We love all types of curries but a tasty Thai chicken curry would have to be on the top of the list. Making an authentic Thai curry can be a labour of love, especially if you make your own curry paste, but there is a much simpler and quicker way. This Instant Pot Thai curry is made in under 30 minutes using ingredients you can find in most grocery stores. That’s why we call it a curry in a hurry.
This recipe is by no means an authentic version BUT it’s delicious and pretty close to the real thing, if we may say so. Serve it up with cooked white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice or enjoy it as a standalone stew.
The curry is gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo friendly. If you would like to make a vegetarian or vegan version, replace the meat with diced pumpkin, winter squash or sweet potatoes and feel free to add more vegetables; replace fish sauce with a teaspoon of sea salt and a splash of soy sauce. For a Whole30 version, omit the sugar; you should still get some sweetness from the coconut milk.
Before you get cooking
Chilli: I used a small Birds Eye chilli, which gives a lot of hear, so I scraped out the seeds. You can use a less hot type of red chilli or a pinch of chilli flakes/powder. The mild curry powder is already a little spicy, so you might prefer to omit the chilli altogether if cooking for children.
Fish sauce: It might seem like a lot of fish sauce but don’t be afraid! You can’t actually taste it in the sauce once it’s cooked. It gives lovely salty, umami flavour. If you can’t find fish sauce, simply add 1 teaspoon of salt instead.
Coconut milk: I suggest to use full-fat coconut milk that is around 60% coconut content (not the diluted drinking coconut milk). I used one and a half cans. Make sure to shake the can well before measuring the milk. If using coconut cream, which is thicker, simply add less and add some water or chicken stock to thin it out.
If making this curry on stove top, repeat the first few steps and once all the ingredients are in the pot, simply cook over medium heat, covered with a lid, for 20-25 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
- 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, diced roughly
- 1 small red chilli, seeds out and diced (see notes)
- 1.3 lb / 600 g chicken thighs or breast (diced into bite-size pieces)
- ¼ cup mild curry powder
- 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro/coriander stalks (save the leaves for garnish)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or grated palm sugar (see notes for substitutions)
- 1 + ½ cup coconut milk (see notes)
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 4 oz. / 120 g fine green beans, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1-2 cups broccoli florets
- Juice of 1 lime
- Turn the pressure cooker on. It should display OFF. Press Sauté function key (it will show Normal, 30 minutes). The Instant Pot will beep 3 times to let you know it’s ready to cook. Let it heat up while you dice the onion, ginger and chilli.
- Add coconut oil to the pot, followed by the onion, ginger and chilli. Stir through and cook for a minute or two, while you cut up the chicken meat.
- Add the chicken to the pot and stir through. Cook for 5 minutes on Sauté, stirring a couple of times. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the curry powder, cilantro, garlic, fish sauce and sugar to the pot and stir through; then follow with the coconut milk.
- Finally, add the vegetables and lime juice, stir and turn the Sauté off by pressing the Keep Warm/Cancel button.
- Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Check that the the lid knob is turned to Sealing. Change the setting to Manual (High Pressure) and set to 7 minutes. Wait for 3 beeps and walk away.
- Once the timer is up, let the pressure release naturally or use a quick release method, and open the lid.
- Top with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves and serve with white rice or cauliflower rice on the side. I suggest extra lime on the side.