Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry


This cozy coconut chicken curry is a simple pour and cook recipe that takes minutes to make!

instant pot coconut chicken curry

You need very few things to make this curried chicken dish: chicken thighs, canned coconut milk and spices. That’s it.

And that is precisely why this meal should be on your weekly dinner menu this fall/winter. It’s cozy and comforting and delicious AND easy.

When I say easy, I mean SILLY simple. Like, pour a few ingredients into the instant pot and cook for 5 minutes (with a natural pressure release).

I mean honestly, this recipe doesn’t even require a recipe. But I’ve written one up anyway because we’re friends and I’m willing to hold your hand through even the silliest of simple recipes. One day, when you’ve made this a few times, you’ll be likeMom Ash, I’ve got this. I don’t need you anymore.” And I’ll probably cry a little when that happens. But I want that for you… you know, to be able to do things on your own, without me.

Oh, did I forget to mention that my son is turning three this weekend? Feeling lots of feelings today… about life, about coconut chicken curry, the usual, etc.

instant pot coconut chicken curry

When to make this coconut chicken curry?

  • when you’ve lost track of time and need to put dinner on the table in like 15 minutes.
  • when you’re too exhausted to cook.
  • when you just want to be lazy and do literally nothing (no judgment).
  • when you want good food but don’t want to actually cook it.

It’ll take you more effort to find a place on a food delivery app than it will to make this dish. Seriously. You can have this coconut curry done in less time than it takes to decide what to order, let alone waiting for your food to actually arrive. You know the effort it takes you to get up from your couch to go and answer the door for the delivery? That’s the same amount of energy you’ll expend making this dish. Really.

instant pot coconut chicken curry

what’s the deal with curry powder? is it Indian? (no).

I have some feelings about curry powder (I mean, what don’t I have feelings about today…).

If you happen to ask your Indian mother where she keeps her curry powder, she will one hundred percent look at you like you’re crazy. Ask me how I know.

There’s no such thing as “curry powder” – at least not in Indian kitchens. Curry powder is a British invention but it is Indian inspired. You can read all about curry powder in this post that I wrote a while back.

So back to my feelings.

I think curry powder is an awesome spice blend. The flavors are familiar and it’s quite tasty. But I do kind of roll my eyes when I see/hear others calling an Indian recipe “authentic” while using curry powder in the ingredients. You just can’t do that, you guys. You cannot make butter chicken with curry powder. You cannot make tandoori chicken with curry powder. You can, however, share a super delicious recipe that tastes Indian but isn’t and use curry powder.

Gosh, curry powder is complicated. Bottom line: it’s a great spice blend, but you’re not going to find an authentic dish calling for curry powder in any Indian home/restaurant.

So this (obviously) isn’t an authentic Indian recipe. Not even close. But it’s tasty.

Serve this coconut curry with basmati rice and maybe a side of roasted broccoli. You can also stir some leafy greens into it!

instant pot coconut chicken curry


Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry

instant pot coconut chicken curry

Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry

4.92 from 37 reviews
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  • 1 ½ pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 14 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
  • Cilantro optional


  • Add all of the ingredients to an instant pot, secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure (or NPR for 10 minutes, then release pressure).
  • Using two forks, shred the chicken right into the curry (or you can remove the chicken and cut it into chunks if you prefer)
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice if desired.


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instant pot coconut chicken curry

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Lorrraine McCall says

    5 stars
    So delicious. Honey Bun almost licked the Instant POT – after he ate 3 bowls. And it’s so easy. I will add more garlic, perhaps some additional coconut and fresh ginger (and a curry leaf) on the next batch. We love Keralan cuisine. I’ve made many of your recipes, Ashley and love how easy you make everything. So grateful.

    And if it’s okay, I want to put in a plug for your cookbook. I really learned a lot from reading the notes. I really wanted to do something to support you and say thanks for all you’ve given us with this awesome site.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Lol! Love that he loved it so much, haha! I’ve been thinking of making a Keralite pour and cook recipe – I’ll have to give that a try soon. And thank you so much for the kind words and support, I really appreciate it 🙂

  2. Lisa says

    5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe, I have made it several times and can’t get enough of it. It is so easy and so tasty, well done!

  3. Louise Lomas says

    I made this recipe tonight and loved it but mine did cuerdle. I used a can of coconut milk and a box of cream of coconut. Could this be why?
    Love the taste so need to perfect it next time.

  4. Steve says

    It came out good but didn’t taste like coconut at all. Is there something I can add to give a slightly stronger coconut taste that won’t mess up the recipe? Maybe shredded coconut or coconut oil?

  5. Nonni says

    5 stars
    Thank you for the great recipe. I actually came across it while searching “coconut milk and chicken instant pot.” Usually I don’t read the blog parts of the recipes, but you’re hilarious. Thanks for that. I’m half Sri Lankan and your comments about curry powder are on point. When someone says, “Oh here is some authentic Sri Lankan curry powder,” I would think to myself, “Really? Isn’t curry powder a blend of spices particular to a family and region of a country?” Anyway, thank you for the great recipe and tips. Congrats on your beautiful family. I’m a mom of five littles who love curry so I’m thankful for you who have paved the path before me in this recipe.

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