Thursday 8 March 2018

Instant Pot Butter Chicken-Murgh Makhani

This creamy, fragrant tomato stew is a staple of Indian restaurant cooking, but it is traditionally labor intensive to make, requiring the meat to marinate overnight and simmer for as much as an hour. We have had this many times 

with our Indian friends, in their beautiful homes or in a restaurant. I never did attempt to make it until I found it could be made in the Instant Pot. I am told if not made properly can yield a gloopy, greasy sauce and dry, overdone chunks of chicken. My recipe vastly simplifies the process: add spices, chicken, onion, tomatoes, coconut milk and stock to the Instant Pot, set it on high pressure for fifteen minute, then blend the sauce with a slurry of corn starch and water and presto! The results are vibrant and complex, the chicken perfectly tender, the sauce velvety smooth and redolent of earthy garam masala. This recipe has quickly became one of our favorites! I serve with Basmati Rice!

Instant Pot Butter Chicken or Murch Makhani

8 ounces unsalted butter- 1 cube
2 lbs. chicken breast/thigh cut into pieces
1 yellow onion minced
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 c. chicken stock
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
2 tsp. garam marsala *
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cumin
salt to taste
1 tsp. cayenne pepper ( this is to taste, I used 1 1/4 tsp, but, some may leave it out, this will determine the heat)

2 T. corn starch
3 T. water

Push the saute button on the instant pot, place the butter in and allow to melt and get to a light tan color and is smelling delicious!

Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent, stirring for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, coconut milk and tomato paste stirring to blend.

Add the spices: Curry, Cumin, Ginger, Cayenne Pepper, salt and Garam Marsala, stir to blend.

Add the chicken and stir well. Chicken can be frozen.

Secure the lid onto the pot, turn the valve to closed and set the pot to "High Pressure" for 15 minutes.

While this is cooking, make a slurry with the corn starch and water in a small bowl.

Once it is finished allow a 10 minute Natural Release. Then, turn the valve to open and allow a Quick Release.

Remove the lid and push the "saute" button. When bubbling, add the cornstarch slurry and stir to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. 

Once thick, push the "keep warm" button and let the flavors mingle while you prepare the plates to serve! The longer it sits, the more the flavors mingle.

I serve with Basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro!

*Garam Marsala can be found at international markets and is working it's way into all supermarkets. If you struggle to find it where you live, go to Penzeys on line. They have fresh spices and ship.

Happy 6 Year Anniversary to 
"Sew whats cooking with Joan"!

My first blog was created after I created the blog name, paid for the domain and created the cover page. It looked a lot like a lot of first blog posts- a small, sparse description and no picture.  I was learning how to create the web page, write a post, edit a picture and so much more. But, fearlessly I dove into the blog world. I decided to start blogging, not for money like many bloggers, but, to get my recipes to my children and friends. I want to preserve all my fond memories of my cooking schools and teachers in all parts of our beautiful world.

On my first month blog-a-versary we had over 1500 viewer's and  Wee Bear bought me a new camera. I was diving into photography blind!

  Six years later, "Sew Whats Cooking With Joan" has become a lot more than I had imagined! With followers numbering over 170,000 and counting..

With the new blogs centering around the Instant Pot this past 8 months, along came thousands of new followers. It has been a fun and fantastic journey!

Thank you for stopping by, for commenting and for sharing stories about what you have made. I receive many emails, sometimes hard to keep up with it, but, I do my best! Thank you for your loyalty, for being the reason I search for the finest ingredients, mess up my kitchen, my camera and most of all allowing me to be a part of your lives. I enjoy being part of your holidays, your get together, birthday, anniversaries, showers and celebrations!


  1. Happy blog-a-versary! Helen

  2. Congratulations! Our cooking group love your blog. Fran

  3. go to blog

  4. I made this last week and again over the weekend, it is delicious! thanks Bill

  5. Two comments.
    1: The print friendly option should have the recipe uninterrupted by ads and not contain pictures. As such, it is not very "printer friendly".

    2: There is an asterisk on "garam marsala *" and no reference that can be found in the recipe on page? or in printout?

    1. 1)I am so sorry that the printer friendly option, is not friendly enough for you. I will try to work with Google to fix this. However, that being said, many love the photos, and put them into recipe books. 2) OH! I will put the * thought in now! Cheers! Thanks for commenting! JJ

    2. Hi! I have worked on the the printer friendly option! Here it is! for those that do not want the photos, I have put a little trash can on if you click on the photo or any part of the blog you do not want to print, the trash can will show up. Click on the can and your photo/print is gone. I made this an option as many of my readers love the photos! Thanks again for commenting! Cheers! JJ


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