Instant Pot Chicken Curry is a comforting dish that is full of flavour, another great thing about this curry is, there is no marination required. So no pre-prep for this recipe. Go ahead and heat up the inner pot in sauté mode until it is hot then add some butter or whatever you have chosen to use and then add in the cumin seeds, the cinnamon stick, the bay leaves, and stir them all up until they start to sizzle. You do not want to burn them so just be careful. Add your onions, garlic and ginger then sauté those until they are a beautiful golden brown colour
and this is going to take a little bit of time.

The key to a good chicken curry is patience so just keep stirring frequently and you might even need to deglaze the inner pot once in a while to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. And once you get that golden brown colour you can add tomato paste mixed with water and stir that up and let it incorporate into the onion mixture until it forms a nice rich paste. Add the spices that are coriander, turmeric, black pepper, chilli powder, and salt and stir till them.

Cook in the residual heat and until the spices become nice and fragrant about 30 seconds to a minute and if you need to deglaze once in a while you can do that just add a couple of drops of water and that allows you to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom and burning. So then once you are done with that you can add the chicken and you want to get the spice paste in all around the chicken so just kind of stir it up in there and you’re ready to add in your water or chicken broth.

You want to move your chicken pieces around so that the water gets underneath the chicken and if you tend to get the burn error then make sure just add a little bit more water and now you’re going to pressure cook for about nine minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally or you can release the pressure using the quick-release method. Open the lid and add the potatoes and push them down so that they are submerged in the liquid and the absorb the flavour of the curry and close the lid again and pressure cook again for about 2 to 6 minutes.

It depends on how cooked you want your potatoes quick release again and opens the lid and add the garam masala and stir it up until it incorporates into the curry the reason we add is so as not to dull the flavours. Now add the cashew paste or butter to thicken the curry. Cashew paste is raw cashews ground up with some water to a really smooth paste. You could also use some coconut milk, you can use
cream but be careful when stirring you do not want to break the chicken up because it will be very tender and then we heat it up on sauté mode just to heat the cashew paste all the way through and garnish with some cilantro and you are ready to serve it.


  • 3 tbsp (43 grams) butter or ghee
  • 3 lbs chicken thighs or drumsticks bone-in
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cups onions chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp chilli powder or cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 cups potato cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In ‘Saute’ mode, melt butter. Add cinnamon, cumin seeds, and bay leaf and stir till fragrant, being careful not to burn. Add onions, garlic, and ginger, and saute till golden brown, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste mixed with 2 Tbsp water and stir.
  3. Saute until tomato paste is cooked, about 3 minutes. If it sticks to the bottom, add another tablespoon or two of water.
  4. Press ‘Cancel’ to turn off Instant Pot, otherwise, spices can burn when you add them.
  5. Add coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, salt, and stir till fragrant.
  6. In ‘Saute’ mode, add chicken pieces and stir to coat with spice mixture.
  7. Add 1/2 cup water or chicken broth and cook in ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ mode for 9 minutes. (Make sure steam release handle is in Sealing position)
  8. Do a Quick Release, add cubed potatoes and garam masala to chicken and stir gently then cook in ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ mode for 6 minutes. (Make sure steam release handle is in Sealing position)
  9. Do a Quick Release then add cashew paste, stir the chicken curry, and heat through in ‘Saute’ mode.
  10. Turn off Instant Pot, sprinkle chicken curry with cilantro, and serve with Instant Pot basmati rice, bread, or naan.