Instant Pot Murgh Badami (Almond Chicken Curry)

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A creamy, nutty, decadent almond chicken curry that requires nothing more than blending a few ingredients together and pressing the “start” button on an instant pot.

murgh badami (almond chicken curry)

I know on paper, this recipe for Chicken Badami (Chicken with Almonds) seems nuts. And I’m not just saying that due to the almonds. It’s because I’ve basically reduced what’s meant to be a time-consuming, royal dish into a simple, pour and cook recipe. You’re probably thinking I am a badam (an almond, like a nut… get it? yeah, my jokes are terrible and usually require an explanation, but I can’t help but tell them anyway 😂).

Maybe I am a little nutty. Because I wholeheartedly believe that Indian food is (or at least it can be) really easy to cook. Who says we have to spend half the day in the kitchen to enjoy a proper homemade Indian meal? Why can’t we blend a bunch of stuff together and then have a machine cook our food? This is 2020. Anything is possible (I mean that quite literally… have you seen the news lately?).

murgh badami (almond chicken curry)

Murgh Badami is a mildly spiced, indulgent curry made with yogurt, almond flour, garlic, ginger, and fragrant spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  

You might think that a Mughlai dish is something to save for a special occasion. After all, dishes like this were originally invented and intended for royalty during the Mughal empire.

Well, it’s true that this dish is good enough to serve the royal guests in your life but it’s also easy enough to make on a busy weeknight. It’s a curry that’ll taste as though you spent all day cooking it when really, you’ll only need 5 minutes of hands-on time.

murgh badami (almond chicken curry)

Several years ago, I shared a stovetop recipe for murgh badami in an ebook. Before coming up with this instant pot version, I thought about just re-sharing my old recipe here on the blog (because it’s a good one) but I couldn’t get myself to make and re-photograph that particular stovetop recipe (and trust me, it needed new photos). Why? Because the instant pot has ruined me. The idea of having to exert a reasonable amount of effort in order to produce a chicken curry on the stovetop now seems overwhelming/exhausting.

I’d much rather blend a bunch of ingredients together, toss ’em in the instant pot and do nothing while I wait for the pressure cooker to cook my dinner for me. And by “do nothing,” I mean to do more pressing things, like peeling tiny dinosaur stickers off of my kitchen cabinets (courtesy of my thoughtful three-year-old). 🦖

murgh badami (almond chicken curry)

Top this almond chicken curry with crunchy sliced (or slivered) almonds before serving. Yes, they’ll make the dish pretty, but more importantly, they’ll add necessary crunch. Serve this with plain basmati rice or an Indian flatbread, and eat like a king whenever you want. 👑

Instant Pot Murgh Badami (Almond Chicken Curry)

murgh badami (almond chicken curry)

Instant Pot Murgh Badami (Almond Chicken Curry)

4.67 from 9 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt whole milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2- inch knob ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice half a lemon

Spices

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or Kashmiri chili powder mild
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground if possible cardamom powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne to taste, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Add Later:

  • ½ cup almond flour
  • Sliced or slivered almonds to taste
  • Cilantro garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender (except for the chicken and those listed under "add later") and blend until smooth. Pour this over the raw chicken and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Press sauté, add the almond flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • You can either shred the chicken right in the pot or use kitchen shears/scissors to cut the chicken into cubes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and sliced/slivered almonds (don't omit, they add crunch!).
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 Green says

    I didn’t have almond flour so I omitted it. Still tasted very good. I love how simple & fast this recipe is! Thank you so much Ashley!

  2. Shira says

    This recipe looks amazing, Ashley. Thanks for sharing. Any ideas about how to make this paleo? Maybe a coconut based yogurt? Coconut milk?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Shira! I haven’t tested this with dairy-free yogurt or with coconut milk (I’d use the cream on top of a refrigerated can) but I’m sure either of those options will work. Let me know how it goes if you try!

  3. chandni says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley!

    I simply love this dish. However, my husband is vegetarian. If I want to make the same dish and just replace chicken with paneer , what changes do I need to make in the recipe? Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Chandni, I haven’t tried a vegetarian version of this so I’m not sure – but I think I would probably make a version with vegetables, pressure cook them with a reduced cook time (maybe 3 mins if using potatoes), and then stir in paneer at the end and just cook until heated through. Let me know what you decide to do!

  4. Deepshikha says

    5 stars
    Hi, which onions do you recommend for this recipe? Yellow, white, pink?
    Also what can be a substitute for serrano pepper and cayenne pepper, are they essential for the taste?

  5. Tazmania says

    Hello- This looks good and looking forward to making it tonight. I’m a new IP user so was wondering how to adjust this for whole cut up chicken. Would sauteeing the chicken pieces first with ginger and garlic in oil work before adding the the blended ingredients? Also how do you adjust cook times for whole cut up chicken?

  6. Jayesh says

    I love how this recipe reads. am trying this recipe right now. 1.5 cups of liquid seems way too low for a 6 qt ip. Do you make your recipes on a smaller IP. That could be one reason why people are getting burn notice? I have put nearly 1+ cup of water. I can always boil it off after adding the almond flour

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Jayesh! I use a 6 qt to test all of the recipes on my blog. I’m not sure why some people get the burn notice – it could be they’re using breasts instead of thighs which have more fat to them or maybe they’re using greek yogurt which has less water? I’ve tested this several times (as I do all recipes) and haven’t had this issue but I have heard that some newer pots run hotter, so I’m just not sure. If you try, let me know how it goes!

  7. Jennifer Jordan says

    Hi Ashley, Could you please tell me what kind of yogurt this recipe needs? I usually have fat free Greek yogurt around, but do I need to use a yogurt with more fat? Thanks. 🙂

  8. Pooja says

    3 stars
    For starters I’m going to say, I love your website and it’s been my go to ever since I bought an instant pot, which was only a couple of months ago.
    Thus far all the recipes I have tried have been huge successes with my family.
    For this one, and maybe I did something wrong, the BURN sign showed up on the IP a couple minutes after preheating was complete. I had to undo the lid and scrape out the bottom and had no idea how to proceed from there (new user error!)
    May be a good idea to add a note at the bottom on how to handle if this happens and include a write up on the workaround.
    Thank you

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Pooja, aw man, that’s a bummer! Just a couple questions to help troubleshoot – did you use chicken breast instead of thighs by any chance? Did the pot seem to seal properly? Any other substitutions or changes? Hopefully, we can figure this out!

  9. Karl says

    I love these ” add everything to a blender” recipes, makes cooking a beautiful curry from scratch a breeze. Thanks

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