Making Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry is so fast and easy! Also learn my tips to make store-bought red Thai curry paste taste amazing so that you have curry that's spicy, aromatic and intense.
The beauty of an Instant Pot is how fast and easy it is to cook food in it. Pressure cooking also infuses food with flavour because of how the food is cooked in it. Plus you'll be rewarded with perfectly tender, juicy pieces of chicken.
Thai Chicken Curry is a standard dinner at home because its so fast and easy and you can load it up with different veggies which makes it healthy and hearty too.
But my only complaint with store bought pastes is that they lack that oomph that comes with homemade curry paste. And I don't have time ot the ingredients to make authentic paste at home.
So I tried changing that. And tested this again and again to make sure it has that same intense flavour that legit Thai Curry (and I know - I've eaten Thai curry is Thailand) has.
Making Thai Curry taste even better
- Saute ginger and garlic paste along with Thai red curry paste to add an extra layer of flavour
- Use lemongrass paste if possible. Lemongrass is a key ingredient in Thai Curry pastes but its flavour is not as prominent when you use store bought paste. If you can get your hands on it, add a teaspoon of lemon grass paste while sauteing the curry paste in the beginning. Unfortunately, I didn't have any when I was shooting the video.
- Try to use Kaffir Lime Leaves if you can. Kaffir lime leaves are available in a lot of speciality gourmet stores these days. You even get them dried these days. A few leaves go a long way in adding that fresh, lemony flavour
- Don't skip the Fish Sauce. Fish sauce adds that funkiness that makes real Thai Curry taste amazing! It's really worth adding some. But if you absolutely don't want to, use some soy sauce instead for that hit of saltiness and umami.
- The Thai Curry I tried in Thailand had brinjal and tomatoes in it. The Thai Brinjal is sweet and juicy. I couldn't find any here so I used vegetables we like - zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Feel free to add some tofu or switch up the veggies to whatever you like
Important Tips for success with IP Thai Chicken Curry
- A key ingredient in Thai Curry is coconut milk. While testing this recipe, I used various brands of coconut milk; tried coconut cream instead and added these along with the chicken while pressure cooking. 8/10 the coconut milk split during pressure cooking. So to avoid that happening (since I can't determine exactly which coconut milk you use); we are adding coconut milk later with veggies and simmering it
- Chicken and vegetables have different cooking times. Add the vegetables once the chicken is pressure cooked and simmer them. This ensures that the vegetables are not overcooked and still retain some crunch versus soggy veggies.
- Use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Chicken thighs retain their juiciness and flavour when pressure cooked versus breasts which can overcook and become stringy and rubbery
- 6 minutes cooking time for chicken thighs is enough. It may seem like too less, but the chicken continues to cook some more while the veggies cook. Even then, 6 minutes pressure cooking produces the best results in my opinion.
- Use coconut oil if possible for that fantastic coconut flavour. Its my favourite oil to use whenever I'm making anything Thai
- Thai Red Curry paste can be easily switched up with green curry paste in this recipe if that's what you have
Once I made Thai Chicken Curry in my Instant Pot, I never made it any other way again. There is definitely an improvement in flavour and I love how mess free it is!
More Thai Recipes:
- Quick and Easy Thai Basil Chicken
- Thai Shrimp Cakes
- Sticky Thai Basil Meatballs
- Thai Butternut Squash Bisque
- Thai Carrot Ginger Soup
- Thai Peanut Mango Quinoa Salad
- Thai Curry Pumpkin Noodle Soup
Watch How to make Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry Recipe Video
Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry
- 3 tablespoons Oil preferably Coconut Oil
- ½ teaspoon Ginger paste
- ½ teaspoon Garlic paste
- 4 tablespoons Thai Curry Paste approx 85g
- 400 grams Chicken boneless skinless thighs, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- ½ Red Onion sliced
- ¾ cup Chicken Stock
- ¾ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- 4-5 Kaffir Lime Leaves
- 2 teaspoons Fish Sauce
- 1-1.5 tablespoons Palm Sugar / Jaggery / Coconut Sugar / Sugar
- 1 ¾ cup Coconut Milk
- 1 cup Broccoli Florets
- 1 cup Bell Peppers cubed (red and yellow)
- ½ cup Zucchini diced
- ½ cup Thai Basil / Holy Basil loosely packed
- ½ Juice of Lime
Instant Pot Method:
- Switch on the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Heat coconut oil and add ginger paste, garlic paste and Thai red curry paste. Saute for 1-2 minutes and add chicken. Saute the chicken for a minute or so till the curry paste coats it well.
- Add onions and mix. Pour in chicken stock, along with salt and kaffir lime leaves. Place the lid and adjust the valve to sealing. Pressure cook on manual for 6 minutes. Once the timer goes off, release pressure manually by turning the valve from sealing to venting (be careful not to use your hands - use a spoon)
- Turn on the saute mode and add fish sauce, palm sugar, coconut milk and all the veggies except basil and lime juice. Mix well and simmer for 8-10 minutes till the veggies are tender. Turn off the instant pot and add basil and lime juice. Mix well and serve hot with steamed rice.
Traditional Pressure Cooker:
- Follow steps 1 and 2 and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Add 1 cup chicken stock instead of ¾ cup for a traditional pressure cooker. Release the pressure and then follow step 3 as mentioned above.
- Brand of Curry Paste: I use a brand called Pantai for both red and green curry pastes
- Curry Paste: You can swap Thai red curry paste for the same amount of Thai green curry paste
- Veggies: Feel free to use any combination of veggies you like.
- Storing: Leftovers keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days
This was just AMAZING!! I tried it with shrimp instead of chicken and it was drool worthy!!
Richa Gupta says
Hey Shompa! That's why Thai curry is the best, any protein tastes good in it. Glad you enjoyed it!
Can I use yellow curry paste for this recipe or is it only suitable for red/green paste?
Hey! This would work just as well with yellow curry paste
I made it on gas stove top. Turned out delicious.
So happy you liked the recipe Esha. Thanks for leaving a comment!
Rajat Dhameja says
Looking forward to trying this recipe. I like the food and suggestions to make the curry extra good (ginger, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and more )
Richa Gupta says
Hey Rajat! Glad you liked our Thai curry! 🙂
Tried it. It’s delicious
Deepika Mathur says
Hi. Don’t have kaffir lime leaves or lemon grass. Please suggest substitute for kaffir lime leaves ... lemon juice or rind of a lemon?
Anika Goyal says
Lime and lemon zest works good. You can seap 1 kaffir lime leaf with 1tsp of lime zest and 1/2 tsp of lemon zest. (1leaf = 1+1/2 tsp of lime and lemon zest respectively)
Yea just add some lemon zest instead
Very simple yet so delicious