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. 

Easy Coconut Curry chicken in a white bowl

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.
Onions, tomato and spices in instant pot
  • 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.
Chicken curry with coconut milk in instant pot
  • 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!
Chicken Curry with coconut milk in an instant pot garnished with cilantro

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.
Coconut Chicken Curry served over rice in a white bowl

Looking for more quick & delicious instant pot recipes? I’ve got you covered!

4.88 from 485 votes

Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry

Easy & healthy Indian Coconut Chicken Curry made in an Instant Pot in just 20 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera), optional
  • 1 cup Onions, yellow diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ginger, paste or grated
  • 1/2 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.
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk, canned, full-fat, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Lime juice
  • Cilantro , to garnish



  • 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.


YouTube video


Chicken: If you don’t have chicken thighs, you can use skinless chicken breast. But chicken thighs give the best result when pressure cooking this curry. 
Tomato: Use tomato puree (not paste which is thicker and more concentrated). You can also chop and blend two tomatoes to use in this recipe. 
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.
No chicken, use Shrimp: You don’t want chicken? No problem! You can still make a curry using shrimp. Use this Coconut Shrimp Curry recipe.
Coconut Milk: Use coconut milk from a can. 
Thick sauce: I usually don’t need to do this. But if the sauce is not thick to your liking, take out 1/4 cup of the sauce in a small bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Then add it back to the pot. Stir with the curry and cook on sauté for a minute.
Stovetop Method: Follow the steps in the recipe until the pressure cooking step, in a dutch oven or a large pan on medium-high heat. Then cove with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked.


Calories: 497kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 22gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 714mgPotassium: 796mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 623IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 6mg

Additional Info

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

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. Hi Maggie – Add all the ingredients except the lime juice and cilantro to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours. Once the chicken is cooked, add the lime juice and cilantro and give it a stir. Hope you enjoy the curry!

  1. Delicious, quick to make and easy to follow. I had an already sauteed batch of onions and tomatoes, so just used that (ie. tomato was not blended/pureed). It worked out fine. Will make a veg + tofu version next time

  2. I was wondering if I could use tofu instead of the chicken and how should I do that? Should I sauté it the same way as the chicken?
    Thank you! I can’t wait to make this recipe!!

    1. Hi Amenah – If using tofu, I would season with salt and pepper and pan fry or air fry it separately. Then add to the curry. If you are frying the tofu, it does not need to be pressure cooked. I would make the curry in the instant pot or a pan, add 1/2 cup water, and then cook the curry until it comes to a boil and add tofu and simmer it so tofu absorbs the flavors of the curry. Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi Sharon – In india, typically there is nothing called as curry powder, it is basically a mixture of basic spices such as turmeric, coriander, cumin and red chili powder. So that is what I have used in this recipe. Hoe you give it a try!

      1. Meeta – this is an amazing recipe! I found it a couple months ago and i think I have made it 4-5 times now. It has quickly become a favourite meal in my house. I double the recipe every time and add a tsp of cayenne pepper for extra heat. I also add potatoes every time. Thank you so much for posting this amazing recipe!

      2. Hi Pippa – So happy to hear you have been enjoying the curry. Thanks for sharing back!

  3. I have made this many times since finding it a few years ago. My husband loves it and requests it often. Since my coconut milk comes in 14oz can, I add the entire 14 oz, to avoid having to store the remainder (~1/3 cup) which does not hurt the curry in any way. Fantastic flavor and a nice balance of the spices.

    1. Hi May – The pressure cooking time remains the same even if you make 2x or 3x of this curry. The pot will take longer to come to pressure. Hope you enjoy the curry!

  4. Well, I’ve learned something new today. I turns out the uk and the us has very different ideas about what tomato puree is 😂 Over here tomato puree is a very highly concentrated paste of tomatoes… I have a very tomatoey curry here. I should have trusted my judgement and googled it. Nevermind I have added some desiccated coconut (didn’t know what else to do) and it tastes ok. I do believe if I used passata, or even blended fresh tomatoes as suggested it would’ve been a lovely curry.
    I’ll be back with a rating when I’ve done it properly next time 😄👍

    1. Hi Karen – So sorry this confusion happened. I believe what you are describing is called tomato paste here in the US. I am glad you are willing to give the recipe another try. Appreciate your feedback, will be useful for other readers from UK.

      1. Hi Meeta. I can’t seem to start a new comment. But along the lines of the above comment, all the brands I’d coconut milk I have found in stores are made with milk. I’m in Canada. Any recipe with coconut milk is not dairy free. Since you are labelling your recipe as dairy free, I wanted to point it out in case someone does not know.
        I’m still going to try this recipe. But maybe recipes should specify dairy free coconut milk, so people know.

      2. Hi Yvette – Ah..that seems odd. Coconut milk is a savior for vegans. Have you checked the canned coconut milk?

  5. I made this last night and it was yummy. I added some red lentils as well as choand extra water as my little boy doesn’t always eat a lot of chicken. We all loved it, and I’ll make it again

      1. Hi, Meeta.
        Can I use curry powder in this recipe instead of the individual spices? If so, how much? Thank you!

      2. Hi Nicki – it could depend on the heat/spiciness of the curry powder. So I would start with 1.5 teaspoon and add more to taste.

    1. Way too watery after pressure cooking. I won’t bother with the 1/4 cup water next time. Tasty though.

      1. Hi Desnise – Thanks for sharing. I wonder if you sauteed the chicken well before adding the water and pressure cooking. This helps to get the juice of the chicken out and the chicken changes color. But feel free to skip the water next time. Happy that you liked the taste of the curry.

  6. I used my Instant Pot for the first time last night & made this curry. I did the water test first as you recommended. I doubled all the ingredients. It was excellent & so flavorful, we couldn’t stop eating! Added some peas at the end, served with rice & garlic naan & dressed greens. Thank you for the great recipe, I’m looking forward to making more of your recipes!