Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 30 min | Servings: 5-6

The inspiration for this dish came from a New York Times article with a traditional Butter Chicken recipes (yogurt, tomato paste, etc.) and what stood out to me was how they described this dish as comfort food, and a crowd pleaser, everyone’s go-to…the General Tso’s of Indian Food. Ha! Before I even got to the end of the article the inventory of ingredients I had in my kitchen at the moment ran through my head. Tin Star Foods Ghee, check. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, check. Garam Masala, Turmeric, Lemon, Cinnamon Stick, check.

It was going down. For dinner. Tonight. Foregoing the marinating process would usually impact that flavor…enter the pressure cooker. One of the benefits of the electric pressure cooker (besides speed) is that it locks in all of flavor! Full disclosure, it was my first time making butter chicken…so how do I know if it was legit? I had a very qualified taste taster. My neighbor, Abir, grew up on this stuff. Yup. His dad’s family is from India. So I recruited him for my test kitchen. Final verdict: totally legit and flavorful.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker: Make it stove top, in a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Brown the onions etc. the same as the pressure cooker instructions, on medium high heat. Add in everything in the same order, but instead of closing to pressure cook, you will lower the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Then open, stir and reduce the same.


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Redmon Real Salt
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Tin Star Foods Ghee
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp beef gelatin (optional, if using cashew milk/broth don't use it)
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro


  • Peel and slice your onion. Mince the garlic. Peel and slice the ginger.
  • Open your pressure cooker and heat on saute mode. Add in the ghee.
  • Add in the onion, garlic, ginger and bay leaves.
  • Saute until tender and aromatic (5-6 minutes).
  • Add in the chicken, all the spices, and salt. Stir well.
  • Add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon stick.
  • Stir well. Cook, moving occasionally until the chicken is lightly browned.
  • Add in the coconut milk, stir and bring to a simmer.
  • Cancel the saute function. Stir in the gelatin.
  • Close the lid and set to pressure cook: poultry mode. Mine takes about 20 minutes.
  • When it's done, release the pressure manually.
  • Open the lid and cancel the pressure cooker mode, set to reduce or saute mode.
  • Stir in the chopped almonds and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with chopped cilantro on top.

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