Pressure Cooker Indian-Inspired Coconut Chicken

Pressure Cooker Indian-Inspired Coconut Chicken | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup
Photo: Julie Andrews, MS, RD, CD, CC

It still blows my mind that I can cook up an entire meal, like this Indian-Inspired Coconut Chicken, in just a matter of minutes and it tastes insanely good. When I first started using a programmable pressure cooker, I thought meals like this would come out mushy and “one note” in flavor. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the way it captures the flavors and textures of whatever I’m looking to make.

In fact, I think pressure cooking seals in flavor and maybe even enhances the herbs and spices.Pressure Cooker Indian-Inspired Coconut Chicken - I can’t say this for sure, but it kind of seems that way. Try it and let me know what you think.

Anyway, this Indian-Inspired Coconut Chicken takes about 10 minutes to prep and 12 minutes in a programmable pressure cooker on high pressure, and it makes the entire house smell like pure heaven. I could smell it all the way upstairs and I about melted into the ground. The dish is made of chicken thighs, petite diced tomatoes, full fat coconut milk (don’t skimp here), lentils, stock, onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, red pepper flakes and is finished with fresh lime juice and cilantro and served over the fluffiest Jasmine rice. Now you know why it makes the house smell amazing!

Also, if you don’t have a programmable pressure cook, no fear. You can follow the directions below for making this dish in a slow cooker. You could even make it on the stove top (which I love doing from time to time — the act of cooking is super therapeutic to me).

And if you want to make the best, fluffiest Jasmine rice ever, just simmer it with water or stock on the stove (2:1 ratio, liquid: rice), stirring frequently, until the water has mostly absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in a little salt and voila! Or, you can make it in a programmable pressure cooker with a rice setting. Either way makes super fluffy rice.

Pressure Cooker Indian-Inspired Coconut Chicken

Serves 6


  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • ⅓ cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • A splash of fresh lime juice (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice (for serving)


  1. Place all ingredients, except lime juice (if using), cilantro and rice into a programmable pressure cooker. Stir to combine. Set on high pressure, sealed, for 11 minutes.
  2. Once the 11-minute timer goes off, let sit 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to flip from sealed to venting and let the steam escape. Once finished, carefully open the lid.
  3. Carefully shred chicken with two forks. Stir in lime juice (if using) and chopped cilantro.
  4. Serve over cooked Jasmine rice with more chopped cilantro, if desired.


To cook in a slow cooker: Place all ingredients, except cilantro and Jasmine rice, into a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours, until chicken shreds easily with two forks. Stir in lime juice (if using) and cilantro. Serve over cooked Jasmine rice with more chopped cilantro, if desired.

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Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD is a food and nutrition consultant, registered dietitian, chef, food photographer, culinary media expert and food writer. She is the creator and owner of The Healthy Epicurean where she create recipes, food photos and food videos for clients and brands. She also leads workshops for culinary skills, food styling and photography and leads cooking classes. Julie is regularly featured on television and in the media, where she showcases simple, wholesome and delicious recipes from her blog.