A quick, flavoursome coconut chicken curry

If you want a quick curry, then look no further than this pressure cooker chicken curry.

PREP TIME:  20 mins
 5 mins
midweek meal, weekend meal, crowd-pleaser

The UK curry house obsession

Everyone loves a curry in the UK.

It’s part of British culture.

But it wasn’t until 1809 that the first Indian establishment opened, called Hindostanee Coffee House.

However, it wasn’t a great success and went bankrupt in 1812.

Then, it wasn’t until 1926 that Indian restaurants became more fashionable.

Which is when the Veeraswamy Indian Restaurant (still open in London) opened its doors.

And just by anyone.

It was opened by the great-grandson of an English General and an Indian Mughal princess.

This opulent restaurant brought in many Royals from around the world.

But it was really only in the early sixties that Indian restaurants boomed in the UK.

And now, we can’t imagine not having access to all these wonderful Indian curries.

…even if a lot of them have been anglicised.

The origin of the name curry

Curry is, supposedly, Indian.

But the word ‘curry’ isn’t in any of the country’s official languages.

There are different theories about where the word originated from.

It could refer to the French “cuire”, which means “to cook”.

But it was also mentioned in the title of a book in the 1700s called “Forme of Cury”.

Or it could also have come from the Tamil name kari or caril.

Back when the Portuguese first captured Goa, India, in the early 1500s.

Where it is likely to have referred to a particular spice blend, as well as the finished dish it was used in.

So, curry now refers to “anything that has a sauce or gravy.

Curry facts

Tikka Masala isn’t an original Indian curry

One in seven dishes served in the UK is Chicken Tikka Masala.

But it is not actually an Indian dish.

The dish originated in Glasgow.

The Pakistani chef Ali Ahmed Aslam, owner of the Shish Mahal Restaurant at the West End of Glasgow, invented the dish through improvisation in 1971.

He created a sauce made from yoghurt, cream, and spices to come up with today’s iconic dish.

Regional Indian cuisine

Each of the regions uses different ingredients and cooking methods to create its own Indian cuisine.

The Northern regions come the closest to what we consider Indian cuisine.

Southern cuisine is usually hotter and less creamy than that of the North.

Thickness, texture and the amount of rice within the dishes are features which can differ between regions as well.

Pressure cooker chicken curry plus more delicious curry ideas

This pressure cooker curry is great if you don’t have time to nurture a slow curry cook.

But if you’re looking for more curry ideas.

Then check out my posts, here

Pressure cooker coconut chicken curry

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chicken curry, coconut chicken curry, curry, INdian curry, instant pot, pressure cooker, pressure cooker chicken curry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups onions, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed (or 1 tsp ground cardamon)
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (+/- depending how hot you like your food)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 200 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 – 2 1 to 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 x 400g coconut milk


  • 1/4 the tomatoes
  • Using the sauté function (or using a fry-pan if your pressure cooker doesn't have one), heat the butter and the coconut oil.
    Stir in the onions and cook, and cook until they are caramelized, 12 to 18 mins.
    Stir in the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds; cook until fragrant, about 2 mins. Then add the the cinnamon and cardamom and cook for another minute.
    Lastly, add in the coriander, salt, turmeric, chilli flakes, black pepper and finally the quartered tomatoes.
  • Add the chicken to the sauce and cook on low pressure for 4 mins.
    **If the sauce seems too thin, use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a bowl and then simmer the sauce on the sauté setting until it has thickened to taste.**
    Note that the coconut milk will thin the sauce down further.
    Stir in the garam masala and the coconut milk, and let the curry sit for 20 mins for the flavours to meld.
  • Serve with the rice and yoghurt and garnish with fresh coriander.
    If you’d rather use a slow cooker, cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours, adding the coconut milk during the last hour.


Inspired by Recipe: Dinner in an Instant


Recipe: Dinner in an Instant

Curry facts: CurryCulture