Instant Pot Thai Massaman Curry

If you’ve been following my recipe escapades, you may have learned that Asian cuisine and I go together like Bert & Ernie – I love the stuff.

And I LOVE Thai cuisine – especially CURRIES. And they just so happen to be one of the greatest things the Instant Pot is suited to make with easy and astounding results!

Here I’m going to focus on a Massaman curry – a dish that any peanut/peanut butter lover will go absolutely (pea)nuts over. Even curry haters will love this because it is nothing like “the curry flavor” that many seem to avoid. To put things in perspective, it’s basically the most outrageous peanut-infused chicken & veggie stew EVER.

Here’s How I Made It!: 

It begins with Bugs Bunny’s favorite sidekick – a carrot!

Cut it up, Doc.

Also, take a white onion…

…and slice longways into wedge-like chunks.

We’ll need a couple taters…

…also diced into chunks

And finally, some chicken thighs (boneless/skinless works best)…

…diced into bite-size chunks with the heavily fatty parts removed.

Now take to the Instant Pot and add in some vegetable oil so it’s nice and heated…

…and then toss in the carrot and onion (not the potatoes…yet).

Sauté them for a few minutes until the onion softens.

Now it’s time for a key ingredient…some Massaman (Masaman) curry paste (you must use this specific flavor)! Add some in now and save some for later.

And also add in some crushed or minced ginger (the squeeze ginger is the best and easiest).

Stir the curry paste and ginger up with the onion and carrot until nice and coated.

Then, take the chicken, add it to the pot…

…and also coat it up with the mixture (for only about 30 seconds – the chicken will cook when it’s pressure cooking).

Now, Take a can of coconut milk…

…add it to the pot…

…and stir everything very well so it’s all combined, deglazing (scraping) the bottom of the pot to make sure any curry paste isn’t stuck on.

Because this curry is a love letter to peanuts, we’ll take some peanut butter and add it in…

…as well as some fish sauce (don’t mind the pungent fragrance – it’s amazing once melded with everything and totally necessary)…

…as well as tamarind sauce (different from paste as this is much thinner and more IP friendly)…

…the juice of one lime…

…and some light brown sugar.

Give everything a really good stir so that the peanut butter and sauces are nice and combined.

Lastly, add in those taters…

…and stir them up with everything else. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.

When the lid comes off, prepare ye, it’s gonna smell like Thai heaven. Give the curry a stir (it will appear a bit thin now since it was just pressure cooking but that will soon change).

Add in the remainder of the curry paste…

…stir it in until combined and let it set for about 5 minutes. The curry will thicken to perfection in this time.

Now because curry goes so well with rice (like peanut butter goes to jelly – but don’t worry – we’re not adding that here), make some ahead of time and place in a bowl.

Spoon over some of the Massaman curry…

…and top with some roasted peanuts!

Looka that! Ain’t it PURDY?!

Now, have a nice big spoon/forkful of your creation…

…and see how it’s so incredibly good, you’ll be angry you didn’t make it sooner!


Instant Pot Massaman Curry
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Thai Massaman Curry

Instant Pot Thai Massaman Curry

In case you've never had it, Massaman Curry is a Thai classic that has a glorious peanut flavor coursing throughout. This one is restaurant quality and goes perfect over rice.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes


  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled & diced into quarter wedges
  • 1 large white onion, cut into wide pieces
  • 1 lb (about 2) Idaho/Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 oz can of Massaman curry paste, divided (make sure it is a MASSAMAN/MASAMAN curry paste as other pastes will provide different results! This can typically be found at any international market in the asian section or is easily available online)
  • 1 tbsp of crushed or minced ginger (I use Squeeze Ginger which many Costcos have in the spice section!)
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs of boneless/skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 13.5 – 14 oz can of coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp of tamarind sauce (I suggest you use tamarind SAUCE instead of the paste as the paste is super thick and the sauce is much thinner and friendly for pressure cooking purposes. This can typically be found at any international market in the asian section or is easily available online)
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

For Serving:

  • Roasted peanuts, for topping
  • Jasmine rice or brown rice, cooked separately and for serving over


  1. Add the vegetable oil to the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. When it reads “Hot,” add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute longer
  2. Then, add in the chicken and stir with everything else for about 3 minutes (it shouldn’t be cooked much here at all – just tossed until it becomes a pinkish-white color)
  3. Add in the coconut milk and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot and then add in 3 tbsp of the Massaman curry paste (save the rest for later) lime juice, brown sugar, fish saucetamarind sauce, peanut butter and potatoes. Stir very well
  4. Secure the lid and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release when done
  5. Stir in the remaining curry paste and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken up before serving
  6. Serve over Jasmine rice or brown rice and top with some roasted peanuts
  7. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

Want it vegetarian? Leave out the chicken and just use veggies!

If you’d rather use chicken breasts instead of thighs, go for it! The thighs are just SUPER tender and juicy!

If you’d rather use beef instead of chicken, cook time remains the same – just sub beef (flank steak or beef round) for chicken

Want a spicier, more zesty curry? Try my amazing Thai Green Curry too!

Reader Interactions


  1. Chrissy

    I can’t find that tamarind sauce anymore 😭 Have you found a good substitute? This is my favorite recipe on the planet!

  2. Ravi

    I have made the Massaman Curry with chicken as suggested in your book. However, I making a vegetarian version this weekend and I cannot use the fish sauce. Any suggestions to keep the curry pure vegetarian?Thanks.

  3. Robyne

    Wow, I made this today as it’s a cool day in Tasmania Australia. It’s so so so good. Thank you so much. I’ve only just discovered you and now I’m super excited to try more of your recipes. Thanks 😊

  4. Xan

    Made this with some alterations based on another recipe, but it came out outstanding. I went to my local thai place and ordered some Massaman curry the day before I cooked to make sure the taste was fresh in my mind.

    Swapped the onions for SHALLOTS – a bit sweeter and milder. Skipped the tamarind sauce and lime juice. Also went a lot lighter on the fish sauce as I was a bit hesitant to include it, but happy to report it didn’t ruin the dish. I’ll try adding more next time. Added just a couple of dashes of coriander and cumin powder.

    I also added a cup of water to mine. I’m not sure if this dish traditionally is more watery than typical curries because the one I got from the restaurant was pretty much liquid. Regardless, this is a great recipe.

  5. Grace

    Hi Jeffrey! I love this (and all your recipes I’ve made) and I don’t deviate at all from the recipe. It’s just like the massaman curry from my favorite, long-gone, Thai restaurant. Could I double this, do you think? I’d like to make it for a crowd tomorrow and I’ve never doubled any Instant Pot recipe.

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