Instant Pot Kali Mirch Chicken Curry


Kali mirch chicken curry is a pour and cook recipe made by simmering chicken thighs in a spiced yogurt sauce.

instant pot Kali Mirch Chicken (Indian black pepper chicken curry)

The Easiest Black Pepper Chicken

We’re tossing chicken thighs and a spiced yogurt sauce in an instant pot, pressing the start button, and calling it a day. These crazy times call for low-maintenance, fuss-free recipes. Thankfully this murgh kali mirch (black pepper chicken curry) is as simple as it gets.

This quarantine is physically and mentally exhausting. Figuring out what to cook is in itself stressful, especially when you have a million other things on your mind.

I think a lot of us want good food and we don’t want to spend a lot of time making it. In fact, it’d be nice if a meal just cooked itself. Is that too much to ask?

I’m here for you with a dish that requires very little effort. You just need to blend a few things together to make a sauce and then sit back and wait while the instant pot cooks dinner for you.

“Ashley, yet another amazing recipe from you! This was so easy and quick and delicious! Every single recipe of yours that I have tried has turned out so well. Thank you for all the effort you put into creating and testing these recipes and for so kindly sharing them with us. Absolutely love your work!”

instant pot Kali Mirch Chicken (Indian black pepper chicken curry)

Kali mirch means black pepper and since that’s a featured ingredient in this dish, you’ll want to use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor. While in normal (pre-covid19) circumstances, I’d tell you to wait to make this until you can get your hands on black peppercorns – given what’s going on, I actually think this will still be pretty good even with regular black pepper.

The other ingredients you’ll need are chicken thighs, yogurt and a few spices.

If you want to put in a bit more effort, you can stir some cashew flour into the curry after it’s done cooking. This makes the dish a little nuttier, creamier and thicker. My husband prefers this dish with cashew flour but I think it’s great either way, so if you’re nut-free, no worries.

You might wonder whether you can add cashews directly to the blender while making the sauce (the way I’ve done in previous recipes – my Green Chicken Masala, for example) but the answer is no – I’ve tried a few times and have gotten the dreaded burn sign. Rather than adding more water to the recipe/blender, I think this dish turns out best if you stir ground nuts in at the end.

You can serve this chicken curry over plain Basmati Rice or Jeera Rice or Pea Pulao.

instant pot Kali Mirch Chicken (Indian black pepper chicken curry)

I’ll be sharing more simple pour and cook recipes over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a few more ideas, try:

instant pot Kali Mirch Chicken (Indian black pepper chicken curry)

Instant Pot Kali Mirch Chicken Curry

instant pot Kali Mirch Chicken (Indian black pepper chicken curry)

Instant Pot Kali Mirch Chicken Curry

4.84 from 18 reviews
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Servings 4
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs

Black Pepper Sauce:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tablespoon kasoori methi
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala


  • 2 tablespoons cashew flour optional


  • Blend the ingredients listed under “black pepper sauce” and pour this over the chicken thighs. Mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. 
  • Naturally release pressure or wait 10 minutes then release pressure.
  • You can either shred the chicken right in the pot or use kitchen shears/scissors to cut the chicken into cubes.
  • Optional step: Press the sauté button, add cashew flour to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Garnish with additional black pepper and serve.


  • *Adding cashew flour will make the sauce a bit nuttier, creamier and thicker.
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instant pot Kali Mirch Chicken (Indian black pepper chicken curry)

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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. Amara says

    4 stars
    Tasted great, mild but bright. Unfortunately my sauce (normal fat) split in the instant pot. I used almond flour and cornstarch to thicken the sauce as I didn’t have cashew flour.

  2. Kate says

    5 stars
    This sauce is so good (definitely add the cashew powder). I added in a pound of potatoes to stretch this meal, and I wish I had made 1.5 times the marinade so there would have been more to soak up with the naan!

  3. Kanika says

    5 stars
    Thank you Ashley for posting such a flavourful and easy recipe.

    My 2.5 year old is not a chicken fan but he relished this dish and kept asking for more☺️
    So it says it all!!!

    I love to try your recipes. Once again Thank you for all your efforts that you put in to make our lives easy🙏

  4. Sweta says

    Thank you for the wonderful and easy recipe. I didn’t have much time and also didn’t have raw chicken, so cooked this recipe with grilled chicken. I I have put 1 and 1/2 cup of water (next time I will be more careful) to make the black pepper sauce but it made my sauce so watery. I made it thick by putting cashew nut paste and sauté it for 5 minutes.

  5. Afreen says

    5 stars
    This was such a simple and wholesome meal! I didn’t have cashew flour so I added some cashew butter into the black pepper sauce. I also added frozen spinach into the IP (need to up our veggie intake and I didn’t want to make a separate side dish) and it was the perfect Friday night meal. Thanks for another great recipe, Ashley!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Rohita, I haven’t tested this with chicken breast but if you try, I’d add some oil to it – chicken breast is lean and I think the fat from the thighs helps keep the bottom from burning. You could also try adding a bit of water to this. If you experiment, please let me know how it goes!

  6. Julie says

    Can’t wait to try this. If I wanted to make the sauce only, do you think I should add water to account for the juice the chicken would normally release?

  7. Raghavi says

    5 stars
    Ashley, yet another amazing recipe from you! This was so easy and quick and delicious! Every single recipe of yours that I have tried has turned out so well. Thank you for all the effort you put into creating and testing these recipes and for so kindly sharing them with us. Absolutely love your work!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Ritika, I haven’t tried that for this recipe, but in the past when I’ve tried using cashew butter in place of flour in other recipes, the flavor hasn’t been the same. If you try though, please let us know what you think!

    • Tom says

      Didn’t have cashew flour but I thickened with began flour, but a little bit less than the cashew flour. Tastes delicious but not sure how it compares.

      Love your website by the way. I’ve been cooking up a storm throughout the pandemic based on your recipes.

  8. Ketki says

    I’m dairy free (a breastfeeding requirement for my lo :-‘()… Any substitute for yogurt? I miss my yogurt so much!

  9. Lynn says

    5 stars
    We loved this recipe! The flavor is amazing. I have made it twice now. My Greek yogurt is very thick, so I upped the water the second time around. I also threw in a handful of shredded cabbage just before I added the cashew flour at the end which added some nice crunch and tasted great with the sauce. (I like to sneak veggies into things when I can.) This will go into our rotation. Thanks again.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Lynn, that’s so great to hear! Thanks for letting me know how much you like this recipe 🙂 Also, I love the idea of adding cabbage – sounds like a great way to add texture. I’m going to try that the next time I make this!

  10. Maneesha says

    5 stars
    Another amazing recipe, Ashley! Loved it! I really enjoyed the yogurt sauce and the black pepper – it truly added a unique flavor! Thanks so much! I’ve shared your recipe with friends and family so that they too can enjoy this great dish!

  11. Manal says

    5 stars
    You have no idea what kind of a blessing you are by sharing such easy but insanely delicious desi recipes with a busy desi girl like me! This chicken kills, it’s so flavorful. I’m slowly making my way through all your recipes. Can’t wait to try them all!

  12. Karan says

    5 stars
    Ohhh god !!!! Mind blowing… blew my socks off… really authentic flavour….. and the tender meat in the pot completes the trick. This does tickle the taste buds to perfection..

  13. Laura says

    This looks great! Im wondering if I could use greek yoghurt, as that is what I have. Do you think any adjustments would need to be made? Thank you! We LOVE all of your recipes!

  14. Kim says

    5 stars
    I made this and actually cooked the rice as well in the instant pot at the same time. The timing worked out perfectly. I added a pyrex glass bowl with one cup of white jasmin rice and one cup of water. It was very tasty, and the spice got my heart beeting!

    The yogurt sauce before cooking was delicious too! I am wondering if I could use it as a dip or sauce by itself. Any ideas?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Kim, I’m so glad you liked this! Great to know that you made rice with it at the same time! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out for you 🙂 And yes, you can certainly make this into a yogurt sauce – it’s similar to raita which is what I typically I serve with Indian food, though my sauce is much simpler – just mix yogurt, water, salt and roasted cumin powder together 🙂 I’ll sometimes add a veggie too – usually shredded cucumber or sometimes beets for beet raita.

  15. Vidya says

    4 stars
    Can I substitute paneer in this dish? But then should I add the paneer at the start instead of the chicken? What else can I substitute in a vegetarian Verizon of this?

      • Vidya Angeri says

        5 stars
        I made it with cauliflower instead of chicken. Turned out pretty good. I cannot really compare it to the chicken version because I have never had chicken. Used the exact same recipe, but cut the cooking time to 3 minutes instead of 5.

  16. Asha says

    This looks so yummy! Was looking at what to cook in the morning and I think I’ve found my answer! Can I use dried cilantro or something else as a substitute for kasoori methi, or is the methi not substitutable?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Asha! Kasoori methi is hard to substitute but I think this will still be good even without it – you can garnish with cilantro or add some to the blender – it won’t quite replicate the flavor though. Let me know what you think if you make this!

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