Instant Pot Chicken Patiala


instant pot chicken patiala

While not quite as popular as Chicken Korma or Butter Chicken, this creamy and spicy Punjabi chicken curry is definitely in their same league. Chicken Patiala is just as rich and decadent.

instant pot chicken patiala

In fact, I’m a bit torn about sharing this recipe for Chicken Patiala with you. Because it’s going to become your new favorite chicken curry, and that’s a little bittersweet for me because your previous favorite curry was probably also one from my blog, right? (feel free to ๐Ÿ™„at me and my jokes ๐Ÿ™ˆ).

instant pot chicken patiala

“Omg my family is raving about this chicken patiala recipe, they absolutely loved it (my dad usually eats a naan for a meal but he literally couldnโ€™t stop eating and ate a whole additional naan for dinner!!). Excellent recipe and I followed it all the way. Thank you!!”


What is Chicken Patiala?

Patiala is a well-known city in Punjab with a reputation for excess. Famous for many things, including bright and colorful attire (think large, loose, pleated salwars/pants and embellished multicolored juttis/shoes), paranda (decorative tassels to attach to braided hair), and the Patiala peg, which is equivalent to nearly a triple shot of whiskey.

Chicken Patiala is made with that same sort of excess in mind.

Chicken Patiala is rich and creamy and nutty. My recipe is made with pre-made onion masala, a blend of flavorful spices, and a combination of yogurt, cream, and ground cashews. This dish is known for its use of cashews – an ingredient you can’t skip.

My recipe makes this “excessive” and lavish dish much more approachable, thanks to my pre-made onion masala.

Unless you are Punjabi or often frequent Punjabi restaurants, chances are you haven’t heard of this curry. I’m not sure why it’s not as popular as butter chicken or korma because it’s just as good if not better. And for those who are somewhat tired of eating the same common curries, Chicken Patiala is a nice change of pace.

I like to add large chunks of onion to the curry at the end; I stir-fry them a bit, under tender but still crisp. I love the texture they add to the curry. If you’ve tried my chicken bhuna, then you understand.

I also like to garnish Chicken Patiala with thin strips of ginger, chopped green chilies, and cilantro (always). These three ingredients are more a necessary topping than a garnish because the flavor and texture they add really matter.

Watch how easy it is to make Chicken Patiala!

(for the full recipe, see the recipe card below ๐Ÿ˜‹)

Sizzle whole spices in hot oil!

Add some garlic, ginger and green chili too:

Then we add chicken and ground spices and mix, mix, mix.

Stir in yogurt and frozen onion masala and pressure cook!

Look at that sauce! Now let’s add a bit of heavy cream, some cashew powder, onion and dried fenugreek leaves. Patiala perfection. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿฝ

Enjoy this Chicken Patiala with Basmati Rice, Jeera Rice, or roti. I hope you love this recipe. Come back and tell me what you think!

instant pot chicken patiala

Instant Pot Chicken Patiala

instant pot chicken patiala

Instant Pot Chicken Patiala

4.98 from 35 reviews
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  • 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs quartered
  • ยผ cup oil

Whole Spices

Ground Spices

Add later:

  • 1 onion cut into chunks
  • ยผ cup finely ground cashew powder
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon kasoori methi dried fenugreek leaves


  • 1 inch ginger julienned (cut into thin long strips)
  • 1 โ€“2 green chilies chopped, to taste
  • Cilantro


  • Press sautรฉ and once the pot is hot, add oil and whole spices. Once the cumin seeds brown, add ginger, garlic and green chili, stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add the chicken and ground spices and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add yogurt, mix well, then add the onion masala.
  • Secure lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Press the sautรฉ button and add the remaining ingredients listed under โ€œadd laterโ€ and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are slightly tender.
  • Top with julienned ginger, chopped green chilies and cilantro.


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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, Iโ€™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 youโ€™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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Recipe Rating


  1. Sophie says

    5 stars
    Delicious. Great if you went a little bit overboard on stocking up on tomato onion masala… I used ground almonds, but will make sure to have cashews next time.

  2. Shilpi says

    Omg my family is raving about this chicken patiala recipe, they absolutely loved it(my dad usually eats a naan for a meal but he literally couldnโ€™t stop eating and ate a whole additional naan for dinner!!). Excellent recipe and I followed it all the way. Thank you!!

  3. Breeanna says

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe, even though I forgot to put the cashew powder in (next time!). But the taste was great, it’s nice to have a chicken curry that is a bit different, but still familiar, if you know what I mean.

  4. Rajinder Nagi says

    Hi Ashley, I made Patiala chicken curry and it turned out yum.
    Thanks for a yummy recipe ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. Alasdair says

    5 stars
    I made this with your Nomato onion masala for a friend with a nightshade allergy. Had to leave out green chili, cayenne and paprika, but it’s delicious as is. I’ll look forward to trying it again with all the “proper” ingredients some other time.

  6. Ken Lutz says

    5 stars
    Why do we need an Instant Pot she said. I have made a few batches of onion masala and cooked this last night. Didn’t have yoghurt so used sour cream. Onions were a great addition and sauteed them while the pot was cooking. It was amazing and the comment made was ” I would order this if we were in a restaurant”. New Years resolution is to work my way through all the keto friendly recipes!

  7. Anvay says

    Hello Ashley,
    I wish to prepare Chicken Patiala but I donโ€™t have i Orion tomato masala ready..I want to prepare onion tomato masala just for this recipe.Whats the proportion of onion to tomato I should use for masala just for this recipe? Thanks

  8. Julie says

    If I just wanted to make the sauce without chicken, would I have to add additional water to make up for the lack of moisture from the chicken?

  9. Christine says

    I just made the onion masala and can’t wait to use it. Hi! I’m so excited to try this recipe. Is it possible to substitute ground spices?

  10. Jatinder says

    Patiala, my home town, but I missed this recipe while I lived there. Looks like a great recipe, will try it this weekend and report. Thanks.

  11. Jo says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,made your recipe and it was absolutely delicious! My husband loved it and it is now in my ‘Must Do Again’ recipe folder. I did not have onion paste already, so had to change the method to fit my requirements, however, with onions currently very cheap I will be making some as it seems a quick and easy way to add the required flavour. Thanks very much for your generosity in sharing your recipes. Warm regards.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Jo, I’m so glad it made it to your recipe folder ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for letting me know how much you and your husband enjoyed it! Let me know what you think of the onion masala ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Tara says

    5 stars
    This was delicious!! This was actually the first thing I made from your website and it was absolutely perfect with the jeera rice. My husband loved it too!! Will definitely make it again!!

  13. Priya says

    5 stars
    This turned out amazing!!!! You are such an amazing chef. I’ve tried so many of your recipes and love them all.

  14. Julie says

    5 stars
    I made this for later and let it cool in a dish. When I came back later and tasted it, it was so good I exclaimed out loud; it was that good.
    And I donโ€™t even have the chili ginger cilantro topping. Next time. Youโ€™re right, this will be a new favorite!

  15. Dalbir says

    Hi Ashley – really wanting to make this recipe, but I only have almond flour (not almonds) – would that work as substitute?

  16. Siri says

    Hi Ashley,
    I tried your instant pot chicken recipes. All came out awesome. Today I did chicken patiala and It was a big hit. My son is very picky eater usually he eats plain rotis. Today he had 3 rotis with this curry and wanted more. But the curry is done. I promised him will make it again. Thanks again for your efforts in making food so deliciously and making so many moms lives wonderful.
    I am searching for no onion garlic veg recipes since I donโ€™t eat as a part of my spiritual regime. Will search in your website. . If you donโ€™t mind can you please add that category. Thanks again

    • My Heart Beets says

      Siri, wow – that’s so great to hear! I’m really glad your son liked this so much ๐Ÿ™‚ I will work on adding that category to my main recipe index, thanks for asking!

  17. Melissa says

    5 stars
    This is the best thing I have made in my instant pot, Ashley! Thank you for the recipe! I served it with your lemon rice (which I am now officially obsessed with), homemade raita and naan. I was blown away at how flavorful and decadent it was. You’re right that the chilis/ginger/cilantro topping really elevates it. One thing I did differently was to brown the chunky onion pieces in ghee for a few mins and set aside before cooking the rest and then adding back in later. I like a little caramelization on my onions and I think it gave the finished product a little punch of flavor too.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Melissa! Thanks for leaving me this review (and the one for the lemon rice) – I’m really glad you’re liking my recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ Love that you saved some caramelized onions for later – yum!

  18. Aditi says

    I want to make it but dont have frozen masala, can I make fresh and add? Would it change snyt5in cooking times or taste?

  19. Kumar says

    I am a big fan of your recipes. My daughter is allergic to nuts including cashews. What can I use to replace cashews. I s as m a Punjabi and it is very important for my daughter to try Punjabi style Patiala chicken. Please suggest an alternate.

    Thank you

  20. Sukhi says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    Great recipe. I used chicken breast cut into chunks and it turned out just fine. My teenage son actually liked it and there isnโ€™t a lot he does like.


  21. Ali says

    5 stars
    This is so delicious. Normally when I batch cook I freeze the rest of the portions but this was so good Iโ€™m having it again tonight. Love your recipes!

  22. Seema says

    Hi ,
    Can I ask why do we need to add more ginger garlic paste n certain spices that are already part of your onion masala. If that’s the case then why do we need to add the onion masala ( in what way is the onion masala) making the process simpler?

    Sorry if it’s a bit blunt, but just wanted to know the logic. I was thinking of including only the whole spices, then the ground spices that are not already in the onion masala and do the rest of the steps. Your thoughts please. Thnx!

  23. Zhenya says

    5 stars
    I made it using 3 lbs bone-in skinless chicken thighs in Dutch oven, and, OMG, it came out amazing! I make a lot of your chicken recipes, I think I tried most of them at least once, and we love them all, but this one was my absolute favorite! I thought it was better than anything I have had at Indian restaurants! Thank you, Ashley!

  24. Toni Khan says

    5 stars
    My Pakistani mother and father in law were so impressed when I made this dish for my family! I love that I found your blog! I’ve always wanted to use my instant pot for Indian and Pakistani cooking but was scared it would not turn out right. Your recipes are life savers and delicious! Plus my husband is excited that I’m adding some new recipes to the rotation.

  25. SR says

    5 stars
    This recipe turned out very well, thank you! I toned down the spice for my toddler and only added the heavy cream for his portion. I added more spice for ours and skipped the heavy cream and it was very yummy. Will def. be making this again.

  26. Jenita says

    4 stars
    I made this yesterday for dinner. What a fantatic recipe. My hubby & kids loved it as well. I could have gone up a little more on the spice, but then my kids wouldnt eat it. This was was perfect and so easy to make and so creamy… Another winner, Ashley!

  27. Salsabeel Khan says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley. I discovered your blog a few months ago while looking for a gajar ka halwa recipe. I’ve been making Pakistani/Indian food for over two decades, but your instant pot recipes & tomato masala have made cooking so much quicker (and more enjoyable).
    I haven’t commented until now, but today I made your chicken patiala recipe for the first time & all four of my kids couldn’t stop complimenting it.
    P.S. I also used the tomato masala to make aloo palak & the kids loved that too.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Salsabeel, I’m so happy to hear that your four kids enjoyed this recipe!! I’m so glad you found my blog! Thank you for leaving a comment – this made my day ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know what you and your kids think of any other recipes you try!

  28. Maneesha says

    5 stars
    AWESOME RECIPE!! I made this for Superbowl , and it was a hit! I used cashew yogurt and omitted the heavy cream, and it turned out great! Thanks for a slam dunk recipe! Winner!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hey Maneesha, I’m so happy to hear that, thank you for letting me know how it turned out! Great to know about this dairy-free version – I’ll be sure to try using cashew yogurt – yum!

  29. Viraj Master says

    Hello, I am very excited to make this recipe, Ashley. I have made many of your other recipes, and they turned out great.

    Quick question: Are the cashews raw, or toasted, before I grind them.

    Thank you!

  30. Cathy says

    5 stars
    Oh Ashley, you’ve done it again! I tried this the other day, what an excellent dish! I think its the first recipe I tried using the yogurt in the IP, and with the cashews and the spices …. wow what flavour it had! I did use chicken breasts rather than thighs, it came out fine. This is right up there with your chicken curry…but honestly how can I pick a favorite recipe, I make so many from your site! They are all so good! Thanks again.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Cathy! That’s so great to hear ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for letting me know how the chicken patiala turned out for you – good to know about chicken breasts! And I’m really glad you can’t pick a favorite recipe – correct answer lol!

  31. Jiti Gill says

    Hi Ashley. Love your recipes so much that I’ve bought 6 copies of your cookbook for my friends and family! I have one question about your chicken recipes — how do I adjust the recipe for chicken breast instead of chicken thigh? Not a fan of dark meat. Thanks for your amazing recipes.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Jiti, wow, thank you so much for the support! I really appreciate it! I haven’t tried this with chicken breast but I think you can likely keep the same cook time for this recipe. I would also add a quarter cup of water since chicken breast doesn’t release as much liquid as chicken thighs. The thing with chicken breast is that it can sometimes become tough under pressure whereas chicken thighs are much more forgiving. I have several more chicken thigh recipes ready to post on the blog but after I share those, I’ll be sure to start developing recipes using chicken breast – I know I’m lacking in that area. Let me know how this goes with breast meat if you give it a try!

  32. Nicole says

    Hi Ashley, I love your recipes! Thank you for sharing so many of them. I also bought one of your cookbooks ๐Ÿ™‚ Can I use coconut yogurt instead of dairy yogurt without compromising the taste?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Nicole! So I attempted a dairy-free version where I skipped the yogurt and heavy cream and used full fat coconut milk instead and it didn’t taste the same/as good. But I actually think coconut yogurt will work well as a sub for regular yogurt – do you plan to skip the heavy cream though? Please let me know how it goes if you try! Now I’m really tempted to try using coconut yogurt!

      • Nicole says

        EEEK. I didn’t notice the heavy cream in there. Sadly I won’t try this one. But I love all of your other Paleo recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Julia says

        Honestly, if you use enough cashews and add yoghurt, you will not miss cream. I almost always skip cream in recipes and maybe add extra nuts or yoghurt (I tend to use full fat greek since it is almost like cream). Cashews are a great substitute to cream in recipes as they don’t add extra flavor like coconut cream and milk, so you could even skip yoghurt and cream both.

  33. rara_ya says

    I’ve never cooked with cashew before – can you buy it ground, and if not, what’s the best way to prepare it?

      • Linda says

        5 stars
        Hello Ashley,

        Your recipes were the first Indian recipes I cooked that really have great flavor. I have thrown out at least six Indian cook books, none of them are worth the paper they were printed on and most of the dishes tasted like paper. And once again this recipe of yours hits it out of the ball park. My husband even enjoys your meatless recipes. Big winner!

        The Onion Masala makes week night meals much faster with fewer ingredients . Now that it is summer I am stocking the freezer with Onion Masala from the tomatoes out of my garden.

        As for grinding spices, nuts, and making garlic and ginger paste I use the old “Magic Bullet” for just about everything. It is easy to get out and put away, easy to clean and 99.9% of the time it is just the right size.

        • My Heart Beets says

          Linda, I’m so glad you and your husband like my recipes so much! Thank you so much for sharing this with me ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to hear what you think of other recipes you try!

  34. Deepika Pandit says

    Hi Ashley, I have tried your Veg Kurma for potluck and it was a super hit!! Thanks for such Awesome Recipies

    So in Patiala Chicken, can we replace chicken with Veggies? As I am a vegetarian

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Deepika! That’s so great to hear ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure you can use veggies – you’ll likely want to adjust the cook time though. Please let me know how it goes if you try!

  35. Lizzy says

    Hi Ashley the Ginger Paste & Garlic Paste you mention in the recipe is this just the fresh Ginger & Garlic minced up or is there a particular brand etc, living in Australia and would love to give this recipe a go it sounds lovely.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Lizzy, it’s just blended ginger and garlic that I keep separately but you can use minced instead if that’s easier ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to hear what you think of this – let me know!

  36. Meerasmom says

    Hi Ashley, I have been a fan of your recipes for so many years! Quick question, if I don’t have onion masala cubes ready to go, what fresh ingredients can I substitute?

  37. Claire says

    5 stars
    Awesome recipe! Came together so easily. I toned the heat down a little for my four year old and she thought it was great!

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