Home » Indian Curries » Butter Chicken – Air Fried and Instant Potted!

Butter Chicken – Air Fried and Instant Potted!

Creamy and delicious butter chicken gravy served traditionally with Naan or basmati rice. This recipe has tandoori flavored chicken done in air fryer and a creamy sauce which is finished in Instant pot. A perfect combination of using appliances to make life easier!

I was so happy with this picture until I noticed the little piece of parchment paper covering up the butter chicken.. Dang! Now I cant unsee it! Go straight to the recipe by clicking here:

So what is Butter Chicken?

It was really cool to learn that Butter chicken or Murgh Makhani was accidentally discovered in 1974 when they added leftover Tandoori chicken to a tomato gravy and mixed with butter and cream. Whatever they did, they created a treasure! This dish literally travelled the world. So butter chicken or Murgh Makhani, as the name suggests, is nothing but a creamy sauce made with butter, cream and tomatoes. The chicken is marinated in several warm spices and grilled in a Tandoor to get that charred taste. This gravy is best served with Butter or garlic Naan or Basmati rice. I served it with Naan and some flower-shaped spinach poori for my little one ( She is not fond of Naan yet)

Butter chicken gravy in a bowl
Why Air Fryer and instant pot?

Its summer in Seattle and its so hot that I don’t want to switch on my stove or Oven. So naturally, my Instant pot, my most reliable kitchen workhorse, comes to my rescue 😀. Air fryer is another one of my favorite kitchen appliances that gets the job done wonderfully and cooks the chicken to perfection! This recipe can be made on a stove top too.

Air Fryer cooks the food by circulating hot air around the food at high speed which cooks faster than the traditional oven and produces a crispy layer comparative to food that is deep fried in oil. It is obviously healthier than deep frying food but what I love about an air fryer is that it creates a Tandoor kind of effect and produces a beautiful char on the food. I have this Gourmia 5 Qt Air fryer and it works great!

Instant pot is my favorite and best kitchen appliance. If you don’t have one, you need to get one 😁. Of course, this recipe can be made on a stove top but with Instant pot, I don’t need to babysit at all. So I just dump all my ingredients and it gets done while I get other things ready. Its so cool! I make a ton of things in Instant pot and use it everyday. Instant pot has its own Air fryer lid, FYI, and it has rave reviews, everything will be done in one pot and I cant wait to get one!


Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Lets get to the recipe then:

Prep Time:30 min
Marinate Time:1 hour
Cook Time:1 hour
Course:Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Recipe by Tahemeem


To marinate the chicken:

For the gravy:

  • Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and marinate it for an hour with all the ingredients listed in the marinate section.
  • Cover and let it marinate in Refrigerator for at least an hour. I prefer doing it overnight just for convenience.
  • Transfer to Air fryer, spray it with Avocado oil cooking spray and “fry” the chicken for 15 minutes at 400F, flipping it halfway through at 8 minutes. Depending on the size of your air fryer, fry the chicken in batches. Do not overcrowd the chicken.
  • In the meantime, turn on your instant pot on Sauté mode on high and add butter and once its melted, add 1 roughly diced onion. Let the onion sauté for 5 min or till its soft.
  • Add curry leaves and green chilies and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for a min.
  • Add cashews and tomatoes and let them cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Close the lid and cancel the sauté mode. Switch to Pressure cook/Manual mode and set the time to 10 min, in Sealing mode.
  • After the Instant pot timer is done, let the pressure release naturally(NPR) and open the lid carefully.
  • Transfer the contents to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend the tomato-onion mixture.
  • Return the blended mixture to instant pot and turn on the Saute mode on medium heat. Add salt, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, crushed kasoori methi and cumin powder.
  • Let the mixture saute for 5 min and add air-fried chicken and let the whole thing come to a boil for about 10-15 min on medium heat. Add water to adjust the consistency if needed.
  • Add cream to finish off and saute for couple more minutes. Turn off the instant pot and add chopped cilantro. Serve it hot with butter or garlic naan or rice.
  • Do we use chicken thighs or breasts for butter chicken? In my opinion, Chicken thighs are the best for any recipe but breasts work great in a pinch.
  • Garam Masala: I make my own garam masala but you can use your own recipe or store bought one if you do not have the masala. Let me know in the comments if you want me to post Garam Masala recipe.
  • This recipe can be easily made on the stove top, so do not fret if you don’t have these appliances. Just replicate the same recipe and shallow fry the chicken on stove top and the gravy in a sauce pan.

Gourmia Air fryer 5 qt: https://amzn.to/30AWnHi

Instant pot 3 qt: https://amzn.to/31tmkaZ

Vitamix Blender: https://amzn.to/2X0c5te

If you are looking for an Instant pot air fryer lid, here’s the link: https://amzn.to/3jFXnBD

Please try out the recipe and let us know how it turns out! I would love to hear from you.

Pin it for later:

Please Share and follow on social media

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *