This Indian inspired Chicken Masala has the right balance of spices and creaminess and only takes 30 minutes to make! Chicken pieces are cooked in a flavorful tomato based sauce with spices you already have in your kitchen. This easy full flavored homemade curry recipe is one everyone will love!
Pressure Cooker Chicken Masala
I was dreaming of Indian Chicken Tikka Masala but had lots of bone-in chicken that needed to be cooked. I wanted to make something quick so my best friend the pressure cooker (Instant Pot) came to mind. One pot, 40 minutes, a great meal!
What is Channa Masala?
Channa Masala is a tomato-based chickpea curry popular in countries like India and Pakistan. It is also known as channay and chole masala.
Channa Masala vs Tikka Masala (Who is confused?)
- Let’s start with the common word in both names. Masala is a combination of spices. They can be grounded into a paste or into a powder. One of the most popular spice mitures in Indian cuisine is Garam Masala. Check out this Garam Masala Spice Blend from Kevin at Kevin is Cooking.
- Channa Masala is a vegetarian curry made from chickpeas (channa).
- Tikka means small pieces. Tikka Massala is a curry made with small pieces of meat.
- This Chicken Masala recipe is adapted from this recipe from Serious Eats.
- You can use a whole chicken cut into pieces or a combination of bone-in white and dark meat for this recipe.
- Looking for other Indian inspired recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
Spiced Red Lentil Dhal by Kylee Cooks
Sweet Potatoes, Spinach and Cashew Curry by Kylee Cooks
Homemade Garlic Naan Bread by House of Nash Eats
Super Easy Chicken Tikka Masala by The Gingered Whisk
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
Pressure Cooker Chicken Masala
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil (divided)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped divided
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 8 bone-in chicken pieces (legs, thighs, breasts or a combination) skin on or off depending on your preference)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Press the saute button on the pressure cooker. Heat up the butter or oil and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook stirring frequently for about 4 – 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and ground black pepper. Mix well to combine and cook for about a minute.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, half the cilantro, half of the lemon juice, broth and chicken pieces. Mix well to combine.
- Close and seal the lid. Set the manual timer for 20 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally (about 10 – 15 minutes), then open and stir in the remaining cilantro, lemon juice and heavy cream. Adjust seasoning (salt) to your taste. Serve.