What I know about you: You like fast. You love easy. You lurve chicken. You're pretty wild about recipes that taste awesome. You like gadgets. This recipe for a pseudo-Indian chicken channa masala hits every one of those points. It takes about half an hour, it's easy enough that a very large and particularly precocious child could make it, it features chicken, it tastes incredibly awesome with a creamy and tangy spiced tomato sauce (think: chicken tikka masala), and it's made in a pressure cooker to boot, delivering long-simmered flavor and tender chicken in a fraction of the time.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 pound fresh spinach leaves, trimmed
- 1/4 cup fresh juice from 2 to 3 lemons
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 pounds chicken drumsticks and thighs (4 to 6 of each)
- 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt
Heat butter in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat ("sear" setting on an electric pressure cooker) until foaming subsides. Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until pale brown, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and spinach. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
Add half of cilantro, chicken stock, and chicken pieces. Stir to combine. Seal pressure cooker and heat to high pressure. Once high pressure is reached, cook for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool, release pressure, remove lid, add heavy cream, drained chickpeas, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened. Stir in remaining lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining cilantro leaves.