Instant Pot Chicken Patiala Recipe: Quick and Flavorful North Indian Delight

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Craving a taste of India but short on time? Instant Pot Chicken Patiala is your answer. This North Indian dish, known for its rich and creamy tomato-based sauce, combines traditional flavors with modern convenience. With the Instant Pot, you can enjoy this restaurant-quality meal in a fraction of the time.

Chicken Patiala typically features tender chicken pieces simmered in a luxurious blend of spices, yogurt, and tomatoes. The Instant Pot not only speeds up the cooking process but also locks in all those vibrant flavors. Perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re entertaining guests, this dish will quickly become a favorite in your household.


Gather these ingredients for a rich and flavorful Instant Pot Chicken Patiala.

For the Chicken

  • 1 ½ lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into medium pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt, to taste

For the Gravy

  • 2 large tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, whisked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

For Serving

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Thinly sliced green chilies
  • A dollop of yogurt

Ensure you have all these ingredients ready before you start cooking to streamline the preparation process.

Required Tools and Equipment

To create an authentic and delicious Instant Pot Chicken Patiala, ensure you have the following tools and equipment ready:

Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is essential for this recipe. It blends the functionalities of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, and more, simplifying your cooking process and saving time.

Cutting Board and Knife

A durable cutting board and a sharp kitchen knife are necessary for chopping onions, garlic, ginger, and cilantro.

Mixing Bowls

Medium and large mixing bowls will be useful for marinating the chicken and setting aside other prepped ingredients.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial for the success of any dish. Have a set of measuring cups and spoons for both dry and liquid ingredients.

Wooden Spoon or Spatula

A wooden spoon or spatula will help you sauté and stir the ingredients without scratching the inner pot of your Instant Pot.


A whisk is beneficial for blending the yogurt and spices smoothly.


Tongs will allow you to handle the chicken pieces easily while browning them and when serving.

Serving Dish

Prepare a serving dish to transfer your cooked Chicken Patiala for presentation. Ensure it is large enough to hold the entire recipe quantity.

Having these tools and equipment at your disposal, you’ll find cooking Instant Pot Chicken Patiala to be an enjoyable and efficient process.

Preparation Steps

Before diving into cooking, it is essential to properly marinate the chicken and prepare the vegetables and spices. Follow these steps for a smooth cooking experience.

Marinating the Chicken

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine:
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. For deeper flavor, marinate for up to 4 hours.

Preparing the Vegetables and Spices

  1. Finely chop:
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  1. Mince:
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  1. Measure and prepare spices in a small bowl:
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  1. Have fresh cilantro ready for garnish, roughly chopped.

Following these preparation steps will streamline your cooking process and ensure you have an organized workspace.

Cooking Instructions

Follow these steps to create a delicious Instant Pot Chicken Patiala with ease.

Setting Up the Instant Pot

  1. Preheat: Turn on the Instant Pot and set it to the ‘Sauté’ mode to preheat. Allow it to heat up for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add Oil: Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pot. Let the oil heat up for another 1-2 minutes until it begins to shimmer.
  3. Sauté Aromatics: Add 1 finely chopped onion, and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it turns golden brown. Then, add 4 minced garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of minced ginger. Sauté for another 1 minute until fragrant.

Cooking the Chicken

  1. Add Spices: Add 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric to the pot. Stir and cook for 30 seconds to release the essential oils.
  2. Add Chicken: Add your marinated chicken thighs (about 1.5 pounds) into the pot. Sear the chicken pieces for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned.
  3. Add Tomatoes: Add 2 diced tomatoes to the pot and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze any browned bits.
  4. Pressure Cook: Cancel the ‘Sauté’ mode. Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the ‘Sealing’ position. Select the ‘Pressure Cook’ or ‘Manual’ button and set the timer for 8 minutes on high pressure.

Finishing Touches

  1. Release Pressure: Once the cooking time is complete, perform a quick pressure release by carefully turning the valve to the ‘Venting’ position.
  2. Open the Pot: Open the lid once the pressure is fully released. Set the Instant Pot back to ‘Sauté’ mode.
  3. Simmer: Add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to the pot and stir well. Simmer the mixture for 5-7 minutes until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.
  4. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the gravy and adjust the salt and spices as needed.
  5. Garnish: Turn off the Instant Pot. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro before serving.

Final Assembly

Once your Instant Pot Chicken Patiala is perfectly cooked, it’s time to bring it all together for a stunning presentation. Follow these final steps to ensure your dish is both visually appealing and bursting with flavor.

  1. Begin by finely chopping a handful of fresh cilantro leaves. Scatter them generously over the chicken for a vibrant, fresh look.
  2. Quarter a lemon and place the wedges around the serving platter. Squeezing a bit of lemon juice over the dish adds a burst of acidity that complements the rich sauce.
  3. For an extra pop of color, slice a few red onions thinly and sprinkle them on top. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also provides a crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the tender chicken.
  4. If you like a bit of heat, thinly slice a green chili and add it to the top. This will give your Chicken Patiala a slight kick without overpowering the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Pair with Basmati Rice

Serve your Instant Pot Chicken Patiala with a generous helping of steamed basmati rice. The fluffy, aromatic grains perfectly absorb the rich, spiced tomato-based sauce, enhancing the flavors. You can also cook the basmati rice in your Instant Pot to save time and effort.

Naan Bread or Roti

Accompany the dish with warm naan bread or roti. These traditional Indian breads are ideal for scooping up the savory sauce and tender chicken. Lightly brush the bread with melted butter or ghee before serving for an added layer of richness.

Fresh Salad

Create a refreshing contrast with a simple salad of cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions. Dress the salad lightly with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to cleanse the palate between bites of the spicy chicken curry.

Yogurt-Based Side

Add a cooling element by serving with raita, a yogurt-based side dish. Mix plain yogurt with finely chopped cucumber, mint, and a pinch of salt. This side not only complements the heat of the Chicken Patiala but also adds a creamy texture.


Enhance the visual appeal and flavors with fresh cilantro leaves and lemon wedges. The cilantro adds a burst of color and freshness, while the lemon wedges provide a tangy kick when squeezed over the chicken.


Pair your meal with a chilled glass of mango lassi or a refreshing iced mint tea. These beverages can balance the spices and refresh your palate, making them excellent choices to accompany your Chicken Patiala.


Cooking Instant Pot Chicken Patiala is a delightful way to bring the flavors of North India into your home with minimal effort. The Instant Pot not only saves you time but also ensures that your chicken is tender and flavorful. With the right ingredients and a few simple steps, you can create a dish that’s sure to impress your family and friends. Pair it with basmati rice, naan, or roti, and don’t forget the garnishes and beverages to elevate your meal. Enjoy the rich, aromatic experience of Chicken Patiala right from your kitchen.

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