Instant Pot Tikka Masala, made with chicken or chickpeas and veggies! Serve over basmati rice, or for a low-carb version, serve over a bowl of baby spinach! This can also be made on the stove top! A simple, easy weeknight dinner that is vegan adaptable and full of Indian flavor!
Good morning friends! Here’s another quick and easy Indian-inspired weeknight dinner that can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stove top! Instant Pot Tikka Masala! Make this with chicken or keep it vegan and substitute chickpeas and veggies. Either way, I know you will love it. This recipe is all about the sauce – so fragrant and flavorful it will leave you wanting to mop up every precious drop. It’s so addicting! Naan bread works well or keep it simple with brown basmati rice, or a bed of baby spinach – a delicious, low-carb option. A cozy weeknight dinner, perfect for the cool nights of fall. AND oh yes, the leftovers are divine, so pack some up for midweek lunches!
This could also be part of your Sunday meal prep! It tastes better and better as the flavors have a chance to meld.
Here is the vegan version of the Instant Pot Tikka Masala, with chickpeas and veggies, which only takes 5 minutes of pressure cooking time! And, of course feel free to cook it on the stove top.
I love both versions of this Instant Pot Tikka Masala!
You could even add some veggies to the chicken version, but I would add them after you release the pressure, on the sauté function, because they cook so quickly!
The creamy Tikka Masala Sauce is vegan, made with coconut milk instead of yogurt or cream.
Give this Instant Pot Tikka Masala a try this week – you will love the delicious flavors!Print
Instant Pot Tikka Masala (w/ Chicken or Chickpeas)
(Updated recipe) Instant Pot Tikka Masala, made with chicken or kept VEGAN with coconut milk, chickpeas and veggies. Serve over basmati rice, or, for a low-carb, paleo version, serve it over a bowl of baby spinach! A simple healthy weeknight dinner!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Main, Paleo, Vegan, Weeknight meal
- Method: Instant Pot, Stove top
- Cuisine: Indian
- 2 pounds chicken breast or thigh, cut into 1-2 inch cubes ( sprinkled with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper) or see notes for vegan version.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee
- 2 fat shallots, diced ( or sub 1 onion)
- 1 can diced tomatoes ( with juices) or tomato puree
- 4-6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced ( or use paste)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½-1 teaspoon caynenne
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds or use ½ teaspoon ground
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves ( this really makes the dish, but if you don’t have use 2 bay leaves)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon garam masala spice (or make your own)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar (or alternative sweetener like honey or agave)
- 2-3 cups veggies like cauliflower florets, parsnips, carrots or sweet potato – cutting them into bigger pieces so they don’t overcook. You could also add canned chickpeas.
- ½ cup coconut milk (do not use “lite” coconut milk -it will result in a very thin, soup like consistency, the thicker the better). More to taste after cooking.
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 2-3 cups potatoes, cut into larger 1 inch cubes ( or cauliflower florets)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
- 2 cups peas ( either fresh peas or frozen peas, or snap peas, or a combo – add at the end. )
Turn instant pot pressure cooker to Saute function.
Cut chicken into cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
Saute shallot, garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices. Add seasoned chicken, and all the spices – cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, fennel, dried fenugreek leaves, turmeric and graham masala and salt and sugar.
Add ½ cup coconut milk and add 2-3 cups veggies like cauliflower florets if you like.
Set the Instant Pot -if using chicken breast, to pressure cook on high for 7 minutes (9 minutes for chicken thighs) and manually release ( throw a kitchen towel over the steam spout). Open the pot. At this point, stir in the remaining coconut milk if you like, and allow the chicken to “relax” and sauce to thicken a bit more. (It will thicken as it cools). If the sauce still seems too runny for your liking, you could thicken with a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water. If you happen to over reduce the sauce and it tastes too intense, you can soften it up with a little more coconut milk or plain yogurt to taste. Adjust salt and spice level to your liking.
Feel free to add cayenne or chili flakes to taste for extra heat.
As usual, with pressure cooked meats, this will taste much better the next day.
If making the VEGAN VERSION – Saute shallot, garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant. Add all the spices, sauce 1-2 more minutes, letting them toast. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Add the sugar and salt. Add the drained chickpeas, potatoes (or cauliflower) and red bell peppers, and give a good stir. Pressure cook on high for only 5 minutes! Manually release to keep veggies from getting too soft. Set Instant Pot to “saute” function, add peas and let them cook five minutes. As the sauce cools, it will thicken.
If cooking chicken version on the stove top, heat oil in a large Dutch Oven. Saute onion, garlic and ginger in oil, until fragrant, about 2 minutes, over medium heat. Brown the chicken lightly, sauting and stirring for a few minutes. Add all the spices to the chicken, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and coconut milk. Give a good stir and add the salt and sugar. Simmer gently on medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
If cooking Vegan Version on the stove top, heat oil in a large Dutch Oven. Saute onion, garlic and ginger in oil, until fragrant, about 2 minutes, over medium heat. Add all the spices and lightly toast. Add tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir and salt and sugar. Add the drained chickpeas and potatoes. Simmer gently on medium heat uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 1o minutes, then add bell pepper and peas. Simmer 5 more minutes.
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