Instant Pot Tikka Masala using chicken breast or thighs, bathed in the most fragrant Indian coconut curry sauce. A fast and easy weeknight dinner! Vegan Adaptable-see notes!
Turn instant pot pressure cooker to Saute function.
Cut chicken into cubes and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper and set aside.
Saute shallot, garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add whole spices, saute 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices. Add seasoned chicken, and all the remaining spices, along with the 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons sugar.
Add the coconut milk and stir.
At this point 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, set instant pot to “saute” funtion and reduce a bit. 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. If serving over rice, I like to “up” the salt a bit as the rice will soak it up.
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 after it has time to soak up the flavor.
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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