Spicy Chicken Korma in the Instant Pot

The Starving Chef is supported by Hungry People like you. When you make a purchase through an affiliate link on my site, I may earn a little bit of cash on the side (at no extra cost to you) to help keep my kitchen running. Read our disclosures here.

instant pot chicken korma

What’s Up, Hungry People

I grew up eating Indian food. It was a common take-out night alternative to Chinese food or pizza nights. Because it’s ingrained in my food psyche, I often crave it as a ‘comfort food’ above just about anything else. If I’m feeling down, naan will certainly cheer me up.

That’s how this chicken korma came about—I was seriously craving some good Indian food and, unfortunately, I live pretty far from the nearest Indian restaurants. As much as I love Indian cuisine, I have a hard time justifying driving an hour through a snowstorm to satisfy that craving.

pressure cooker korma dish

In such instances, I’m grateful that I can recreate my favorite dishes with relative ease—and having an Instant Pot has made cooking Indian foods, which generally take hours to prepare or marinate, easier than ever.

korma chicken in bowl

Here’s What You Need

  • Chicken breasts: Adds lean protein to the dish; main component of the korma.
  • Ghee: Used for sautéing; adds a rich, buttery flavor.
  • Potatoes: Thickens the sauce and adds heartiness.
  • Red onion: Provides a sweet, sharp base flavor.
  • Ginger: Offers a warm, spicy bite to the dish.
  • Garlic: Infuses a pungent, aromatic essence.
  • Chili paste: Introduces heat and depth.
  • Red curry paste: Builds the foundation of the korma’s complex flavor.
  • Paprika: Gives a sweet and smoky taste; adds color.
  • Yellow curry powder: Infuses the korma with traditional Indian spices.
  • Chili powder: Adds spiciness and enhances the curry’s heat.
  • Turmeric: Offers earthiness and vibrant color.
  • Garam masala: Contributes a warm, aromatic blend of ground spices.
  • Caraway seeds: Offer a slight hint of licorice flavor.
  • Cumin: Earthy, aromatic spice that deepens the flavor profile.
  • Coriander: Lends a citrusy, floral flavor to the mix.
  • Cardamom pods: Imparts a sweet, floral fragrance and a piney flavor.
  • Diced tomatoes: Adds texture and mild acidity.
  • Chicken broth: Enhances moisture and enriches overall flavor.
  • Greek yogurt: Balances the heat and adds creaminess.
  • Salt & pepper: Seasoning staples to enhance overall flavors.
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley: Adds a fresh, bright garnish.
  • Basmati rice: Serves as a fluffy, fragrant base for the korma.
  • Naan: Perfect for scooping up the delicious curry.
ingredients in instant pot

Let’s Cook

Start with your Instant Pot on “Saute” normal mode. You just want to get the potatoes, onions, and peppers softened slightly—it’ll help them cook more evenly when under pressure.

Next, add in all the herbs and spices. For a truly authentic flavor, I used an extremely spicy sambal olek—or chili paste—and a hot red curry paste as the base of my korma. I also incorporated an array of Indian spices like cardamom, cumin seeds, yellow curry powder, and garam masala.

ingredients in pressure cooker
pressure cooker with spices

Once the spices are fragrant, it’s time to add the broth and chicken. I let my chicken sear for a minute or two to get some color, but that part is totally optional.

Some spices, like paprika, can be added after the broth to adjust both color and flavor. I aimed for a reddish-orange hue for my korma, but there are yellow variations as well—now is the time to tailor the flavors to your liking!

adding liquid to instant pot
adding spices to instant pot

Bring the contents of the Instant Pot to a rolling bubble. When the oils begin to separate, you’ll know it’s time to apply pressure!

simmering in instant pot

Cancel the “Saute” mode and secure the Instant Pot lid. Set it to “Pressure Cook” on high for seven minutes.

When you remove the lid, be prepared for an aromatic assault—the best fragrances on Earth. If you prefer a thicker curry, you can let it simmer on “Saute” mode for another 5-10 minutes. Just stir in the Greek yogurt and serve with some homemade naan. I made enough to have leftovers for the week—it turned out to be my favorite meal prep lunch yet!

Tips for Perfecting Your Chicken Korma

  • Sautéing Vegetables: Start with sautéing onions, potatoes, and peppers just enough to soften them before pressure cooking. This step helps in even cooking and integrates the flavors better.
  • Managing Spice Levels: The chili paste and red curry paste are quite potent. If you prefer a milder korma, start with less and adjust according to taste. You can always add more, but it’s tough to dial back the heat once it’s there.
  • Adding Spices: Add dry spices like garam masala towards the end of your sauté phase to maximize their aroma without burning them. This method helps in releasing the oils and flavors more effectively into the korma.
  • Pressure Cooking Time: Be precise with the cooking time on the Instant Pot. Overcooking can make the chicken too soft and mushy. Follow the suggested time for best results.
  • Incorporating Greek Yogurt: To prevent the yogurt from curdling, temper it by mixing some of the hot korma into the yogurt before adding it back into the pot. This step ensures a smooth, creamy korma without separation.
  • Thickening the Korma: If the korma is too watery after cooking, use the sauté function to simmer and reduce the sauce. This concentrates the flavors and achieves the desired consistency.
homemade chicken korma

Making this spicy chicken korma at home with your Instant Pot brings all those rich, comforting Indian flavors right to your table without the need for takeout. It’s perfect for those nights when you crave something warm and satisfying but don’t want to brave the weather for a restaurant trip. Plus, having leftovers means you get to enjoy this deliciousness all week long. So next time you’re in the mood for some cozy Indian cuisine, give this recipe a go—it’s bound to become a favorite in your household. With minimal prep and easy-to-follow steps, you’ll have a mouthwatering meal ready in no time.

instant pot chicken korma

Spicy Chicken Korma | Instant Pot Recipes

The Starving Chef
A rich and flavorful spicy chicken korma that’s easy to make in your Instant Pot.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course International
Cuisine Asian, Curry, Indian, International
Servings 6


  • 24 oz chicken breasts cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 russet potato cut into cubes
  • ½ cup red onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons spicy red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons paprika + more as desired
  • 1 tablespoon spicy yellow curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder + more as desired
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • ½ tablespoon caraway seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon coriander
  • 3 cardamom pods crushed & shells discarded
  • 8 oz diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro or parsley for topping
  • cooked basmanti rice for serving
  • buttered naan for serving


  • Turn the Instant Pot on to "Saute" mode—press the "Saute" button until it indicates "High" or "More." Add the ghee. While it melts, chop up the potato, onion, and red pepper. Add the potatoes to the Instant Pot and saute until browned, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, then add the onion and red pepper.
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the diced tomatoes to the Instant Pot. Stir all the spices and pastes into the vegetable mixture. Heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, then add the chunks of chicken. Let the chicken brown on one side, as desired, or proceed to the next step.
  • Pour in the chicken broth. Add more paprika or turmeric to achieve the color you want, as desired (I added more paprika for a reddish korma). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling bubble on "Saute" mode.
  • When the oils begin to separate, after about 5 minutes of bubbling, cancel the "Saute" mode. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Press the "Pressure Cook" button so it is on the "High" or "More" setting. Turn the valve to "Sealing." Set the timer to 7 minutes. Let the Instant Pot pressurize. Cook the naan and basmati rice, if serving, while the Instant Pot pressurizes, which takes about fifteen minutes.
  • Let the Instant Pot depressurize naturally or do a VERY CAREFUL quick release by adjusting the valve from "Sealing" to "Venting"—be sure to wear an oven mitt or similar heat protection.
  • Remove the Instant Pot lid. Spoon about a half cup of the korma mixture into a bowl with the Greek yogurt and stir well to combine. Avoid adding the yogurt directly to the Instant Pot to prevent it from curdling. Simmer the korma on "Saute" mode to thicken up, as needed.
  • Serve the korma hot. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, serve alongside a bed of basmati rice and several stacks of naan. Enjoy!
Keyword chicken, curry, spicy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!