Instant Pot Achari Chicken Curry


Achari chicken curry is an aromatic, flavorful and tangy North Indian dish made with the same spices that are typically used to make Indian pickles, also known as achar.

instant pot achari chicken curry (chicken in pickling spices)

Out of all Indian chicken curries, I’d say achari chicken curry (also known as achari murgh) is the most flavorful. Bold statement, I know. But this pickled chicken curry is incredibly flavorful and only gets better with time. Trust me, you will absolutely love the leftovers!

If you’ve ever tried achar (an Indian pickle) before, then you’ll immediately note that this curry has a similar flavorful profile. That’s because achar and achari chicken have a lot of the same spices.

instant pot achari chicken curry (chicken in pickling spices)

This achari chicken curry is well spiced but not necessarily spicy. You can easily adjust the level of heat by adjusting the amount of cayenne or red chili powder that you use.

Serve this tangy pickled chicken curry with a side of yogurt/raita, a side (like aloo gobi and/or langar dal) and basmati rice. And then after you eat it, come back and leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

instant pot achari chicken curry (chicken in pickling spices)

Instant Pot Achari Chicken Curry

instant pot achari chicken curry (chicken in pickling spices)

Instant Pot Achari Chicken Curry

This chicken curry is made with spices that are typically used to make Indian pickles, also known as achar. It’s a very flavorful and aromatic curry. Like many Indian dishes, this curry will taste even better the next day when you eat the leftovers.
5 from 19 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 3 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger



  • 2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup fresh tomato puree approx. ½ pound tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • Cilantro garnish


  • Press the sauté button, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and once they brown, add the bay leaf and onions. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.
  • Add garlic, ginger, spices and stir briefly. Add the chicken and give everything a good mix so that the chicken is well coated with the spices.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the water.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • Garnish with cilantro.
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Jenita says

    5 stars
    Made Achari chicken tonight. I’ve made this a couple of times before…so easy.. so delicious… I even recommended it my brother, who made it and loved it too.

  2. Michael says

    5 stars
    We’ve been making your Butter Chicken recipe for a couple of months now, and we recently started making this Achari Chicken Curry, which is also incredible. You basically introducing us to making Indian cuisine AND getting more use out of our Instant Pot. Your directions are always clear and helpful, and your recommendations for spices have been on point every time. We now purchase our supplies from a local Indian grocery and save a ton of money by grinding our own spices and not shipping hard-to-find ingredients. Thank you so much!

  3. Marianne says

    5 stars
    I know you say this is a North Indian dish, but somehow it tastes exactly like the chicken curry my mom (from Kerala) used to make when I was a kid. Full disclosure: I did NOT like eating her chicken curry as a kid! But this year, not being able to see family and eat food that my mom or aunties prepare, it made me really long for some home cooked Indian food. This was perfect, even though I messed up and used a little too much water and a little extra chicken. It was the chicken curry of my childhood – thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Marianne, that is so awesome to hear! Love that it’s the curry from your childhood! Achar is universal, so perhaps it’s not just a north Indian dish after all 🙂 Thank you for the comment and review!

  4. Aisha says

    Delicious recipe! Thank you for translating traditional Indian recipes, that often take such long time to cook, into quick and easy Instant Pot versions! Your page is my go-to destination whenever I want to make desi food, and I haven’t been disappointed!

  5. Vicki says

    5 stars
    Absolutely gorgeous, we buy this from our local take away and this version has all of the flavour with a lot less oil.

  6. Shreyas Nair says

    Loved this recipe, Ashley. Amazing flavours. I kind of tweaked it a bit to suit my spice level. For someone who loves spicy food, I added a half a teaspoon of Bhoot Jolokia pickle, Turned out to be nice and hot, and tangy.

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