Coconut Milk Chicken Curry in a Hurry; Thanks, Pressure Cooker!

Posted on August 15, 2016

Coconut Milk Chicken Curry

Of all the world cuisines that we love, we have the most trepidation about cooking Indian food. It’s rich. It’s spicy. It’s complex. It’s creamy. It’s fragrant. We often crave the ever-loving bejesus out of Indian food. When that happens, we order out because we’re too intimidated to make it ourselves.

We lack agility with turmeric and cardamom and saffron. We don’t know how much of the spices is the right amount. If the dish needs “something,” we have trouble identifying what. Indian food makes us feel like cooking neophytes.

Our timidity stopped yesterday. At least, we took a first step towards halting it. We made coconut milk chicken curry. Know what? It was simple and delicious. And, it makes fantastic leftovers for this week’s lunches.

We served the curry over fuzzy rice and paired it with a bottle of Osezno Zinfandel from Oso Libre Winery. This full-bodied wine tastes slightly fruity with an herbaceous hint. It didn’t wither alongside the curry’s boldness but provided a worthy compliment.

Osezno Zinfandel from Oso Libre Winery

Our recipe relies on a pressure cooker. We have an Instant Pot. With one—and if you don’t have one, then get one—this recipe proves almost foolproof. Believe us. We’re bona fide fools, and it turned out spectacular.

Coconut Milk Chicken Curry


  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Four chicken breasts, cut into chucks
  • Salt and pepper, to season chicken
  • One yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • Three cloves of garlic, pressed
  • One 14-ounce can of coconut milk
  • One 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • Two tablespoons of curry powder
  • One tablespoon of extra spicy curry paste
  • Two tablespoons of white sugar
  • Two teaspoons of turmeric
  • One teaspoon of tikka masala spice blend
  • Cashews, chopped for garnish


Turn on pressure cooker’s “Sauté” function. Add oil. When hot, cook chicken until the pink disappears. Remove chicken, and set aside. Sauté onions and garlic until onions become translucent. Turn off machine. Add coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Add chicken. Add curry powder, curry paste, turmeric, tikka masala spice and sugar. Set machine to “High Pressure” for 13 minutes.

When done, release pressure. The curry may need thickening. If so, either use “Sauté” function and let sauce reduce, or incorporate a thickening agent. We used Ultra-Tex 3 Modified Tapioca Starch because, unlike corn starch, it has no flavor and a little goes a long way.

Coconut Milk Chicken Curry

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,