Murg mak-what-now? Don’t worry, I can’t say it either so we’re going to call it butter chicken like so many people do. This is an Indian Curry Dish with chicken that’s been cooked in buttery onions and garlic with red curry sauce. It is such a hit with my family that I will be making this every few weeks from now on. You don’t need anything fancy really. I found the red curry paste I used at Walmart and the seasoning mix that you need, well. Most of those ingredients are in your spice rack already. So let’s get started making some butter chicken using our Instant Pot and stop just drooling over this dish already.

You can make the rice for this dish using your Instant Pot. Here’s How.


  • Butter
  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic, minced
  • Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Chicken broth
  • Red curry paste
  • Tomato sauce, no added sugar
  • Tomato paste
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Garam masala seasoning (We can make this ourselves!)
  • Ground ginger
  • Salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cilantro, garnish or sprinkled on top

Let’s make the Garam Masala Seasoning Blend First

In a bowl that will hold at least two cups of dry seasonings, combine these measurements of seasonings:

Stir it well to blend and you now have the exact Garam Masala Seasoning blend that I used. After making this recipe you will have about 5 tablespoons leftover. You’ll want to make this recipe again, I promise, and will use the rest of this seasoning over time.


Set your Instant Pot to the saute setting. I always use mine on low. Add butter, onion, and minced garlic. Saute for approximately 5 minutes until the onions are tender but not browning. Press off to cancel the saute. Keep in mind that the heat is still there after you press off so keep stirring to prevent any burning that might happen after turning off the heat.

Add the cubed chicken, chicken broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red curry paste, garam masala, ground ginger, salt, and smoked paprika to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place. Set to High Pressure for 7 minutes. When the timer is done quick release the pressure.

Last Step

Remove the lid and using a slotted spurtle remove the chicken from the sauce and set it aside. Add the heavy whipping cream to the pot. You can use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until smooth. Or if you are like me and do not have one, use a whisk to get the sauce to thicken. Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and stir the sauce while simmering for 7-10 minutes, or until it thickens. Turn the instant pot off after it’s as thick as you want it. I will admit, mine was not that thick because my arm got tired.

But it tasted just as amazing! If you are not worried about carbs, you can add corn starch to your sauce and it will thicken much faster. Add the chicken back to the sauce, stir together, and serve with a garnish of cilantro. I like the added flavor of the cilantro so I actually sprinkled a bit of it on top of my dish for a little added flavor.

Butter Chicken in the Instant Pot (Murgh Makhani)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Pressure Build and Reduction 15 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Course Dinner, Entrée
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 Adults


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 2 lb chicken boneless/skinless thighs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups onions diced
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (added to the sauce after pressure cooked.)
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala Seasoning Blend (make your own instructions above in blog)
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste you can use less if you are worried about 'heat'
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce no added sugar
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cilantro garnish


  • Set your Instant Pot to saute then add butter, onion, and garlic. Saute until the onions are tender but not brown. Press off to stop the saute.
  • Add the chicken broth, red curry paste, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to the inner pot. Add in the garam masala seasoning, ground ginger, salt, and smoked paprika. Stir.
  • Add the cubed chicken and lock the lid. Ensure the pressure valve is set to the sealed position. Set to High-Pressure for 7 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off allow it to natural release for 5 minutes and then turn the valve on top to vent so that the remaining steam is released.
  • Remove the lid and using a slotted spurtle remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. Add the heavy cream to the pot and using an immersion blender puree the sauce until smooth. You can also use a whisk if you do not have an immersion blender.
  • Set the Instant Pot to saute, again. Stir the sauce while simmering for 7-10 minutes, or until it thickens. If you are not worried about carbs, you can add corn starch to thicken it quicker. Turn saute off. Add the chicken back to the sauce, stir together, and serve with a garnish of cilantro. YUM!


  • You can substitute full-fat canned coconut milk for the whipping cream to make this dish dairy-free.
  • You can stir more butter into the sauce after pressure cooking for a creamier texture.
  • feel free to add 1 teaspoon of granulated brown sugar to the sauce before pressure cooking. It is a traditional thing to do, after all. But not low carb!
  • You can make brown rice or basmati rice with this. I like Jasmine Rice but you can also just use regular white rice. Whatever your preference is! (if doing Keto, you want riced cauliflower or no ‘rice’ at all – the way I prefer to eat mine.)

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