Sunday, January 17, 2016

Instant Pot- Indian Butter Chicken

Last post I briefly mentioned my Instant Pot. It definitely has a learning curve if you're not used to using a pressure cooker but little by little I am figuring this out and getting more and more excited using it.

I received my Instant Pot as a Christmas present from my awesome in-laws who happened to find the bluetooth enabled version during an amazon lightening deal which brought the price down to the same as a non-bluetooth one. Score! At first I was thinking "geez bluetooth? Why would I need to control my pressure cooker from the next room instead of just getting up and walking to the kitchen?" However, after using my cooker for several recipes I can actually say "I get it!" and am relishing the usefulness of this feature. That said, if you are looking to buy one and it's not on sale, I would hesitate to recommend the one with bluetooth which is nearly $60 more than the standard 6qt Instant Pot. I'm not sure yet if it is really worth the extra money. Would I miss it if I didn't have it? Time will tell. For now, I am pretty psyched to have this extra feature and play around with it.

With the bluetooth, I can download the Instant Pot app onto my phone/iOs device and either find a recipe and press the start button (which starts the Instant Pot and runs the recipe program, adjusting the temp and pressure as needed automatically. It also sends you alerts if any actions need to take place on your part.) OR I can write my own recipes and plug them into the app to run my own program. Pretty neat.

The concern I had with bluetooth enabled is, what if I end up getting a new phone, the app or bluetooth function becomes glitchy, or I don't want to use this function? Well, the Instant Pot works totally normal without the bluetooth function, so if you don't want or can't use it then it works exactly like the standard non-bluetooth pot. No biggie.

After receiving my Instant Pot, reading the manual, and then scouring the internet (I'm nodding at you, Pinterest) for recipes and tips I started slow with things like squash, other veggies, rice, a few meals, and finally yogurt. So far everything has been pretty much a hit. I don't think I will ever cook butternut, spaghetti, or acorn squash, or any type of potato any other way. Roughly 8-10 minutes of pressure cooking time and I've got perfectly cooked squash that is super moist and easily mashed. Such a time saver.

Check out Hip Pressure Cooking for a plethora of recipes, reviews, and tips for your electric pressure cookers. Also, NomNomPaleo has a few wonderful recipes, one of which is Michelle Tam's bone broth. I made three batches the other day with chicken bones and chicken feet left over from our neighbor-friend's meat birds they just butchered (I admit I dry heaved a little putting those feet in my pot). My daughter eagerly drank FOUR helpings of the super healthy broth. Nom Nom indeed!

I'll leave you with this amazing recipe by Barbara Schieving's blog "Pressure Cooking Today".

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Yield: 6 - 8 servings
  • 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cans (14 oz.) diced tomatoes and juice
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds (roast on the stovetop in a small pan)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed minced cilantro

  1. Cut the chicken pieces into quarters.
  2. Put tomatoes, jalapeno and ginger in a blender or food processor and blend to a fine puree.
  3. Add butter to pressure cooking pot, select Browning. When butter is melted and foam begins to subside, add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, and sear until they are nicely browned all over (about 2-3 minutes per batch). Remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl and put aside.
  4. Add ground cumin and paprika to the butter in the pot and cook, stirring rapidly, for 10-15 seconds. Add the tomato mixture, salt, cream, yogurt and chicken pieces (with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl) to the pot. Gently stir the chicken to coat the pieces. Cover and lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time. When timer beeps, turn off and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes use a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure.
  5. Stir in the garam masala and roasted cumin. Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir in to sauce in the pot. Select sauté and bring to a boil. Turn off pressure cooker and stir in minced cilantro.
  6. Serve with rice and naan.
My alterations:
1. Cowboy isn't keen on chicken thighs so I used a bunch of chicken breasts chunked, added extra spices, and left out the jalapeno since the kiddo would be eating it.
2. After I pureed the tomatoes and ginger, I slow mixed in the salt, cream, and yogurt to the blender.
3. Next time I would try a little less butter. The butter and chicken splattered a ton while sauteeing. Either use less butter altogether or saute chicken in less butter then add the rest of the butter called for later.
4. Because I used breast meat, I was afraid of overcooking them so I just sauteed until no longer pink, not fully browned. Did not affect the flavor one bit.
5. I did not remove the chicken from the pot but just added the cumin and paprika to the already sauteeing chicken and stirred around for a few more seconds. Then I added the blender full of tomato mixture to the pot. This saved dirtying extra utensils and saved a little time. Worked out great.

I made Jasmine rice using this recipe which made me want to throw my old rice cooker away it was so good! Are you kidding me? ONE minute of pressure cooking time followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release and I had absolutely perfect rice!

I was in the cooking mood and L-bug was busy either entertaining herself or jumping in here and there to "help mama" stir or measure out ingredients so I decided to cook up some potatoes to go with the meal. Here's the Roasted Potato recipe. I used red potatoes and my homemade bone broth for the stock then sprinkled with coarse Kosher salt afterwards. Cowboy raved about these potatoes. We don't really eat many non-sweet potatoes but these might be a total game changer.

Stay tuned for my adventure in pressure cooking yogurt!


  1. i tried the butter chicken …I used my new elite digital pressure cooker it just turned out to be awesome. All my family members loved it. it was simple and turned out to be excellent.

  2. Great! i am so glad it worked for you!