This easy Instant Pot chicken curry recipe is a modern spin on a classic Indian dish. It's easy to make and packed with delicious flavors. Perfect for busy weeks when you're craving comforting Indian food.
It's great for dinner tonight or meal prep for the next day. Trust me, this Instant Pot chicken curry will become a favorite for the whole family!
Made with simple ingredients like boneless chicken thighs, diced tomatoes, and an aromatic blend of spices. Enjoying this creamy Instant Pot chicken curry with jasmine rice or naan bread is fabulous.
Why we all Love this Easy Instant Pot Chicken Curry?
All in One Pot: Using the Instant Pot's sauté function, you can cook everything in just one pot. It's a timer saver and has fewer dishes to clean. If you're new to Instant Pot cooking, you might also like this Instant Pot potato curry.
Authentic Indian Flavors: This dish offers a truly satisfying experience with its creamy sauce and well-seasoned chicken. A mix of spices like ginger, garlic paste, and garam masala gives it that authentic Indian taste, just like the food you'd try on a trip to India. For more Indian flavors, check out this cabbage curry, salmon curry, or almond milk curry.
Meal Prep and Leftovers: This Instant Pot chicken curry is perfect for meal prep since it's freezer-friendly. Make a large batch, freeze it, and consume it later. If you're into meal prepping, you might also be interested in this mung bean curry or Madras lentils.
Multiple Variations: This is a basic recipe, so feel free to experiment. You can try the same curry sauce with different proteins and make shrimp, lamb, or tofu curry.
Simply Delicious: What sets this chicken curry apart is its tasty sauce, made from easy-to-find ingredients and requires minimal effort.
How to make Instant Pot Chicken Curry?
Chicken: While using whole chicken cut into small pieces with bones is ideal for this curry, I used chicken breasts today for convenience. Feel free to substitute with chicken thighs or bone-in chicken thighs.
Onions: White or red onions are perfect for this recipe as they bring out a rich, deep flavor.
Ginger and Garlic: I have added minced ginger and garlic. Alternatively, you can crush fresh ginger and garlic with a mortar and pestle.
Tomatoes: I've used fresh tomatoes for this chicken curry recipe, but canned diced tomatoes or tomato puree would also work.
Cayenne Pepper and Paprika: I like combining spices to achieve a balanced heat and flavor in this Instant Pot chicken curry. Adjust the quantity of cayenne pepper according to your taste and preference.
Ground coriander: This spice adds a nutty, aromatic flavor. Use either whole cumin seeds or ground cumin. If using whole seeds, let them crackle in vegetable oil before sautéing. If using ground cumin, add it toward the end of cooking.
Turmeric: This is another crucial Indian condiment that's hard to find a substitute. If you don't have it, you can skip it but know that it adds a golden hint of color to the curry sauce.
Garam masala: This single ingredient can bring all the rich Indian flavors.
Vegetable Oil: Canola, palm, or any other neutral-flavored cooking oil works fine for this recipe.
Cilantro: No Indian curry would be complete without a garnish of fresh cilantro. It combines all the flavors and adds a pop of color, making the dish even more delicious.
Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode and add the vegetable oil. Wait for a couple of seconds until the inner pan starts sizzling up.
Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it becomes soft and tender.
Next, toss the minced garlic and ginger and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
Sprinkle in the paprika, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Stir well without burning them(ginger and garlic tend to stick to the bottom of the pan).
Combine the chopped tomatoes with their juice.
Add the chicken pieces and salt. Sauté for a few minutes until the spices coat them evenly. Add a cup of water and close the Instant Pot lid. Set it to high pressure on the Instant Pot. Cook for 7 minutes.
After the cooking cycle, quick release the pressure manually to avoid overcooking.
If desired, serve your Instant Pot chicken curry hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.
How to Store?
In the Refrigerator: Transfer the leftover curry to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
In the Freezer: This Instant Pot chicken curry is a freezer-friendly recipe. For the best results, place the curry in a freezer-safe container. Seal tightly and label with the date; the curry stays suitable for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Thawing: To thaw, remove the frozen curry from the freezer and let the spicy curry sit in the refrigerator overnight to retain the flavor and texture.
Reheating: Transfer the curry to a pan and heat it over medium heat by stirring occasionally. Otherwise, gently microwave it.
Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry: This recipe variation adds a creamy texture to the curry.
Cooking methods: This creamy, spicy Instant Pot chicken curry is good to make in a slow cooker, stovetop, or pressure cooker; however, the cooking time changes according to each of these gadgets. However, following the cooking instructions of each of these brings success.
Mint: If you have mint growing in your kitchen like me, add them with tomato. It's one of the herbs that contribute to all the fantastic Indian flavors.
Curry powder: Try swapping the garam masala with curry powder. For those who do know about these ingredients, these two spices are different and have a different flavor profile.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Curry?
Basmati Rice: Basmati rice is a classic pairing with this Instant Pot chicken curry. Its fragrant and fluffy texture serves as the perfect base. Or try serving with flavored rice dishes like Indian coconut rice, mint pulao, or tomato rice.
You can make your naan bread using a recipe or find pre-made ones at your local grocery store.
Cauliflower Rice: Cauliflower rice is excellent if you're looking for a lighter and low-carb option.
Cooking Tips And Tricks
- Use bone-in chicken thighs or whole chicken(cut into small cubes) to add more flavor to this Instant Pot chicken curry. The bones will release their juices and enhance the taste of the dish.
- Add a teaspoon of lime juice just before serving to brighten the flavors.
- To make the curry sauce more creamy texture, stir in coconut or heavy cream towards the end of cooking.
- Toss in red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the spice mix if you prefer a spicier curry.
- Add a blob of butter if you find the curry is too spicy. It also acts as a neutralizer for the spiciness of the curry.
- Add chopped bell peppers after opening the Instant Pot's lid for extra flavors.
Tools Recommended to Make this Recipe
Instant Pot: This is super handy for an effortless cooking.
Chef's Knife: A good knife ensures precision and ease in prepping this Instant Pot Chicken Curry.
Measuring Spoons: Essential for consistent flavors and perfect results.
Printable recipe card
Instant Pot Chicken Curry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped (or 1 can of diced tomatoes with their liquid)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoons garam masala
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add vegetable oil and chopped onion.
- Sauté for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Toss in the cayenne pepper, paprika, ground coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Stir well without burning them.
- Combine the chopped tomatoes. And continue to saute until the tomatoes become mushy.
- Add the chicken pieces and salt.
- Sauté for a few minutes until the spices coat them evenly.
- Add water, close the lid, and cook on high for 7 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle is done, release the pressure manually.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve this Instant Pot chicken curry hot with rice or naan bread.