Instant Pot: Chicken Tikka Masala Rice

If there's one ingredient I can transform from "blah..." to "bam!" it would be rice. I credit the fact that I grew up eating rice three times a day and sometimes, for snacks in between meals. It wasn't just considered a side dish or starch to our meals, but rice was used in some form in appetizers, entrees and even desserts! So if anyone knows anything about working with rice, I proudly raise my hand. By far, my favorite use for rice is involving leftovers. I transformed some Indian leftovers into this comforting, one pot dish - Chicken Tikka Masala Rice. Tender and flavorful chicken simmered in a spicy Tikka Masala sauce is tossed with garlic fried rice.

I helped my mom in the kitchen at a very young age. Since her kitchen was my playground, I loved when she would give me the task of measuring out the rice to cook in our rice cooker. We had a special rice dispenser that had levers that accurately measured rice in various amounts. Pulling those levers and watching the rice pour out in just the rice portions was fascinating to me. I fondly remember feeling the rice through my fingers as they filled up the rice cooker pot. Now, being in charge of rice was an important task. That was my role in the kitchen for a long time and it was always something I looked forward to. And one thing I made sure of each time I made rice was to cook a little extra just so we would have leftovers.

So why the love of leftover rice? It's because any leftover rice at our house usually found their way into garlic fried rice. The same still stands true in my own kitchen today. So when I had leftover rice waiting to be used... and I had leftover Chicken Tikka Masala from a previous dinner, it seemed like combining the two would be a delicious idea... and a delicious idea it was! I love how the chicken tikka masala flavor had intensified slightly with leftovers. The toasted rice complimented the flavors of the chicken tikka masala, making for a comforting dish!

Chicken Tikka Masala Rice
original Joelen recipe

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 cups cold cooked rice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste
Chicken Tikka Masala - roughly 2 cups of prepared dish
1/2 cup frozen peas
fresh cilantro, chopped - for garnish

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE on the IP and heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add garlic and onion; cooking until softened.

Add cold rice in the IP and cook until rice is slightly toasted.

Season with onion powder, garlic powder and salt to your tastes

Add the leftover chicken tikka masala to the IP with the rice and fold in to thoroughly combine; cooking to warm through.

Add the frozen peas and allow to warm through. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

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