Quick & Flavorful Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry Recipe

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine coming home to the rich aromas of Indian spices filling your kitchen. That’s the magic of whipping up a delightful Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry. This dish combines the depth of traditional Indian flavors with the modern convenience of an Instant Pot, making it a perfect meal for busy weeknights.

Originating from the diverse regions of India, chicken curry has many variations, each boasting its own unique blend of spices and ingredients. What you’ll love about this version is how it simplifies complex flavors into a few easy steps without compromising on taste. Whether you’re new to Indian cuisine or a seasoned pro, this recipe promises to be a crowd-pleaser.


Gather all your ingredients to bring this aromatic Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry to life in your kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need, organized categorically for your convenience.

Spices and Herbs

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Chicken and Marinade

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (adjust for desired consistency)
    Prepare the marinade and have your vegetables ready to ensure a smooth cooking process when you start with your Instant Pot.

Equipment Needed

Before diving into the cooking process for your Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry, ensure you have all the necessary equipment on hand. Having the right tools can make the preparation smoother and more enjoyable.

  • Instant Pot: The central piece of equipment for this recipe. A 6-quart Instant Pot is ideal for this amount of curry, offering enough space for all the ingredients and ensuring the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Cutting Board: You’ll need a sturdy cutting board for chopping vegetables and cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Chef’s Knife: A sharp chef’s knife is essential for efficiently prepping your ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial for the perfect balance of spices and liquids in this dish.
  • Mixing Bowl: A large mixing and marinating bowl for preparing the chicken with yogurt and spices before cooking.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: This will help you sauté the vegetables and mix ingredients in the Instant Pot without scratching its surface.
  • Ladle: For serving your delicious curry comfortably and neatly.

Assemble these items before you start cooking to streamline your cooking process and enhance your overall experience making this flavorful dish. By prepping your equipment, you ensure a no-fuss, no-mess cook that results in a savory meal to delight your palate.


Now that you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment at hand, let’s start the exciting process of making your Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry.

Marinating the Chicken

First, take your chicken and rinse it well under cold water, then pat it dry with paper towels. Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 2 teaspoons turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, and salt to taste. Mix everything thoroughly until the chicken is well-coated with the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, though marinating it for an hour or more will enhance the flavors even more. If you plan ahead, you can marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator, which maximizes the depth of flavors.

Chopping Vegetables

While the chicken is marinating, you can get started on the vegetables. Take your onion and peel it, then finely chop it to ensure it melds well with the curry. Wash the bell pepper, remove the stem and seeds, and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. If you’re using fresh tomatoes, wash and dice them, or if you prefer, canned tomatoes can be used as well. This preparation of vegetables will add the necessary texture and layers of flavor to your curry.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you’ve marinated the chicken and prepared your vegetables, it’s time to start cooking your Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry.

Sautéing Spices and Vegetables

Begin by setting your Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode. Add two tablespoons of oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, toss in one teaspoon of cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds. Next, add your chopped onions. Stir the onions for about 3-4 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

Now add the minced garlic (2 cloves) and a tablespoon of grated ginger. Sauté these for a minute until fragrant. Follow with your chopped bell peppers and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

Finally, put in the chopped tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir everything well and cook for another 2 minutes until the tomatoes start breaking down. This process not only enriches the flavor but also forms a perfect base for your curry.

Cooking the Chicken

Take your marinated chicken and add it to the pot. Stir it with the vegetable and spice mixture to ensure the chicken is well-coated. Now, sprinkle 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, coriander powder, and garam masala over the chicken. Pour in half a cup of water to help combine all the elements nicely.

Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is set to the sealing position. Change the setting to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode and set the timer for 7 minutes.

Once the cooking time is completed, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before doing a quick release for any remaining pressure.

Assembling the Curry

After the initial cooking phase, you’re ready to bring all the components together to complete your Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry. This step is crucial as it combines all the flavors, allowing them to meld together beautifully.

Adding Coconut Milk and Adjusting Spices

  1. Stir in coconut milk gently into the pot. Coconut milk adds a creamy texture and balances the spices, infusing the curry with a subtle sweetness.
  2. Taste the curry and adjust the spices according to your preference. If you desire a bit more heat, sprinkle in some extra garam masala or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  3. Mix well, ensuring that the coconut milk is fully integrated with the rest of the ingredients.

Simmering the Curry

  1. Seal the Instant Pot lid once again and set it to the ‘Sauté’ function. Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. This step helps to thicken the sauce slightly and intensifies the flavors.
  2. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent the curry from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  1. Once the curry has simmered, turn off the Instant Pot.
  2. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness. These herbs not only add color but also enhance the overall flavor profile of the dish.

After these final adjustments, your Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry is ready to be served. Enjoy this delightful dish with rice, naan, or your favorite Indian bread. The rich flavors and aromatic spices are sure to transport you straight to the heart of India.

Serving Suggestions

After your Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry is richly simmered and ready to serve, you have a variety of options to turn this delightful dish into a hearty meal. Embrace the versatility of this curry by exploring these serving suggestions:

With Rice

A traditional and popular choice, serving your chicken curry with basmati rice can never go wrong. The long, fragrant grains of basmati rice make an excellent palette to soak up the curry, providing a satisfying balance to the rich flavors.

  1. Prepare the Rice: Start by rinsing 1 cup of basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear to remove excess starch. This ensures the rice will be fluffy and not clump together.
  2. Cook the Rice: Use a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil in a pot, add the rice, lower the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 more minutes before fluffing with a fork.

With Indian Breads

For those who enjoy a more hands-on approach, pairing your curry with an array of Indian breads like naan, roti, or paratha offers a delightful experience. These breads are perfect for scooping up the curry and enjoying the full flavor profile of the dish.

  • Naan: A soft and pillowy option, great for those who love a slightly chewy texture.
  • Roti: A whole-wheat alternative, offering a hearty and wholesome addition.
  • Paratha: Layered and flaky, ideal for a decadent meal.

With a Side Salad

To add a crisp and refreshing contrast to the creamy curry, pair it with a simple side salad. A cucumber salad with a light dressing of lemon juice, salt, and pepper complements the spices well and refreshes the palate.

  • Prepare the Salad: Slice cucumbers thinly, toss with a pinch of salt, pepper, chopped mint, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Chill before serving.
  • Fresh Coriander: A sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander adds a pop of color and freshness.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serve with lemon wedges for guests to squeeze over their


Ready to dive into the rich flavors of your homemade Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry? You’ve got all the tools and tips to make a dish that’s as delicious as it is easy to prepare. Whether you’re serving it up with fluffy basmati rice, warm naan, or a cool cucumber salad, this curry is sure to impress. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon to elevate every bite. Enjoy the taste of India right from your kitchen and watch this curry become a new favorite in your culinary repertoire!

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