Instant Pot Massaman Curry

Kari Lund


Recipes, Nutrition


Being active outdoors in the cooler temps of fall weather makes me long for the comfort of warming spices. I haven’t quite gotten into the pumpkin spice just yet, but instead I have been craving the warm spices that are popular in middle eastern cuisine. On-the-go weeknights are also a great time for meals that are Instant Pot easy like this massaman curry.


Massaman curry is technically a Thai style curry but has been influenced by Indian and Persian cuisine. Because of this influence, this dish is perfect for cooler weather as it contains a garam masala spice blend that includes many of those traditional warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and cloves.



In this version, I’ve used chicken as the main protein but you can substitute beef if you prefer. Massaman curry is relatively mild but can be spiced up with Thai peppers for those who desire a higher heat. Cooking this curry in the Instant Pot allows the meat and potato components to be fully cooked at the same time, making it a convenient meal for busy nights.


Instant Pot Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry

Calories 536, Protein 35g, Total Carbs 27g, Fat 32g



Prep time: 15 min

Closed Pot Time: 20 min

Serves: 4




  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (note, if you want a thicker sauce, don’t shake or stir the can. Use just the solids and set aside liquid portion of the coconut milk to thin the sauce as desired)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste or palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (or 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, crushed, for garnish
  • Crushed dried Thai peppers or red pepper flakes, for garnish and adding more spice to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, for garnish


Preparation Instructions:


  1. Select SAUTE on the instant pot and adjust to NORMAL. Add oil to pot until melted.
  2. Add chicken and onion to the pot and saute until outside of chicken is no longer pink. Press CANCEL.
  3. Add bell pepper and potatoes to the pot.
  4. In a bowl, stir together the coconut milk and all of the spices except peanuts and red pepper flakes.
  5. Pour coconut milk mixture into the pot and stir until combined. If sauce is too thick, thin with the reserved coconut milk liquid.
  6. Secure lid on the pot and close pressure-release valve.
  7. Select MANUAL and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
  8. When cooking is complete, use a quick release to depressurize.
  9. Serve over hot cooked rice, riced cauliflower, or with naan bread.
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