Go Back
+ servings
Dairy Free Butter Chicken served with purple flatbread and fluffy rice

Dairy Free Butter Chicken and Rice {Instant Pot/Multicooker/Pressure Cooker}

Super tasty, fuss-free Dairy Free Butter Chicken. Using the pot-in-pot method for Instant Pot, the rice is cooked at the same time as the curry! Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly and can be made keto/low carb and FODMAP-friendly!
Print Pin
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken, curry, dairy-free, Paleo
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • Instant Pot/Multicooker/Pressure Cooker
  • Trivet
  • Non-stick cake tin (20cm/8 inch)
  • Aluminium foil to make a sling
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Chopping board
  • Box grater
  • Knives
  • wooden spoon



  • 2 cups white basmati rice (omit for keto, replace with cauliflower rice cooked separately)
  • 2 cups water

Spice blend

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
  • ¾ teaspoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cooking salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper


  • 8 med-large garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
  • 6 teaspoons finely grated ginger (from a fat 3cm/1.5 inch piece)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil (use a little extra if needed)
  • spice blend (as above)
  • 1 can (14 oz. or 410g) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • cup water
  • 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) chicken thigh fillets (boneless, skinless and left whole)

To add after cooking

  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey (omit for strict keto)

To serve (optional)

  • coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • naan bread
  • coconut yoghurt


  • Start by soaking the rice in water and set aside - it needs to soak for 15 minutes.
    Finely grate the ginger, peel and roughly mince the garlic.
    Press the saute/brown button, wait a few minutes for it to heat up and then add the oil. 
    Add the garlic and ginger - stir for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the remaining oil and the spices - stir for another 30 seconds. Turn off the saute function. Remove the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  • To the inner pot, pour in the crushed tomatoes and ⅓ cup water. Ensure to scrape off anything stuck on the bottom of the inner pot and mix well. 
    Optional - Using a damp paper/kitchen towel, wipe down the sides of the inner bowl or rinse it out. This prevents the rice getting any sauce colour on it.
  • Add the chicken thighs on top of the tomato-water mixture.
  • Layer the ginger-garlic-spice mixture on top of the chicken thighs.
  • Next, add the trivet to sit on top of all the curry ingredients.
  • Using a 75cm/2.5 ft piece of aluminium foil - folded in half and half again along the length - create a sling for the cake tin and place it under the cake tin.
    Drain the rice well and add it to the cake tin (without the water).
  • Hold the sling on each side - pretty close to the tin itself - and lower the tin into the inner pot to sit on the trivet.
  • Add the 2 cups water to the rice.
  • Give the rice and water a gentle stir to evenly distribute and ensure it’s all covered by water.
  • Roll down/fold the sling on each side so that the pressure cooker/multicooker lid will close. Leave the cake tin uncovered.
  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker/multicooker, lock it and seal the vent.
  • Cook for 8 minutes at high pressure and then 10 minutes natural release.
    IMPORTANT: if your multicooker/Instant Pot gets a burn error or has done previously with similar recipes, you will need to add some more water (eg. ¼ cup) to the bottom of the pot under the chicken. Don't add extra water unless absolutely required.
  • At the end of cooking, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Carefully remove the cake tin with the rice as it will be hot. It might have some sauce on the bottom so be careful where you place it on your kitchen bench to prevent staining. Cover the rice with some foil to keep it hot.
  • Remove the chicken, chop into large bite sized pieces and set aside.
  • If you had to add more water to the curry, you will need to press the saute button to reduce the sauce for 5 minutes.
    Add the coconut cream and honey and blend the sauce with a stick blender. This is optional, but is best for a smooth and thick sauce. You could also do this in a regular blender once the sauce has cooled a bit.
  • Return the chicken pieces back to the sauce, turn the pot to saute if the butter chicken needs heating up. Adjust the salt if you prefer more. Serve straight away with rice and any sides like naan.
    Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to a month. Store the rice separately to the curry or together in portioned meal sizes.


Hello! The photos of this recipe and the content above are copyright protected.
Please do not use the photos without prior written permission from Allison Jones. If you wish to share this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe on my website - social media sharing sites like Pinterest will do this automatically. If you make significant changes to the recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!