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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Recipe Rating


  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.

  7. Ann Wheeldon says

    Oh my goodness this was amazing. Not sure whether it was even better than the instant pot chicken biryani and I did not think that was possible! I have a long list of other things to try from your website. Greetings from Norway.

  8. Sanjana says

    5 stars
    My boyfriend is from north india and i am from kerala and i love my instant pot , which makes your website my favorite recipe place . Its like a perfect blend of the recipes I have always been looking for 😉 I am not an eager cook and had almost given up trying my luck in cooking tasty food , until I found . Tried chikar chole , achari chicken , sardine thoran and achari kabab till now and I must say – Thank you so much for restroring my faith in cooking myself ..They were all so tasty and easy and am almost addicted to to the achari flavor . 😄

  9. Fatima Mun says

    5 stars
    This was really good! I had lamb that I needed to cook and this was actually really good with it. I cooked it in IP for 40 mins high pressure. The meat was as tender as butter. Definitely making it again! Thanks!

  10. Melissa says

    5 stars
    I made this with lamb and paneer (since chicken was hard to find in quarantine), served with jeera rice, and it was delicious! I thought I would get the burn signal because I ALWAYS do with tomato based dishes, but to my surprise no burn. Great recipe

  11. Charlotte says

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was fantastic! We loved the different spice profile, and the chicken absorbed the spices really nicely. We’ll definitely be making this regularly from now on!

  12. Priya says

    great recipe and really simple – tried this today while stuck at home and a huge success with my family. Your website is literally my bible for Instapot cooking… Thanks a lot 🙂

  13. Suman says

    As an Instant pot noob, stumbled across your website and fell in love! I have tried the 2 ingredient cheesecake, Dal Dhokli and Khaman Dhokla and they were amazing! I love Aachari dishes in general and so, super excited to try this! I wanna use chicken with bone instead of boneless chicken – will the cook times remain the same?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Suman, I’m so glad you found my site and are enjoying my recipes! Thank you for letting me know 🙂 As for this recipe, I haven’t tried with bone-in but I think the cook time should be the same. Are you using thigh bone-in meat because if so, thighs are forgiving and adding a couple extra minutes to the cook time won’t hurt a bit. Let me know what you think of the dish!

  14. Mary Ann Lynch says

    5 stars
    This recipe was super delicious. Served it along with a number of your other recipes for a family gathering. Made it ahead of time, doubling the recipe and popped it in the freezer. Reheated in the microwave. Everyone loved it!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Mary Ann, that’s so great to hear! Thank you for letting me know how much everyone liked this chicken curry 🙂 Really happy to hear that you served it along some of my other recipes too!

  15. Rowzat says

    hi.. the recipe looks so good and I want to make it tonight as soon as I go home.
    But I don’t have boneless chicken, can I use bone in chicken instead?\

    Thank you 🙂

  16. T Fong says

    Yum! I can’t wait for supper! I may have to taste test it a few more times before hubby gets home! I didn’t find the kalonji, so I subbed caraway.

  17. Danielle says

    5 stars
    We loved the slight tang to this curry. I used tamarind paste to replace the amchur and ground fenugreek in place of the seeds because that’s what I had on hand.

  18. Jenita says

    5 stars
    I made this tonight for dinner. I had already made the butter chicken a few times and wanted to try soemthing new tonight. I was surprised that I had everything on hand, even the kalonji seeds!! This dish was so easy to make and was so delicious. Different taste from the regular chicken curry / masala etc but so yummy!! it has a slightly tangy taste to it and so flavorful. I would personally prefer more spice, but my american born desi kids cant handle, and so this was perfect from 6 & 2 year old.

      • Maneesha says

        5 stars
        Such a GREAT recipe! My family loved it!! I added 4 chopped serrano peppers as well, because my family likes spicy, and the dish turned out so well! Hubby gave it a two thumbs up! I love the blend of different spices! I’ll definitely this recipe again and also try it with just veggies, as a veggie alternative! Thanks again for a fabulous recipe!

          • Maneesha says

            5 stars
            Hi Ashley! Just wanted to reiterate how much my family enjoys this recipe! Every time I make it, it’s such a winner. Thank you thank you thank you! Also, your green bean thoran has been a hit, and my family prefers it to our traditional Gujarati style of making green beans haha

instant pot pour and cook chicken biryani

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