Tender, saucy, and sizzling spicy Instant Pot Chicken Curry quickly come together to give your cold nights a little warmth. This worry-free dish takes away the pain of closely watching your dish for the perfect consistency. Get the most out of your time with this simple yet amazingly flavorful dish!
I know most of us home cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen especially when you’re expecting company.
From food preparation to washing the dishes, you’re sure to find me in the kitchen. Luckily, I don’t have to spend so many hours in the kitchen with this Instant Pot Chicken Curry.
This is one of my favorite instant pot recipes simply because of how tender the chicken comes out.
I like how it accommodates different types of cooking in one go; from sautéing to pressure cooking! Now, there’s no need to pull out so many pots!
My version is so simple that the hardest part is just the preparation (which is also just a breeze).
Instant Pot Chicken Curry vs Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
Looking back at our past recipes, we can see that we’ve tackled a lip-smacking Slow Cooker Chicken Curry recipe.
So now you might ask “what’s the difference between the two?” Well, it’s right there on the name. The main difference between the two is the cooking time of the dish.
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
Although both play around with heat, pressure, and time to make the meats super tender, this one uses manual cooking.
This means that it’s prone to overcooking if not watched carefully. Because our recipe has a creamy sauce, it is prone to spilling as well, more on this below.
Instant Pot Chicken Curry
Both dishes are flavorful, lovely, tender, and easy to eat (if you love spicy food like me).
What I like about this Instant Pot ChickenCurry recipe is that it automatically tells you when it’s done.
Just a few button presses and you can just chill and relax. No need to worry about spilling!
In summary, Instant Pot Chicken Curry cooks faster with its automatic use of high-pressure cooking. The pressure build-up time is far shorter thus giving you tender and juicy meat.
Chicken Curry Recipe Ingredients
Personally, I really love playing around with spices. I find it amazing when different spices come together to form a harmonious blend.
Here’s everything I used for my version of this recipe.
- Boneless Chicken Thighs – This juicy piece of meat is just perfect for curry. It’s super tender once done.
- Curry spice or powder – This pungent spice has strong flavors perfect for the chicken.
- Salt and pepper – The classic flavor enhancing duo. I always keep a stock in my pantry.
- Canola or cooking oil – Any unflavored oil will do.
- Sliced onion – This bulb of veggie gives a sweet distinct taste once perfectly cooked. (Check these neat tricks on How to Cut Onions).
- Minced garlic – The aroma and flavor for this ingredient renders perfectly when you mince it right. Here’s my guide on how to mince garlic.
- Thyme – You can use whether fresh or dried. The flavors will surely blend with the dish.
- Paprika – It has a pungent taste because of its pepper origins, also with a hint of sweetness from bell peppers.
- Coconut milk – Makes the sauce creamier and balances the heat of the next ingredient.
- Scotch bonnet pepper – This one is a really hot pepper so be careful when using this. (You can actually change this pepper if your palate is sensitive to spices.)
- Potatoes – This chunky ingredient neutralizes any overpowering flavors.
- Carrots – This gives the dish a fresh chunk in every bite.
- Green beans – This green veggie gives a color contrast for the finished dish.
- Chicken bouillon (optional) – for additional flavor.
The key to a good curry is the complex proportion of each spice and ingredient blending with each other.
Although there is a handful of ingredients for this recipe, you shouldn’t be daunted. I’ve simplified everything in the recipe section for your convenience.
Can You Freeze Instant Pot Chicken Curry?
If you need to make this dish a few days ahead, I suggest freezing your Instant Pot Chicken Curry.
As with other dishes, you have to wait until it is fully cooled down before placing it in a container.
Make sure that the container isn’t filled to the rim. Leave a bit of room so you can tightly close the lid. Freezing this dish could give you 2 -3 months of storage time.
Frequently Asked Questions
I highly recommend that you follow this recipe faithfully to have an idea of what it should taste like. Then once you’ve tried my Instant Pot Chicken Curry, I encourage you to give it your own twist.
This could result in having too much liquid in the dish. This can be solved in three methods.
Firstly, you can wait a bit longer so that the starch from the potatoes thickens the sauce.
Secondly, you can add a bit of coconut milk but I should advise you to be careful about this ingredient. Adding too much will give you a frothy sauce which can ruin the texture of the whole dish.
Lastly, you can use about a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour to thicken the mixture quicker.
Don’t worry. An easy remedy for this is to add a bit of dairy to counteract the capsaicin of the pepper. Also, be careful with this ingredient as it tends to be frothy when cooked in an instant pot. You can also consider adding more potatoes to help neutralize the spice.
I totally understand. That’s a thing! Although you won’t have to worry about this in an instant pot multi-cooker because of its automatic sensor.
But if in the rare case that you accidentally burn your curry, it’s best to transfer it into another pot. Make sure not to include any burnt parts. Now, cut up a potato in half and place it in the pot.
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat. The potato will absorb any unwanted burnt flavors and odor. Problem Fixed!
With a flavor-packed dish such as this, you can never go wrong with plain-tasting sides. I have just the dishes that will go perfectly well with this dish.
- Homemade White bread
- Coconut Rice
- Cassava Fufu / Water Fufu
- Skillet Cornbread
- Baguettes or any crusty bread
More Flavorful Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Ala King
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Chicken Biryani
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Curry Recipe
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Curry
Season and Saute
- Season the meat -Season chicken with salt, pepper, and curry spice and set aside. (see photo 1)
- Sauté the chicken – Press the “Sauté” button to heat up Instant Pot. Heat oil and place the chicken in Instant Pot, then brown for 4 minutes. (see photo 2)
- Flip the chicken – Flip the chicken & brown the other side for another 3.5 minutes. Remove and set the browned chicken aside. (see photo 3)
- Sauté the onions and aromatics – Drain oil and leave about 2 tablespoons. Add onions, followed by minced garlic, thyme, bay leaf, paprika, curry powder, stir for 2-3 minutes for the flavors to blossom. (see photos 4 and 5)
Add Stock and Cook
- Add in the stock – Pour in chicken stock, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot. (see photo 6 and 7)
- Add the veggies – Add tomato paste, salt and bouillon. Add the browned chicken & its juices. Layer the carrot, beans and potato chunks on top. Add scotch bonnet pepper.
- Close the lid and start cooking – With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook: Cook on “High Pressure” for 5 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. Release the remaining pressure, then open the lid. Bring the curry sauce to a simmer with the “Sauté” function. Mix in coconut milk and continue simmering till thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Watch How To Make It
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Instant Pot Chicken Curry
- 3 – 3 ½ pounds boneless chicken thighs (see notes)
- salt and pepper to taste (or use chicken seasoning)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ¼ cup canola or cooking oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 – 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ – 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½- 2 tablespoons curry spice/ powder
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon, optional
- 1 pound carrots and green beans, more or less
- 1 pound potatoes or more, peeled and cut into medium pieces
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- ½ cup coconut milk
- salt to taste
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and curry spice and set aside.
- Press the “Sauté” button to heat up Instant Pot.
- Heat oil and place the chicken in Instant Pot, then brown for 4 minutes. Flip the chicken & brown the other side for another 3-5 minutes. Remove and set the browned chicken aside. Drain oil and leave about 2 tablespoons.
- Add onions, followed by minced garlic, thyme, bay leaf, paprika, curry powder, stir for 2-3 minutes for the flavors to blossom.
- Pour in chicken stock, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add tomato paste, salt, and bouillon.
- Add the browned chicken & its juices. Layer the carrot, beans and potato chunks on top. Add scotch bonnet pepper.
- With the venting knob in venting position, close the lid, then turn venting knob to Sealing Position.
- Pressure cook: Cook on "High Pressure" for 5 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release.
- Release the remaining pressure, then open the lid.
- Bring the curry sauce to a simmer with the “Sauté” function. Mix in coconut milk and continue simmering till thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Tips & Notes:
- You may use whole chicken, legs, and thighs with or without bone. Just adjust the time accordingly.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.