Easy & healthy Coconut Chicken Curry made in an Instant Pot in just 30 minutes! This is simple Indian chicken curry recipe is made with ginger, garlic, onions alongside flavorful spices, and finished with creamy coconut milk. Pair this dairy-free & gluten-free curry with fragrant basmati rice.
This is the best coconut and chicken curry that you'll ever make. Personally, I love curries because they are quick, full of flavor and tastes just as good the following days. This curry is also incredible because it uses basic ingredients,similar to my mom's chicken curry and chicken curry with potatoes, that you most likely have in your kitchen right now.
It's so healthy because it's made from scratch and also very quick to make (thanks to the instant pot), you have control over the ingredients in this curry and the most important part is that this curry is mild, therefore perfect for kids (even picky eaters). Your family will love this recipe!
How to make Coconut Chicken Curry?
Before you start making this coconut chicken curry make sure you have all the ingredients prepped and on hand. Dice your onions and cut your chicken thighs into pieces. Keep the spices ready. Now let's start making this delicious curry.
- Set the Instant Pot on sauté mode and let it heat.
- Add ghee or oil along with the cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds until they release their aroma. Cumin seeds are optional but do add a wonderful flavor to the curry. If you have ghee, I highly recommend to use it, as it adds so much more flavor to this curry.
- Now add the diced onions, garlic, ginger, and sauté them for a few minutes.
- When the onions turn golden brown, add the tomato puree along with the spices and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. I used canned tomato puree, you can also use fresh tomato puree in this recipe. Blend 2 tomatoes to make a puree.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pot. Stir and sauté for 3-4 more minutes. Do not skip this step, as it adds lots of flavor to the curry.
- Then add the water and mix well. Deglaze well and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Switch the Instant Pot to manual or pressure cook on high pressure for 4 minutes with the vent in sealing position.
- As soon as the Instant Pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually and open the lid.
- Now stir in the coconut milk, garam masala and let it simmer on sauté mode for 4-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened to your preference. Use full-fat canned unsweetened coconut milk.
- You are almost ready! Stir in the lime juice and garnish with cilantro.
- The coconut chicken curry is ready to be served with flavorful rice or Indian flatbreads. Enjoy!
How to serve this Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk?
You can whip up some basmati rice or cumin rice to soak up all that saucy goodness. This curry goes also very well with Indian flatbreads like roti, naan or paratha with a side of yogurt.
Leftovers and Reheating Tips
Seal any leftover curry in an airtight container, it should last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. But if you'd like to make more for the week or month ahead, I suggest you freeze it. Make sure it's fully cooled down before sealing. Once the curry is frozen it will keep well for 3-4 months.
You can reheat the curry in the microwave or on the stovetop while stirring well.
Tips & Variations for making the best coconut chicken curry
- You can use skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs to make this curry.
- Add all the veggies! You can add roasted cauliflower, broccoli florets, green peas and even baby spinach at the end! If you want to add potatoes or sweet potatoes, cut them in large pieces and add them just before pressure cooking.
- You don't want chicken? No problem! You can still make a delicious curry using shrimps like in this Coconut Shrimp Curry.
- For a plant-based version of curry, try this Vegetable Korma with coconut milk which is also made in an instant pot.
Looking for more quick & delicious instant pot recipes? I've got you covered!
- Chickpea Curry with Spinach (Chana Saag) - A healthy vegan and gluten-free curry with chickpeas and spinach.
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta - Spaghetti tossed in a creamy cheese sauce loaded with mushrooms.
- Vegetable Biryani - Fragrant basmati rice cooked with lots of vegetables, and aromatic whole spices and herbs.
- Madras Lentils - Restaurant-style Dal Makhani made in the pressure cooker, it's rich, creamy, and flavorful.
Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry
- 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera) optional
- 1 cup Onions yellow diced
- ½ tablespoon Ginger paste or grated
- ½ tablespoon Garlic paste or minced
- 1 cup Tomato puree canned or blend 2 tomatoes to make a puree *
- 1 pound Chicken thighs skinless and boneless, cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 cup Coconut Milk canned, full-fat, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- Cilantro to garnish
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin (Jeera powder)
- ½ teaspoon Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Start the instant pot in Sauté mode and let it heat. Add ghee (or oil), and then add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Add onions, ginger and garlic paste. Sauté for about 3 minutes until the onions turn golden brown.
- Add tomato puree and spices. Mix and let it sauté for 2-3 minutes. (If your instant pot is prone to burn, then skip this step and add the tomato puree after sautéing the chicken and adding water. Do not stir.)
- Add chicken pieces to the pot. Stir and saute the chicken for about 3-4 minutes. Do not skip this step, as it adds lots of flavor to the curry.
- Add the water and stir. Press cancel and close lid with the vent in sealing position.
- Start the instant pot in Manual or Pressure cook mode on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually and open the lid.
- Stir in the coconut milk, garam masala and let it simmer on sauté mode for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce is thickened (see notes to thicken sauce).
- Stir in the lime juice and garnish with cilantro. Coconut Chicken Curry is ready to be served. Enjoy over basmati rice or with naan.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
I have made this recipe multiple times. I actually use diced or crush tomatos in a can to make this recipe. It turns out delicioius everytime. The leftovers are even better than freshly made because the spices have really seeped into it. Thank you so much for this recipe!
Piping Pot Curry says
Hi Taylor - I'm glad to hear that. It's wonderful when the flavors deepen over time and the leftovers turn out even better. You're welcome, and happy cooking!
Jackie cannon says
looked and tasted nothing like the picture.....
This was really good! I've tried a couple of InstaPot curried chicken recipes, and always had to add a lot more seasonings. I followed it pretty much exactly and it was delicious. Whole family agreed, even the pickiest eater. I'll definitely make again.
Just wanted to let people know that I've made this work in my slow cooker also and swap between that and the IP version depending on what's best for my schedule that day. I make as directed more or less: sautee ingredients first, then slow cook on high for about 6 hours (make sure you check as slow cookers all run a bit differently in terms of heat levels). The main changes I make are to add 1 lb of potatoes (cut in large chunks) and also to add the coconut milk with the tomato and increase water to 1/2 cup to give enough liquid for the slow cooking process. I often stir in some frozen peas for the last half hour or so to add some green veg as well.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Sarah - Thank you for sharing. This will be so helpful for others who want to cook this curry in a slow cooker.
I intend to try this recipe in my slow cooker but wonder if the time of six hours on High is correct
one of the best chicken curry recipes i’ve ever tasted! this will be my go to from now on 🙂 thank you !
Piping Pot Curry says
Hi Nikita - That's wonderful feedback to receive, and I'm glad that the recipe worked out well for you. Thanks for trying it out and sharing your experience with me!
Absolutely delish! I added baby spinach at end .. wished I had read ahead and included potatoes .. I will cook them separately and add in (so I can measure them). I agree with other commenters - it does not stink up the house. The tomatoe gives it a luscious richness. A keeper ! Thanks !
Meeta Arora says
Hi Kathie - Happy to hear you enjoyed the curry. Thank you for sharing back your experience.
I tried your carrot ginger soup and now I tried this curry. Really good
Piping Pot Curry says
Hi Sarah - So good to hear that. Thank you for sharing it.
Made this twice in two weeks. Easy! Delicious! Per other reviewers you can add the whole can of both tomatoes and coconut milk. It’ll be soupier and I like it saucy that way. Added a chopped potato at the end to cook for another minute. Sooooo good and doesn’t stink up the house like stove top curry.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Annabel - Happy to hear you enjoyed the curry. Thank you for sharing back!