Salmon Tikka Masala in curry sauce over white rice on a speckled whitish plate on a round moss green placemat with a stainless steel fork on the right
Print

Instant Pot Salmon Tikka Masala

Tikka masala combines two iconic Indian dishes: makhani and tandoori. It is essentially tandoori-spiced meat in a makhani sauce. And it turns out that making it in the Instant Pot is so much easier and just as tasty as making it on the stove. Salmon holds up to the layers of spice and retains its shape in the sauce. A splash of heavy cream rounds out this sharp and spicy curry.
Course Entree
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Asian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Dr. Karen Lee

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder or another mild red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala (see below)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless salmon fillet cut into 8 pieces

Curry

  • 1 tbsp neutral vegetable oil (I used Avocado oil)
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 c canned tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or another mild red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (See below)
  • 1/3 c water
  • 3/4 c heavy cream (Use coconut cream to make it Paleo-Friendly)
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • Steamed rice for serving Cauli Rice for Keto-Friendly)
  • 4 lemon wedges for serving

Garam Masala

  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp curshed cinnamon stick
  • 2-5 green cardamom pods or cumin seeds

Instructions

Marinade

  • In a stainless-steel bowl that will fit in the Instant Pot, combine the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric, and salt and stir to mix.
  • Add the salmon to the marinade and turn to evenly coat with the spices. Set aside. 

Curry

  • Select the high Sauté setting and heat the oil. Add the onion and salt and sauté until the onion turns translucent about 5 minutes. Cover the pot with a glass lid (or another non-locking lid that fits) to speed up the process. 
  • Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala.
  • Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Pour in the water and stir well with a wooden spoon, nudging loose any browned bits from the pot bottom. 
  • Place a tall steam rack in the pot, making sure all of its legs are resting firmly on the bottom. Place the bowl of salmon on the rack. 
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 4 minutes at high pressure. 
  • Perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Open the pot and, wearing heat-resistant mitts, remove the bowl of salmon to a trivet and remove the rack. 
  • Stir the heavy cream (or Coconut Cream for Paleo) into the curry, then crush the fenugreek leaves with the palms of your hands to release the aromas and stir them in as well. 
  • Select the high Sauté setting and carefully add the salmon to the curry, turning it to evenly coat. Cook until the curry comes to a gentle boil and is heated through 2 to 3 minutes. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Spoon the curry onto plates and serve the rice or Cauli Rice for Keto, and lemon wedges alongside.

Garam Masala

  • Select the normal Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Lightly toast each spice, one at a time, by adding it to the pot and stirring continuously until aromatic, about 1 minute each. Make sure not to burn them. The goal is to remove any residual moisture so they are easy to grind.
  • As the spices are toasted, transfer them to a plate and let cool completely. Grind the spices in a spice grinder to make a fine powder.  
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to 6 months.

Notes

  • To make this recipe Paleo-Friendly - use coconut cream instead of heavy cream and if you can't tolerate rice, use cauli-rice
  • To make this recipe Keto-Friendly - instead of white rice, use cauli-rice.