Mom’s authentic Chicken Curry recipe made in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.  This chicken curry instant pot recipe is made in a simple onion-tomato gravy with the aroma of whole spices. This is the best Chicken Curry you will ever have!

Chicken Curry Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Final

I wanted to recreate my mom’s chicken curry in the instant pot and tried it multiple times.  But I was not getting the exact favor that comes when she cooks the curry….something was missing!  But guess what, mom is visiting and shared her secret tips for the chicken curry.

Mom’s Chicken Curry Tips

  1. Sauté the onions for longer, about 4 mins until the oil starts separating .
  2. Add the tomatoes and sauté the onion-tomato mixture for longer, again about 4 mins until the oil separates.
  3. Add the chicken and cook it on sauté for 2-3 mins, before you pressure cook.

You get the idea, basically sauté the ingredients perfectly, to get the perfect chicken curry.  Another great thing about this curry is, there is no marination required.  So no pre-prep for this recipe.

Step-by-step Chicken Curry Instant Pot Instructions

Start with getting the main ingredients ready.

  • The whole spices in one bowl.  If you want to make this recipe simpler, you can skip the whole spices.  What you lose with that is the aroma, but trust me, it will still be as flavorful.
  • The ground spices in one bowl.
  • Chicken cut into pieces.  I used boneless chicken breasts in this recipe, but mom says bone-in chicken tastes even better.  This is next to try, but I do like the convenience of boneless chicken.
Instant Pot Chicken Curry Ingredients

Now we are ready to start cooking!  Start the instant pot in Sauté mode, and heat ghee or oil in it.  I prefer ghee to get the richer taste, especially homemade ghee in the instant pot.  Add the whole spices and sauté for 30 seconds to get the aroma.   Add the green chili, onions, ginger and garlic to the pot.  Sauté for about 4 minutes until the onions turn brown and the oil separates.  Now add the tomatoes and ground spices.  Sauté for another 4 minutes until oil separates.  Remember mom’s tips, this sautéing of onions and tomatoes is what gives a great taste to the chicken curry.   Keep stirring at about 1-2 minute interval, so the onions and tomato don’t get stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Chicken Curry Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Steps 1

Let’s add the chicken pieces to the pot.  Stir it well, so the chicken is coated with the onion-tomato masala.  Sauté the chicken for a couple of minutes.  Now add  water to the pot and deglaze well.  The trick is to add less water, as the chicken also releases water.

Chicken Curry Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Steps

Change the instant pot setting to pressure cook mode and cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.  Quick release the pressure, as we don’t want to overcook the chicken.  Stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.

Chicken Curry Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cooked

Look at the end result, doesn’t it look appetizing?  I had this chicken curry for three meals at a stretch, first with roti (Indian flatbread), then with rice and finally with naan.

Instant Pot Chicken Curry

Don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker, use the same steps to cook chicken curry in a pan.  After adding chicken to the pan, cover pan with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes.  Stir every 3-4 minutes, so the chicken does not stick to the pan.  You would need to double the amount of water (1 cup) when cooking in a pan.

Try this Chicken Curry instant pot recipe and let me know how you like it.  

Want to find other easy Instant Pot Indian Recipes? Here are 23 Best Instant Pot Indian Recipes for you to try!

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4.89 from 524 votes

Mom’s Chicken Curry – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Mom’s authentic Chicken Curry made in a simple onion-tomato gravy with the aroma of whole spices.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound Chicken, boneless, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
  • 1 Green Chili Pepper, small, chopped (optional)
  • 1 inch Ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 Onion, medium sized, finely chopped
  • 2 Tomato, medium sized, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, to garnish



  • Cut the boneless chicken into small pieces, about 1-2 inch in size.
  • Heat the instant pot in Sauté mode and add oil to it. Add the whole spices and sauté for 30 seconds to get the aroma.
  • Add the chopped green chili, onions, ginger and garlic to the pot and sauté for 4 minutes until they turn golden brown. Keep stirring at regular intervals.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and spices. Sauté for another 4 minutes, while stirring at regular intervals.
  • Add the chicken and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Do not skip this step, as it adds lots of flavor to the curry.
  • Then add the water and stir it with the chicken. Deglaze and scrape off anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. 
  • Change the instant pot setting to manual/pressure cook mode on high for 5 minutes.
  • When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually. Stir in the lemon juice.
  • Garnish with cilantro and chicken curry is ready to serve.


YouTube video


Whole Spices: If you want to simplify this recipe, skip the whole spices in this recipe.
Chicken: If using bigger pieces of chicken or bone-in chicken, increase the pressure cooking time to 7 minutes. I used chicken breasts when making this curry, but chicken thighs work great and are juicier. 
Green Chili Pepper: I typically use Thai or Birdeye Chili Pepper for this recipes. Don’t forget to adjust to your taste. 
Adjust Spice: To make this less spicy, you can skip the green chili. Also adjust the red chili powder to taste. You can use paprika if you dont have Kashmiri Red Chili powder. 
Thickness of the final curry: This is a homestyle indian chicken curry, which is typically not a thick sauce as you always get in restaurants. If you want to thicken the curry, you can add cashew paste, cashew butter, coconut milk, or heavy cream. 
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.


Calories: 268kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 25gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 765mgPotassium: 633mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 730IUVitamin C: 17.7mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1.2mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Low Carb, Paleo
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

If you are looking for more chicken recipes, check out Chicken Korma, Keema Matar, Chicken ChettinadSaag Chicken and the famous Butter Chicken.  Like goat meat, check out our Mutton Curry recipe.

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I have made this 4 times and my family absolutely loved it. This time around I have a whole chicken (3 lbs) which I will chop up into bit sized pieces with bones attached but without skin. How should l adjust the spices and cooking time?

  2. I am a vegetarian and am planning to cook this recipe for some friends. Everything I’ve tried on your site has been delicious, and I know this will be as well!

    At their suggestion, I’m planning to get boneless chicken thighs. Would I need to change the cooking time for boneless thigh meat?

    1. Hi Ami – Thank you! I am so glad that you trust my recipes. This recipe will work as is for boneless chicken thighs. Just cut them into pieces 1-2 inch pieces.

      1. Thank you. Though I didn’t try since I am a vegetarian, our friends really liked it! (I’m sorry I put the comment in the wrong place.)

  3. I have made this dish a couple of times already in the past one month as we find it extremely delicious. Thanks so much for the lovely recipe.

    1. Hi Viktoria – You’re very welcome! I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve made the dish multiple times and find it extremely delicious.

  4. Absolutely awesome chicken curry recipe with just the right amount of spices and heat! Looking forward to making it again.
    Thank you!

  5. Made this recipe last night and it was amazing. My husband is still talking about how good it was. Thank you! Looking forward to making it again soon.

    1. Hi Jessica – I’m delighted to hear that the recipe was a hit and left a lasting impression! 🙂

  6. This looks great but do you have a version of this without using a pressure cooker etc.. as I don’t own one! Thanks in advance!

    1. Use a pot with a lid. Follow recipe as is, just put lid on when the step says “pressure cook” and cook till chicken is not raw anymore (20-30 minutes). Most curry recipes don’t use a pressure cooker, but the pressure cooker just cooks the food faster.

      1. Hi Jane – Sarah said it well. Follow the steps until the pressure cooking step. Then cover with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat, until the chicken is cooked through. Hope you enjoy the curry!

  7. So simple but so good! This is my new go to chicken curry recipe. What if I want to make 2 lbs of chicken next time, what pressure time should I use? And should I double the other ingredients?

    1. Hi Ramita – The pressure cooking time will remain the same even if you double the recipe. Double all the other ingredients, but not the water. Glad you enjoyed the curry!

  8. This is a knock out curry! I’ve tried quite a few in my Instant Pot and this is the best in the balance of spices and overall flavor!

    Follow the advice from Meeta’s mother. Taking those steps and the time to develop the flavors is what makes all the difference.