Shout out to my Asian Mom for doing what distant Asian Moms do – send their kids food care packages. This particular box of goodies contained a packet of Butter Chicken seasoning from this company Shan. Not sure if my local grocery store has it, but it’s something worth looking for. Definitely helpful if your spice cabinet isn’t as diverse as you’d like it to be.


Just noting that this recipe was from like 6 months ago; I’m just catching up on recipes while we have this downtime during the quarantine. Since this first try at IP Indian food, I’ve made a bunch of recipes since (sans packets), which I’ll be posting eventually as well.


Although there are instructions on the back of the Shan box, mom suggested to follow this recipe catered for the Instant Pot.


In my care package, I also got a snazzy new spice rack full of fresh new ingredients to dabble with. One of which was cumin seeds, which I’ve never used before. It had a stronger aroma and woodiness than ground cumin which I do frequently use.


Along with the cumin seeds, the fresh onion, garlic, and ginger really help freshen up the boxed spice packet.


As with a lot of Indian sauces, tomato is used for the base liquid.


After pouring in the spice packet and a splash of heavy cream, the color of the sauce brightened and the kitchen became so aromatic. Like this sauce was ready to dig into at this point.


Raw cubed chicken gets dropped in and then the Instant Pot’s pressure is set on high for just 8 minutes.


Peep the new spice rack while we’re at it! Thanks ma!


Upon opening the IP, more heavy cream is added, and the dish is ready to serve. For something that looks so fancy, it was an extremely simple process actually. Even the most kitchen-inept person can handle this.


Serve over jasmine rice and top with chopped cilantro, and this meal could have easily be ordered from any local Indian restaurant.


RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: Instapottin’ with Poonam



  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 cloves depending on size)
  • 1.5 cups of tomato puree (or 15 oz can of tomato sauce)
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 package Shan Butter Chicken Masala powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, separated
  • 1 additional tablespoon butter



  1. Turn Instant Pot to saute mode on high. Add 2 tb butter and cumin seeds – toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  2. Once translucent, add garlic and ginger and cook for just a few minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce and entire packet of Shan’s Butter Chicken. Stir well with 1/4 cup whipping cream.
  4. Add chicken breasts and stir until everything is fully coated.
  5. Close lid and seal properly. Set to high pressure for 8 minutes. Once done, natural release for 5 minutes then open.
  6. Add remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream and additional tb of butter. Mix well until completed incorporated. Serve over rice with chopped cilantro if you wish.
Posted by:Talei Rukstad

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