Get ready to add a new dish to your dinner menu rotation: chicken bhuna masala!
This Chicken Bhuna Masala is FINGER LICKING GOOD. I’m a little embarrassed for using that phrase on my blog but it really is finger licking good! You will literally be licking your fingers as you eat this. Okay, I think I have emphasized the fact that there will be fingers and licking and chicken involved. Moving on…
Do you guys see how the onion and tomato masala is all up on this chicken? The chicken doesn’t seem to mind one bit. And neither do I.
So What is Chicken Bhuna?
Chicken Bhuna (or Bhuna Chicken depending on what you call it) is a “dry curry” which means the masala clings onto the chicken (rather than the chicken swimming in sauce).
Bhuna is a method of cooking where you cook onions, tomatoes and meat over high heat – stirring until all the liquid dries up. We’re making things much easier with our Instant Pot + our pre-made onion masala.
This recipe is part of my onion masala series called: Onion Masala LOVE. This series started out with me sharing recipes using this masala all throughout the month of February but it seems to be so popular that I think I’m going to keep it going as long as there’s interest! My goal: to show you how easy it is to prepare Indian food on a daily basis.
Click on the image below to find out how to make onion masala, how to store it and to find other recipes that call for it!
This chicken bhuna is so aromatic and the spice combination is just perfect in this dish. There are a couple spices in the recipe that you may not have in your spice cabinet but they are worth investing in! Black cardamom for example is very different from green cardamom. Black cardamom adds a really nice smoky flavor to this sauce. Star anise adds a hint of licorice flavor. And then I use other common Indian spices like green cardamom, whole cloves and cumin seeds.
No Water in the Pressure Cooker?
I know I’m going to get questions about this…
Bhuna chicken is meant to be a dry curry and it does not need additional water because the meat cooks in its own juices. You will be surprised at how much liquid is in the pot once it’s done cooking (meat releases water). If for some reason your electric pressure cooker won’t turn on or is unable to reach pressure then add a tablespoon of water. I have a 6 quart electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and have made this recipe many times using both frozen and fresh onion masala and I have never needed to add additional water for this recipe.
If you do add water, you’ll end up spending more time boiling it off once the chicken is done cooking. My recipe will require you to boil off some liquid at the end, so there is some “bhuna” or roasting required but far less than if you were to make this the traditional way on the stovetop.
Bhuna chicken is so, so good. You can eat it with roti or basmati rice (or paleo naan if you’re gluten-free). Make this Indian chicken dish and tell me what you think of it! You may just like it more than my famous butter chicken recipe 😉Print
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 ½ pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cut into quarters
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 ¼ cup (frozen or thawed) onion masala
- Cilantro, garnish
- Press the sauté button, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the whole spices and once they become fragrant, add the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the coriander powder, salt and cayenne and cook for another minute.
- Add the onion masala to the pot (do not mix), secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
- Quick release pressure.
- Press sauté and adjust heat to the highest setting, add the ingredients listed under ”add later” and cook for 11-12 minutes – be sure to keep an eye on the pot to avoid burning. (You will want to keep the stirring to a minimum at the beginning to allow the liquid to boil off. Most of the liquid will evaporate around the 8-10 minute mark, then stir more frequently until the masala is thick and coats the chicken).
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.
- This is meant to be a dry curry and it does not need additional water. The meat cooks in its own juices. You will be surprised at how much liquid is in the pot once it’s done (meat releases water) If for some reason your electric pressure cooker won’t turn on or is unable to reach pressure then add a tablespoon of water. I have a 6 quart and have made this many times and I have never needed to add additional water for this recipe.
- I have tested this recipe using frozen onion masala cubes as well as thawed onion masala and it works both ways.
- This recipe is part of my onion masala series – be sure to check it out!