During our kitchen renovation I got on the bandwagon and bought a new insta-pot to be able to cook without my kitchen. It was great, but I haven’t used it a ton since (until now). I wanted to make sure I get my money’s worth, so I started messing around with it and this thing is fantastic. My favorite part? Less dishes to wash! I can toast, sear, and slow-cook all in one pot. So here’s my latest creation. No insta-pot? No problem. Use a frying pan for the saute functions and transfer to a traditional slow cooker for the slow cooking part.
I was first introduced to Indian food by my friend’s mom practically shoving it into my mouth in the most fantastic and loving way and it totally started a love affair with this type of food. Shout out to Asha! I can’t handle a ton of spice or heavy cream, so I make some substitutions for the original traditional recipe ingredients, but the flavors are there.
I begin by whisking some low-fat plain greek yogurt in the bottom of a large bowl and use it to coat the diced chicken along with salt and pepper. To let the chicken tenderize a bit, I then set it aside and get to the spices. I have tried this recipe with chicken breasts and I just don’t think it comes out as well. You can absolutely use them, the texture will just be a bit drier.
To get the flavors, an essential step is toasting my spices. I begin by toasting them in the bottom of the insta-pot on the sauté mode for just a few minutes until they’re fragrant. I then turn off the pot and empty the spices into a separate dish.
From here, it’s pretty simple. On sauté mode, I heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the chicken to sear it lightly on both sides. I then add the tomato paste and stir it around before switching to slow cooker mode. I add the coconut milk (feel free to use heavy cream!) and cover the pot. Using the “normal” mode and set it for 3-4 hours. Serve with some warm naan and rice and you’re golden. Enjoy!
Insta-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala(ish)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 2tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1-3 tsp chili powder (optional!)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 packages boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into 1 inch pieces (about 2.75 lbs)
- 3 Tbsp greek yogurt, low fat
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup reduced fat coconut milk
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Whisk yogurt in a larger bowl to thin it. Add chicken, salt, and pepper, stirring to coat evenly. Set aside.
- On sauté mode, toast the spices in the bottom of the insta-pot. Turn off, let cool, and set the spices aside in a separate dish. Return the pot to the cooker and heat the olive oil on sauté mode. Add the chicken to sear, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to activate the flavors, about one minute.
- Switch the cooker onto slow cooker mode (normal heat) and add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir all the ingredients to combine and cover the cooker. Set the timer for 3-4 hours and let it do its magic. Serve with rice and/or naan. Enjoy!