Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Rice

92 Comments

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the origin of chicken tikka masala. While it’s most commonly known as a British invention – make no mistake that the recipe I’m sharing on the blog today is an Ashley Singh original. This is instant pot chicken tikka masala rice — it has all the flavors of chicken tikka masala but in a one pot meal!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Rice – a one pot meal!

chicken tikka masala biryani? trust me on this!

If chicken tikka masala (a creamy spiced tomato chicken curry) and biryani (a flavorful rice dish) had a baby… this would be it! Think of this as chicken tikka masala biryani! I know it sounds different but trust me, every bite is so, so flavorful! It’s fun to eat too!

This recipe is really easy to make! There’s no need to marinate the chicken – you just cook everything in one pot! That means there’s less to clean, which makes me very happy. 🙂

I’ll share a version with just the curry soon for those who don’t want to try this super cool unique dish 😉 In the meantime though, I have a slow cooker chicken tikka masala curry on the blog that you can check out. I’m also working on a version using my onion masala (stay tuned!). There’s no such thing as too much chicken tikka masala, right?

Let me know if you try this! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Rice

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Rice

Chicken tikka masala, a creamy spiced tomato chicken curry, is said to be a British invention. I decided to invent a new dish by adding rice to the curry, making it a one-pot meal.
4.76 from 25 reviews
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Servings 4
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice soaked for 15-30 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 Serrano pepper or green chili minced
  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into quarters

Spices

  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • Cilantro garnish

Instructions
 

  • Soak the basmati rice in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Press the sauté button and add the oil and onions to the pot. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano pepper, stir, then add the chicken and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes or until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.
  • Add the spices, give the pot a quick stir, then add the tomato sauce and heavy cream.
  • Pour 1 cup of water and the rice into the pot and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Notes

Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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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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Comments

  1. Courtney says

    I found this recipe when looking for a quick and easy dinner. It’s AMAZING! I always have jasmine rice on hand so I subbed that for the basmati, but other than that I didn’t change anything. This is the best dinner, I share it with everyone, and my kids ask for it all the time.

  2. Smrithy says

    5 stars
    This recipe was such a hit for the whole family. My 1 year old and 3.5 year old boys were both fans and the spice level was just in the right level where I didn’t have to adjust for either the adults or children. I, like some of the others who reviewed, had a version of the burn notice which prevented my instant pot to come to pressure with this recipe but given how much the boys loved it, I plan to continue playing around with the potential solutions mentioned in the comments as this was a first and the normal deglazing didn’t help.

  3. Curious says

    5 stars
    This came out very well. I am curious now. In this recipe, you say to add water and rice, and mix well. In your chicken biryani recipe, you have the rice go on top, with no mixing. Why the difference?

    Honestly it worked out better here, with the mixing, I think. In this recipe, all the rice was good.

    Having made the biryani recipe several times, I find it can be tricky – you get some rice that’s too mushy, and some rice that’s undercooked, and some that needs fluffing. I think i’ll switch to this recipe as part of my regular rotation; it just seemed easier to get right.

    I did make a couple changes; I didn’t use coconut milk or cream, and didn’t substitute anything for it while cooking. I did stir in some yogurt as I ate it. I also didn’t stir-fry the chicken as much; I don’t like to cook chicken too long.

  4. Joy Love says

    5 stars
    Good morning, Ashley!

    I made this today and, as all your recipes I have tried, it is delicious. (Yes – still morning here so a cup for late breakfast!) Apologies are in order because I have been using your recipes for almost a year and this is my first comment. I must tell you that you are the reason I began to use my instant pot and have expanded my skill in Indian cooking! Your recipes are incredibly easy to follow and your tips are a great help. What else is there to say? Just a huge thank you from my grandson (your butter chicken is his all time favorite) and myself. Have a very lovely day.

  5. Dianna says

    Hi Ashley.

    I’m in Australia and want to know what your can of tomato sauce is. Here, it’s a thick sauce similar to your ketchup and I’m not sure that’s what I should be using. Perhaps our canned tomato soup would be equivalent? Thank you.

  6. Chelsea says

    I’m hoping to make this tonight! Have an idea to sub the chicken? Maybe quinoa… Not sure how much liquid I’d need to add. LOL this might be interesting. Thank you!

  7. Swati says

    5 stars
    Hey Ashley,

    I came here to let you know that this turned out really tasty. Both my husband and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for a great recipe!

  8. Helaine B says

    I’m hoping to make this recipe. It looks amazing. My question is that I’ve heard dairy will curdle under high pressure. Is it ok then to use heavy cream while it’s pressure cooking or add it after it’s done?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sam, I haven’t tried using drumsticks in this recipe but I’d think it’d be fine – I’d suggest removing the skin first though. Please let me know how it goes if you try 🙂

  9. Sonal says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe and so does my whole family and my non-Indian friends! It’s so easy to put together but tastes like you spent a while cooking! Chicken is tender and flavor on point. The only thing is I now get the burn notice after I cooked it the first time. I always deglaze it but somehow there’s a layer of burn when I open it to try to deglaze after it gives me the notice. Although sometimes I just let it be and it cooks in the pressure that has built up before the burn notice.

  10. Lena says

    5 stars
    I was a little skeptical for some reason but this turned out to be so darn good. Well liked by all! Thank you for the recipe!

  11. Ben says

    Since I was using brown rice, I made the rice in the rice cooker and did the rest of the recipe by itself (minus the water). I did get a burn notice but after stirring the pot and scraping whatever was on there it seemed to work.

  12. Gautam says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. Turned out to be a super hit. Even my son, who is not a fan of Indian food flavor profile, absolutely loved it.

  13. Andy Dennis says

    I wanted to make the rice separately, so I used these ingredients, but cooked it using the same instructions as the instant pot butter chicken. I didn’t have a Serrano Pepper so used a dried habanero and then sautéed some poblano peppers after the pressure cooking step. I was very pleased – it was less than authentic, but spicy and savory and delicious. Thanks!!!

  14. Jill Beaty says

    4 stars
    Got the burn notice three times total. The IP would juuuuuuuust come up to pressure, then bam! Burn notice. I added a half cup more water with the first two burn notices and scraped the bottom of the liner (it was deglazed after the saute as well). At this point the rice was almost done. By the third burn notice, still not coming up to pressure, the rice was cooked. Tasted great, but I think the amount of water is incorrect, maybe for the kind of basmati I’m using. Will try again with more water at the start.

  15. Ira says

    I kept getting the burn notice as well – I tried 3 times and added a half-cup to 1 cup water each time, but it still kept coming up. There would be burnt food at the bottom each time. After the 3rd time I just finished it off in Saute mode, but now I have a very burnt pot left to clean. I read online that the InstantPot is not really made for thick creams/sauces like tomato sauce. Is there any way you could edit the recipe since so many people are getting the burn notice? Maybe adding the tomato sauce and heavy cream at the very end after everything is cooked?

  16. Erin says

    I got the burn notice too! I have a 6 qt IP Ultra. I was afraid it might happen since tomato sauce based things have triggered it before. I made sure nothing was stuck to the bottom before I put the lid on the 1st time, but still got the notice. I took the lid off, and there were a few burnt bits, so I deglazed and added a bit more water and tried again. I got another burn notice and the pot shut itself off without coming to pressure. There was a layer of burnt stuff on the bottom. The chicken was over 165 degrees and the rice had even absorbed all the extra water, so we ate what was above the burnt layer (was good lol!) I would love to enjoy this again without the burn notice hassle and wasted burned rice at the bottom. How can I prevent this?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Erin, aw man, I’m sorry to hear that some of it was burnt! I haven’t gotten a burn sign with this recipe but I did get a burn sign while coming up with my recipe for lentil bolognese and figured out that the way to avoid any burning with that recipe was to heat the pot then swirl oil around to make sure it was well coated. Maybe that’ll help here? Please let me know if you try it again!

  17. Linda says

    I made this tonight I also received the burn food after the instant pot reached full pressure. It didnt even start to count down. The burn food came up immediately. I did a quick release and added about half a cup of water and scraped the bottom. There was burnt rice. I scraped what I could and put it on again. Once it reached pressure, same notice came up. So we took it out and it was actually cooked, so we ate it. Would the burn food be avoided if I fries the onions and chicken and ginger and garlic in a fry pan first? It was so so good but I have a very burnt pot to try and get clean now.

  18. Bonnie Schubert says

    5 stars
    Oh yeah! First use of insta pot – aboard a boat and need to simplify pots and pans! rice fluffy, chicken tender, seasoning on target – used some Kashmir chili powder as couldn’t find paprika – a few avocado slices for salad and all done! Great recipe and thank you will be trying more of your recipes for sure. Capt.Bonnie

  19. Chris says

    Hi Ashley, I love your site and have been trying some great instant pot receipes from it. I’m new to the instant pot, so I am learning. I tried your chicken tikka masala rice but unfortunately it kept sticking and I kept getting a “Food Burn” message. Had to remove it and continue cooking stove top, where it turned out fine and was delicious. But I really want to fix what I did wrong in the instant pot. I had already deglazed the pot before closing it. How can I rectify this?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Chris, if you’ve deglazed the pot well then I’m not really sure… are you using an 8 quart by any chance? All of my recipes are tested using a 6 quart. If you have more surface area, you will likely need to use more oil. Let me know if that’s the issue!

  20. grace says

    i was so excited to try this, but it’s constant burn warnings every 5 min, it’s ridiculous. i’ve added 2 extra cups of water, and it’s mush now. any suggestions to make this work? the flavor is really nice.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Grace, unfortunately I don’t think you can salvage the rice if you’ve added that much water — the chicken releases water as it cooks too… I’m also not sure why it kept giving burn warnings – was there anything stuck to the bottom of the pot? I’m sorry this gave you trouble!

  21. Sadaf says

    5 stars
    Ashley – this recipe is spot on! My favourite recipe of yours! I stir in 2 yellow potatoes (cut in quarters) just after adding the spices. I love how powdery the potatoes turn out. I also use the onion masala mixture and it brings all the flavours alive!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Sadaf, that’s so funny I was literally just telling someone I wanted to try using onion masala in this recipe – so awesome to know it turns out well! How much did you use?! Thanks for sharing – really glad you like the recipe 🙂

      • Sadaf says

        Haha! I substituted the 1 cup of tomato sauce for 1 cup of the onion tomato masala. It may be overpowering for some but I really love how all the flavours come together! I make a side of raita to balance it out. Thanks for your great recipes 🙂

  22. Aimee says

    This recipe looks delicious as is and I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering if you could use lamb and brown rice for this recipe, cooking for 22 min- as you do in your biyrani recipe?

  23. Andrew Fletcher says

    5 stars
    I was curious to try making Indian food, but it always seemed like it would be too complicated for me. Your book “Indian Food Under Pressure” was what got me to get an instant pot since it made it look more approachable. That was back in the end of 2017 and this was the first recipe I made because I liked how it was all in one with the rice included. It has since become one of my go to recipes and every person I have made it for loves it, even friends that had never had Indian food before! I honestly find it fun to make and I love how you close the lid on a soupy concoction but when you open it up it looks just like the pictures.

    As an aside Ashley, I don’t know if you remember me from way back when Rishi and I were always hanging out as kids, but I’m glad you both are doing so well. I actually found out about your website / cook book from a post Rishi made on Facebook about it.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Andrew! Oh my goodness I just sent Rishi a text saying you won’t believe who just left me a comment on the blog! I said “your best friend from childhood” and he immediately guessed you! So happy to hear from you – and so sweet of you to leave such a nice comment! I’m so happy to hear that you like this recipe so much 🙂 Hope you and your family are doing well!

  24. Kelly says

    Hello! I would LOVE to try this recipe, but do not have an instant pot. What would you recommend I do to convert it to a regular stove top recipe? I imagine I would do all of the inital steps in a saute pan, then when it comes to the rice portion, just need to adjust liquid portions + simmer time?

  25. Ann says

    5 stars
    Made this recipe w the exact ingredients listed and added an extra Serrano (eyeballed the spices). It was deliciously spicy and my family loved it! Turned out a little more “wet” than a pulao or biriyani which was fine by us . Thank you for a great recipe!

  26. Tom says

    Can I make this with chicken breasts instead of thighs? What adjustments would I need to make? Excited about trying this tonight… it combines two of our family’s favorite recipes from My Heart Beets!

  27. Tom says

    Can chicken breasts be used in this recipe? What adjustments would you recommend making? Can’t wait to try this tonight… my kids and wife love your chicken biryani and tikka masala, so this dish has us very excited!

    • My Heart Beets says

      I haven’t tried with chicken breast but I think it’ll be fine – the chicken might be a little drier than the thighs but you can’t really avoid that since the rice needs time to cook. You can try reducing the cook time to 5 minutes with a 5 min release time and the rice should still be cooked through. Let me know how this goes!

  28. Joe says

    Found another recipe linked from a Facebook group and have found this and several other interesting recipes I want to try. Was printing out one to shop for tonight.
    Problem? Normally a “Print” option strips things down but the ones here are often still 3 or 4 pages with multiple sponsored videos (which aren’t going to do much in a printed version) and big bands of ink wasting colour at the bottom. They’d only be a page or two if cleaned up.

  29. Anju says

    Could you make this with long grain American brown basmati rice? If so, how would that change the cook time?

  30. Noreen Haque-Colombe says

    4 stars
    Hello,

    I love your recipes! Thank you for all of your work. I doubled this recipe and the flavor is good but the rice is more risotto varicella texture. What did I miss?

  31. Lynn D'Al says

    We loved this for dinner last night. It will go into our rotation of favorites. I did sneak a few cashews (from your biryani recipe) into it. 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Avni! I’ve only tried this with basmati rice so I can’t say how it’d turn out with another type of rice. I did have a reader tell me she subbed quinoa and it worked well for her – I know that’s not rice though… If you try another type of rice please let me know how it goes 🙂

  32. BPS says

    Long time reader, first time poster. Have made so many of your great IP recipes. Chicken Pulao is a favorite, and this was another fantastic one, and will absolutely make it again!

    I had a small can of tomato sauce, so used that with a few fresh tomatoes I blended, bell pepper instead of Serrano, and and added some finely diced zucchini and summer squash to amp up the veggies. I also hit it with lots of fresh lemon as well as cilantro at the end. SO SO GOOD!!!!! My toddler also loved this – I think the sauciness of the tomatoes maybe makes it more fun to eat for him vs. the regular chicken pulao.

    Please keep your awesome recipes coming!

    • My Heart Beets says

      I’m so happy to hear that!! Thank you for letting me know how this dish turned out for you and your family! There’s nothing I love more than hearing that a toddler loved one of my recipes lol! 🙂

  33. Robert says

    Hi Ashley,

    The recipe looks great. Question: can your BEYOND AWESOME Butter Chicken recipe be adapted for
    this?

    Thanks!

    Robert

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks Robert 🙂 I haven’t tried this using my butter chicken recipe but I’m sure it would work with a few modifications! Just looking at the butter chicken recipe, I’d reduce the tomato sauce to 1 cup instead of 1 can and reduce the heavy cream to 1/4 cup as well – then just add rice and water. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  34. Maneesha says

    Oh my goodness! Chicken tikka masala and rice and ONE POT MEAL? Yes please! Can’t wait to try this, Ashley!

  35. Miriam says

    I love your recipes SO MUCH! But every time I cook your biryani recipes (this one included), I get the dreaded burn message, even when I add extra water. Should I give up? What am I doing wrong?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Miriam, thank you! Let’s see if I can help troubleshoot! Do you add all of the spices in at once? Maybe you can also try adding a little more oil? When does the burn error show up for you? I’ve heard that for some people even if the burn error shows up that the food turns out fine and isn’t burnt at the bottom – is that the case for you or is it actually burning?

      • G says

        I’m having the same problem! The cooker doesn’t even pressure up before you get the burn notice. I added extra water, and made sure the bottom of the pot was clean before putting the lid on to set it to pressure cook. I’ve got a layer of burned stuck on food and neither the rice, nor the chicken is cooked.

        • Bill says

          I used to get that with thicker recipies like curries. I get around that by preheating the food with the low/med saute setting so i can keep stirring it. Once it just begins to simmer I put on the lid and switch to the pressure cook setting

          • Vandana says

            I tried this recipe today n I got a burn error too. Is it because we add cream while pressure cooking and not in the end like the usual recipes ?

    • Lynn D'Al says

      If your IP is prone to the burn notice, I recommend using a little bit of the water for the rice to deglaze the pan before you add in the tomato sauce and cream. Make sure the pan bottom in clear. Then proceed. 🙂 That’s usually the difference for me.

    • Paul says

      Same issue, burn error with biriyani recipes. And I have the 3 qrt Instant Pot. If we add more water, then the rice is overcooked.

    • Payal says

      3 stars
      I just tried this tonight and also saw the burn error for the first time while using my Instant Pot. I added more water and eventually just gave up when I saw the message again. Everything appears to be cooked, just the rice is a bit mushy and some burned bits on the bottom. Good flavors but just not sure what happened with the execution, and it sounds like I’m not alone. I even mixed everything together before turning on the pressure cooker function to ensure nothing was on the bottom.

  36. Sharon says

    I think I might make this for a potluck this weekend… if I double the recipe, should I also double the water? Normally I would, but sometimes the water ratio gets tricky with IP recipes… (I have a Duo Plus 6-qt IP)

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sharon, I haven’t tried doubling this recipe but typically I suggest doubling all of the ingredients but keeping the cook time the same. Please let me know how it goes! 🙂

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