~living this beautiful messy life~

RECIPE: Butter Chicken



I’ve always been a bit careful of cooking with herbs and spices.
Truth be told, I’m a bit scared of them – as I don’t know how they fit together and how each herb and/or spice reacts with and compliments others or how the tasty flavours are made.

But LAST week I got super-brave and made Butter Chicken from scratch, at the urging of our youngest daughter.

Making things from scratch isn’t new to me by any means.
I much prefer it as my way of cooking, it’s just that I don’t have confidence once I’m too far outside of my usual ‘repertoire’…

One of my favourite tools in the kitchen though, is my Instant Pot.

It’s not actually the Instant Pot brand, but it does all the same things.
I love it soooo much that we actually have two, so that I can have them both going at the same time!

I am also quite good at converting any of my ‘old faithful’ recipes, into instant-pot versions.

So, of course when our youngest daughter said she had a fool-proof instant-pot butter chicken from scratch recipe, I just knew I had to try it.

It was deee.liiiish.ussss!!!

I have put the recipe in as an Instant Pot recipe, but you can also just cook it in a saucepan on the stove-top.

So without further ado – here it is for you to have a crack at.
Until next time…







  • 3 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger minced (or paste)
  • 1 cup tomato puree or passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp coriander ground
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs boneless and skinless, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped


Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting.

Add the butter and cook until the butter has melted.
Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute or until the garlic becomes aromatic.
Do not cook too long because you don’t want to burn it.

Add the tomato puree and tomato paste to the Instant Pot and stir.

Add the garam masala, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and salt to the Instant Pot, stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the chicken, water and stir everything together.
There should be enough liquid in the pot to cover the chicken, so add more water if needed.

Close the lid.
Set the Instant Pot to the Poultry setting and set the timer to 5 minutes.

Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, which should take about 10 minutes.
Follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release, if in a rush.
Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot.

Switch the Instant Pot to the saute setting (do not put the lid on).
Add the whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The sauce should thicken and reduce a bit.
You don’t want it to reduce too much.

Serve warm over rice and with naan, pappadams or crusty rolls.

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