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.
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 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.
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). 🦖
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. 👑Print
- 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)
- 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
- ½ cup almond flour
- Sliced or slivered almonds, to taste
- Cilantro, garnish
- 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!).