than chicken breasts.
  5. Instant Pot does not evaporate water so you have to make sure you don’t add more than 1/4 cup water to cook the chicken. Don’t worry there will be enough liquid because of the yogurt and the tomatoes. 
  6. Don’t forget to deglaze – use a spoon to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Variations
  • Coconut chicken curry – Add about 1/4 cup of coconut milk along with water to make this chicken curry both creamy and south-Indian style. 
  • Like it really spicy? Add 1-2 finely chopped green chilies along with minced ginger and garlic.

Pantry EssentialsGetting the right tools for your kitchen makes cooking more enjoyable and less frustrating. Here’s a list of kitchen essentials I own and recommend.

Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 16gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 818mgPotassium: 509mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 519IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : easy, Simple, spicy

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4 Comments

  1. Hello! I’m really excited to try some of your recipes and I’d like to start with this one 🙂 Under “making the curry” #2 “add all the spices” does that mean I grind them all together and add them? or just add them as they are? Thanks for the the help!

    1. Hi Paul,

      Just add them without grinding. Let me know if you have any other questions. Welcome to my blog 🙂

      Thanks,
      Anushree

  2. The marinade says lemon juice, but then in the description of what to do with marinade in parentheses says “lime” so I’m wondering if people found a difference in taste when all said and done cooking.

    1. Hi Jarita – Thanks for pointing it out. It should be lime juice. I’ll fix the typo. Sorry about the confusion.

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