Instant Pot Murgh Badami (Almond Chicken Curry)


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)

What is Murgh Badami?

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)

4.89 from 26 reviews
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  • 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


Add Later:

  • 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!).
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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Recipe Rating


  1. Protima says

    Hi Ashley,

    Would this recipe taste the same if I use a red onion instead of a yellow onion? Same question for the onion in your kali mirch dahi chicken? Trying to make these recipes with red onions in India.


  2. Indhu says

    Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes- what does it mean. I should wait for 10 minutes so the pressure gets released naturally or should I release the pressure after waiting for 10 minutes once the curry is cooked. Can you please clarify

  3. Debbie says

    5 stars
    Great recipe – I made it exactly as stated and had a fabulous family friendly (2 picky teens) dinner.
    Thanks Ashley!

  4. Safa says

    Excellent! Super fast and easy. We loved this and it was just as good as my mother in law’s 3 hour version. The only things I did different are: I fried the slivered almonds and I doubled the almond flour. Thank you Ashley for these AMAZINGLY delicious and simple recipe. You have made Indian cooking accessible for me. I cannot express how much I appreciate you.

  5. K Marie Tyler says

    5 stars
    You know what I love? ALL YOUR FOOD! Your recipes are delicious, beautiful and accessible to the normal home cook. I would have never believed at this point in my life I would say, yeah, I make pretty excellent Indian food, but you have made that a true statement.

    Thank you for sharing all this deliciousness.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

  11. 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!

  12. 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. 🙂

  13. 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!

  14. Karl says

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

  15. Bindi says

    Hi Ashley! Do you think I can make this with some form of coconut as a substitute for almond flour and/or yogurt? My mother-in-law makes a badami chicken that sounds so similar to this, but I know she uses coconut shavings and/or coconut milk for it. Just curious if you think it would work. Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Bindi, you can try substituting coconut milk for yogurt – I’m sure that’ll taste great. I wouldn’t skip the almond flour though – that’s what thickens the sauce and also what gives it that badami/almond flavor. Let me know what you think of this if you give it a try 🙂

  16. Erina says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    Is there a substitute for almonds? My 4 yr old is allergic to all nuts so we try not to use it at home.

  17. SR says

    5 stars
    Thank you for the delicious recipe! I made this for my toddler so with minimum spice but it was so flavorful that we also enjoyed it! Will absolutely make it again.

  18. Rashmi Bhandarkar MacPhee says

    5 stars
    This was so delicious and so awesome to just throw everything into the blender and instant pot and walk away! My husband said to put this on the regular rotation, and my kids loved it, too!
    I used 1c of almond milk instead of yogurt (as I’m dairy free), yum!

  19. Rebecca says

    5 stars
    Made this tonight – So. Good.

    Also had the same issue as Jenita, although a little pressure release and it settled out. I usually go heavy on the spices on your recipes, and this one was no different, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly minus the Serrano.

    Either way, this is in the mix now. Absolutely fantastic.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Rebecca, that’s really good to know, thank you! I wonder if the extra spices made it thicker? I can’t imagine by much though… I’ll test it again with an extra tablespoon or two of water. I really appreciate the feedback!

      • Rebecca says

        It wasn’t that much more so it shouldn’t have – just heavy teaspoons and the like. Same ting tends to happen with your butter chicken 🤷‍♀️ Doesn’t stop me from making it though – I just add a little extra liquid.

        • My Heart Beets says

          Hi Rebecca, just wanted to say thanks for the feedback! I figured out a way to keep the burn sign from coming up – I’ve updated the directions so that all of the almond flour is added at the end. Just wanted to let you know 🙂

  20. Jenita says

    4 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight. Was delicious and super easy to make. I got the burn signal though just as the IP reached pressure point, so I had to open the lid, I poured another 1/4th cup of water, deglazed the bottom and put the lid back on. No issues after that. Served it with porotta. Kids loved it. Another keeper for busy nights

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Jenita! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂 I’m wondering why the burn sign came up – do you mind letting me know if you made any changes to the recipe? Added all the nut flour at once or used chicken breast for example? Hoping to figure out a solution!

      • Jenita says

        Ashley, I followed the recipe to a T, no changes in quantity or spices. Maybe I should have poured a little bit of oil at the bottom of the insert before putting the chicken and pouring everything else on top. I put the chicken pieces first, then poured the blended stuff on top and mixed. Or maybe I should have poured the liquid in to the insert first and then added the chicken and mixed it.

        • My Heart Beets says

          Thanks, Jenita! You did everything right! I’m going to test this again tomorrow using a bit more water – I haven’t had this happen to me but I think a bit more water will help without diluting the flavor. I really appreciate the feedback 🙂

          • My Heart Beets says

            Hi Jenita, I’ve figured out a way to keep the burn sign from coming up – I’ve updated the directions so that all of the almond flour is added at the end. Thanks so much for your feedback!

      • Feroza says

        The same thing happened to me. But I used chicken breasts. I had no thighs. I just opened it up and stirred the bottom. Didn’t add any more water. Figured just stirring it would help.

instant pot pour and cook chicken biryani

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