Instant Pot: Indian Cashew Chicken

Last weekend we met up with friends who we don't see very often and took our kiddies to the Milwaukee Public Museum. I forgot how much I enjoy trips to the museum so I can immerse myself in learning about new things. I especially enjoyed learning about various cultures. The Milwaukee Public Museum has a great exhibit dedicated to American Indians and we enjoyed the colorful display of costumes and seeing how they have really contributed so much to society over the decades and generations. After our visit to the musem, we had lunch at a local [Southeast Asian] Indian restaurant. It's been awhile since I had Indian cuisine and so it was a perfect choice on a cold day. Our great weekend with friends inspired me to make Indian food at home. As a result, we enjoyed this Indian Cashew Chicken recently. A savory marinade of spices, aromatics and cashews packed flavor into every bite of chicken for a comforting Indian meal...

If there's one cuisine that slightly intimidates me, it's Indian cuisine. There is definitely an art and science about the combination of spices to create complex flavors. Friends who do cook Indian food often just make it seem so effortless! If you're like me and enjoy Indian food but are intimidated at the thought of making it at home, don't worry. This recipe is easy, as long as you have all the ingredients on hand. Probably the only spice that folks might have to look harder for are the green cardamom pods. If you don't have access to the pods, you can substitute it with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom.

Indian Cashew Chicken
recipe from Cooking Light
  • 2/3 cup cashews, toasted
  • 2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • garlic cloves, chopped 
  • skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 14 ounces) 
  • (8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces 

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 3/4 cups finely chopped onion 
  • green cardamom pods, lightly crushed or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 cup tomato puree 
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Combine first 9 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. 

Place chicken thighs and breasts in a large bowl and pour processed nut mixture over chicken, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE and add oil. When hot, add onions, cardamom, and cinnamon stick to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onions are golden, stirring often.

Add chicken and marinade to IP.

Stir in broth, tomato puree, paprika, and salt, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 7 minute on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 7 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the display reflects L00:07 (which is 7 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

  1. Stir in half-and-half; stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon stick and garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve over rice.