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Punjabi Dhaba Chicken Curry - Instant Pot Dhaba Chicken

Lets make this awesome chicken.
Prep Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Marinade time (has been included in the prep time) 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 4


Ingredients for the marinade

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (either freshly squeezed or bottled)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder

    (ground cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps ginger garlic paste (either packaged or freshly minced)
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts chopped into 2 to 3 inch pieces (2 small chicken breasts) (Approximately 2 cups chopped)

For the gravy



  • Chop the chicken into 2 to 3 inch pieces.
  • In a bowl, mix the marinade ingredients: greek yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, red chili powder, ground turmeric, salt, and ginger garlic paste. Mix well.
  • Then add the chicken and mix well. Let it marinate for 2 hours.
  • Wash and chop the onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Slit the serrano peppers lengthwise in two halves.


  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
  • Add oil or ghee or unsalted butter to the pot.
  • When the  pot is hot, add both types of cardamoms, dried bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, and serrano peppers.
  • Add the chopped onions and keep stirring to prevent the onions from burning.
  • When the onions turn golden in about 2 to 4 minutes, add the red chili powder, kashmiri chili powder, water, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, salt, and chickpea flour. Stir well.
  • Then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Keep stirring.
  • Add the chicken along with all the marinade to the pot. Mix well. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well.
  • Press cancel. 
  • Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. 
  • When cooking is complete use quick pressure release to depressurize.
  • Add the dried fenugreek leaves and select sauté to thicken the excess gravy. It should take about 3 to 4 minutes depending on the required consistency. Keep stirring.
  • Transfer is a serving bowl and discard the bay leaf.


  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with naan (Indian flatbread), steamed rice or roti.


  • Ground cayenne pepper and red chili powder can be used interchangeably as both of them make the dish spicy. So if you don’t have red chili powder you can use cayenne pepper instead.
  • Kashmiri red chili powder instantly imparts a vibrant red color to any dish and is not very spicy. 
  • This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
Keyword Instant Pot Chicken Curry