Instant Pot Methi Chicken Curry (Methi Murgh)

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Instant Pot Methi Chicken comes together in 30 minutes for a flavorful weeknight dinner. Tender marinated chicken simmered in a fenugreek curry makes for a lip-smacking dish everyone will enjoy!

A blue bowl with handles on the side filled with methi chicken on a wooden counter.
Methi Chicken

We often use methi or fenugreek leaves in vegetarian dishes such as theplas and parathas. Since we love this green so much I decided to combine it with chicken to see how it would turn out.

Methi murg or methi chicken is a classic Indian dish but up until a couple of months ago, we had never made it at home.

I had a big bunch of methi leaves lying in the refrigerator and on a whim, I decided to combine it with chicken, just to mix it up.

I am glad I did that because my family loved it and has been demanding this dish at least once a week.

What is Methi Chicken?

Chicken methi, also known as methi murgh, is a chicken curry dish made from cooking spiced, marinated chicken with fresh fenugreek leaves (methi in Hindi).

Another variation you might encounter is methi malai chicken, meaning the methi chicken is combined with a cream (more on that later).

If you never had methi chicken before, imagine tender chicken chunks combined with aromatic and slightly bitter fenugreek leaves in a creamy yogurt-based sauce.

There is an earthy flavor to this dish which makes every bite memorable. Pair it with Basmati rice or roti to make it a complete meal.

Reasons to love this recipe

  • This methi chicken recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes for the perfect weeknight dinner.
  • High in protein. Methi and chicken both pack in the protein to help keep you healthy and strong.
  • Mild in flavor making it a great recipe for people who prefer a less spicy curry.

New to Indian cooking? Start here

If Indian cuisine both interests and intimidates you, you have come to the right place. Here are some of our popular posts from this Indian Food 101 series.

How to make this recipe

Ingredients at a glance

  • Chicken (murgh) – Use bone-in chicken or chicken thighs if possible because these cuts provide more flavor than chicken breasts.
  • Chicken marinade – A creamy, spiced marinade made from thick yogurt, garam masala, salt, Kashmiri chili powder, and coriander powder tenderizes and flavors the chicken.
  • Base curry – Oil, cumin seeds, bay leaf, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, ginger-garlic paste, Indian or Thai green chilies, and finely chopped onion make up the creamy curry.
  • Methi – Freshly chopped fenugreek leaves give this dish a unique aromatic flavor.
  • Coconut Milk – Just a quarter cup of coconut milk is what makes this dish creamy.

Step by Step Instructions

Make the chicken marinade

  1. In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, garam masala, salt, Kashmiri chili powder, and coriander powder.
  2. Coat the chicken thighs with the marinade until all pieces are evenly coated.
  3. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes in the bowl or baking dish.

Make the methi chicken curry

  1. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and adjust to “Normal.”
  2. Add oil to the inner pot. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and when they start to sizzle, add the bay leaf, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick along with ginger garlic paste and green chilies to the Instant Pot. Let the spices sizzle in the oil for about 20 seconds or so.
  3. Add chopped onion. Cook until the onions soften and turn translucent (about 6-8 minutes).
  4. Add chopped methi leaves next and mix well.
  5. Then add the coconut milk and marinated chicken. Stir to combine and allow to cook in the sauce for about 2 minutes.
  6. Next, add 2 tablespoons of water and mix well. Deglaze the pot by using a spatula to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Cover the Instant Pot and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 6 minutes.
  8. After the cooking cycle finishes, wait 5 minutes then move the vent carefully to the venting position.
  9. Open the lid and serve hot with rice, roti, or naan.

Recipe notes

Tips

  • Marinate the chicken. Do not skip this step. This makes the chicken moist and flavorful.
  • Clean the methi/fenugreek leaves properly. See the instructions below on how to clean methi.
  • Don’t add more than 2 tablespoons of water to cook the chicken. The Instant Pot does not evaporate water as much as a stovetop pressure cooker does. The yogurt and coconut milk will provide more than enough liquid for the chicken to cook.
  • Deglaze the pot. Use a spoon to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Ingredient swaps / variations

Some substitutions for this Methi Murgh recipe include:

  • Using heavy cream in place of coconut milk gives a nice creamy finish to the curry. Make sure to add the cream after the chicken is cooked. When you add cream to this dish, it is called Methi Murgh Malai.
  • Replacing fenugreek leaves with dried methi leaves (kasoori methi).  They are so much more potent than the fresh ones. I would just use 1/4th cup to replace 2 cups of fresh ones.
  • Use tomatoes – Some make this dish with tomatoes too. Just add about 1 cup of chopped tomatoes after the onions have turned translucent and follow the rest of the steps.
  • Quantity of methi leaves – I usually use between 1-2 cups of cleaned methi leaves. Any more than that and your dish could taste bitter.
  • Chicken drumsticks – Instead of chicken thighs, you could use drumsticks. Make sure to increase the cooking time to 10 minutes.

How to prep ahead

You can prep ahead by chopping the fenugreek leaves the day before. Make sure to rinse and dry them before placing them in the refrigerator.

How to store

Once the methi chicken cools, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Serving suggestions

Some of my favorite things to serve Instant pot methi chicken with include Basmati rice, soft rotis, or even some fresh garlic naan.

Frequently asked questions

What is methi?

Methi, also known as fenugreek, is a bright green leafy plant commonly used in Indian cuisine. Fenugreek can be used as a vegetable, an herb, or a spice.

What does methi taste like?

Raw methi has a distinctive bitter flavor, but when cooked it tastes nutty and similar to maple syrup or burnt sugar.

Why fenugreek leaves are good for you

Long used as an alternative medicine, fenugreek contains a variety of health benefits including:
– Good source of fiber.
– High in protein.
– May increase milk production in nursing mothers.
– Helps lower blood sugar.

How to clean fenugreek leaves

Fenugreek leaves need to be washed before using in a recipe. To clean and chop fresh methi leaves:
1) Gather the meth into a bunch with the stems at one end and the leaves at another end.
2) Cut off the stems and pluck the leaves. Discard the stems.
3) Rinse the methi leaves by running cold water over them in a strainer. Alternatively you can put the methi leaves in a bowl and cover them with water and soak them for about 5 minutes. Then remove from the bowl and drain in a strainer. Repeat until all dirt is removed from the leaves.
4) Once the leaves are clean, carefully pat dry with a paper towel and chop.
5) Store in an airtight container or use right away.

What can I use instead of methi?

Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves is a good option. Like I said before, the dried leaves are potent so substitute 1/4th cup of dried leaves for every 1 cup of fresh.

A light grey plate of methi murgh on rice with three cucumbers to the right on a wooden counter.
Methi Murgh

Other chicken recipes you’ll love

  1. Thai Basil Chicken –  This better than take-out recipe is loaded with flavor and vegetables for a dish that will satisfy your cravings for Thai food in a pinch. 
  2. Chettinad Chicken Curry – If you like spicy chicken curries then this fiery, aromatic Chicken Chettinad curry is right up your alley.
  3. Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry – This simple and easy Indian curry chicken recipe is one more reason you’ll love cooking in your Instant Pot. 
  4. Kori Gassi (Mangalorean chicken curry) – This fiery red chicken curry combines the mild sweetness of coconut with a medley of spices to create a complexly flavored curry that is a treat to your senses.
  5. Goan Chicken Vindaloo – Learn how to make this tangy finger-licking chicken vindaloo curry in an Instant Pot or Stovetop.


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
A blue handled bowl with methi chicken on a wooden counter.

Instant Pot Methi Chicken (Methi Murg) recipe

5 from 4 votes
Make this quick and easy Methi Chicken in your Instant pot for a 30 minute meal everyone will enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Pressure building time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Diet : Gluten-free, Nut-free
Course : Main Course
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs

For the marinade

For the curry

Instructions
 

Make the marinade

  • Mix all the ingredients in the marinade section (chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt and yogurt) to prepare the marinade.
  • Coat the chicken thighs 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 cumin seeds. When it is starts to sizzle, add all the spices – bay leaf, black peppercorns, and cinnamon stick along with ginger-garlic paste and green chilies. Let them cook for about 20 seconds or so. Add chopped onions and let it cook till it turns soft and translucent (about 6-8 minutes).
  • Add chopped methi leaves and mix well. Add the marinated chicken and coconut milk to this curry and stir it in. Let it cook in the sauce for about 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 tablespoons 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 6 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, wait for 5 minutes and then move the vent carefully to the venting position.
  • Open the lid and mix well. Do a taste test and add salt as needed.
  • If you want a thicker gravy, you can saute it for 5-6 minutes till the gravy thickens.
  • Serve hot with rice, roti or naan.

Video

Notes

Tips

  • Marinate the chicken. Do not skip this step. This makes the chicken moist and flavorful.
  • Clean the methi/fenugreek leaves properly. See the instructions in the FAQ section of the post on how to clean methi.
  • Don’t add more than 2 tablespoons of water to cook the chicken. The Instant Pot does not evaporate water as much as a stovetop pressure cooker does. The yogurt and coconut milk will provide more than enough liquid for the chicken to cook.
  • Deglaze the pot. Use a spoon to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.


Ingredient swaps / variations

Some substitutions for this Methi Murgh recipe include:

  • Using heavy cream in place of coconut milk gives a nice creamy finish to the curry. Make sure to add the cream after the chicken is cooked. When you add cream to this dish, it is called Methi Murgh Malai.
  • Replacing fenugreek leaves with dried methi leaves (kasoori methi).  They are so much more potent than the fresh ones. I would just use 1/4th cup to replace 2 cups of fresh ones.
  • Use tomatoes – Some make this dish with tomatoes too. Just add about 1 cup of chopped tomatoes after the onions have turned translucent and follow the rest of the steps.
  • Quantity of methi leaves – I usually use between 1-2 cups of cleaned methi leaves. Any more than that and your dish could taste bitter.
  • Chicken drumsticks – Instead of chicken thighs, you could use drumsticks. Make sure to increase the cooking time to 10 minutes.

How to prep ahead

You can prep ahead by chopping the fenugreek leaves the day before. Make sure to rinse and dry them before placing them in the refrigerator.

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: 399kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 23gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 715mgPotassium: 345mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 286IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 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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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe yesterday, came out great! It’s an easy to make week night recipe. Methi gives a nice flavor to the dish. It’s a nice change to regular Indian chicken dishes which are full of spice making it difficult for me to eat it frequently. I will be making it again soon! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yes, Kim. You may have noticed that when using an Instant Pot a little more oil is needed. I would typically use 1-2 tablespoons oil when using a non-stick wok.

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