This Pakistani Instant Pot Chicken and Potato Curry (Aloo Murghi ka Salan or Aloo Chicken) requires less than 30 minutes of total prep time. It has simple ingredients, minimal chopping, and no complicated steps. Bonus: The potatoes and chicken cook at the same time!

Chicken Curry with potatoes on a plate with rice and vegetables with a glass of water on the side

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“This dish is absolutely delicous and so simple to make! Thank you!”

Rebecca

Classic Pakistani Chicken Curry

If you’ve ever wanted to taste a simple chicken curry you’d find in a typical Pakistani home, this is it. It’s authentic in that most Pakistani and Indian households have some version of it.

There’s always the browning of the onions, the stir-frying of the chicken (called ‘bhoon-na‘), the addition of garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and green chili peppers (order varies from family to family). And of course, we have the usual suspect spices like turmeric and red chili powder. Garnish with cilantro and garam masala.

What I’ve done here is taken this homestyle, beloved chicken curry and adapted it to the Instant Pot so it’s easier, simpler, and much more 2020.

A white bowl with authentic Pakistani chicken curry and a spoon inside

Aloo Chicken in the Instant Pot

Here’s what makes this recipe easy: brown the onions and stir-fry the chicken just like you would over the stovetop. But after that, it’s a dump-and-go situation.

The best part? There’s no sautéing at the end. You just manually release the pressure and garnish. I’ve added the perfect amount of liquid so that the final curry has just the right consistency. Of course, if you prefer more or less curry or salan, just adjust the water quantity.

To save time and effort, this recipe uses your food processor to chop the onions, then tomatoes. I’ve found that the rough purée of tomatoes gives a wonderful texture. Of course, you could just manually chop the ingredients, but I love making this easy curry even easier. When I’m feeling lazy, I chop my green chili peppers (this makes them a tad spicier), garlic/ginger, and even cilantro in there.

Sprinkling cilantro into a bowl of Pakistani chicken curry and potatoes

Adding Potatoes to the Chicken Curry

I grew up eating this chicken curry with potatoes, and to me, the potatoes are as essential as the chicken. They make it more wholesome, textured, and somehow complete. (For more potato recipes check out my collection of 10 Potato Recipes.)

In the traditional method of cooking, when the chicken is just cooked through, you add the potatoes and cook until they’re completely tender.

In this recipe, the potatoes get cooked alongside the chicken, so we’re only pressure-cooking once! I know what you’re thinking – the potatoes will be way overdone. And you’re right, they are pretty well done. But that’s just how we like them. Plus, we are cutting them into large chunks, so they’ll hold up well (more on that below).

White bowl with pakistani style authentic instant pot chicken curry and potatoes

How to Cut the Potatoes (so they hold up!)

Of course, there is no exact science to cutting your potatoes. But since you are pressure cooking them alongside the chicken, they’ll need to be cut into large chunks so they stay intact and maintain their texture. How you cut the potatoes depends on the size of the potatoes:

  • If you’re using 3 small potatoes, you can just quarter them (cut lengthwise, then widthwise).
  • For 2 medium potatoes or one large potato, halve or quarter the potato lengthwise, then cut into large (about 2″) cubes.

If you prefer smaller cubes of potatoes, you can still use them by cooking the chicken first and then adding the potatoes. For bone-in chicken, you’d cook the chicken for 8 minutes, then add the potatoes and pressure cook another 2-4 minutes, depending on their size.

Similar recipes: Aloo Gosht (with IP instructions), Stovetop Chicken Curry, Coconut Chicken & Potato Curry

Aloo Chicken (Chicken and Potato Curry) in a bowl and on a plate with rice and vegetables

Using Boneless Chicken instead of Bone-in for Instant Pot Pakistani Chicken Curry

Here’s how to make this recipe with boneless chicken (chicken thighs, breast, or tenders):

  • Pressure Cook for 6 minutes on high pressure instead of 12 minutes.
  • Reduce the liquid to 3/4 cup instead of 1. Boneless chicken releases more water – see FAQ.
  • Since you’re cooking for a shorter period of time, cut the potatoes in smaller chunks if you prefer.

How to Double the recipe

If doubling the recipe, use double the amount of ingredients including water (unless you’re using boneless chicken – see above). Also, though you’ll have to increase the sauté timings, do not increase the pressure-cook time.

Serving Suggestions

We grew up eating this chicken curry atop a bed of basmati rice with green peas. It was a simple, yet complete meal I’d always be delighted to see at the dinner table. Of course, you can also serve it with roti, naan, or any other bread. To add some crunch and freshness, you can make Kachumber Salad or chop up some vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions to serve alongside.

If you’re looking for more Instant Pot recipes, be sure to check out my Instant Pot Recipes Roundup.

Chicken curry with potatoes on a plate with rice and fork

More EASY Chicken Curry Recipes:

Chicken Curry with potatoes on a plate with rice and vegetables with a glass of water on the side
4.92 (25 ratings)

Instant Pot Chicken Potato Curry

This Pakistani-style Instant Pot Chicken and Potato Curry (Salan) requires 30 minutes of *total* prep time! This is an easy recipe with simple ingredients, minimal chopping, and no complicated steps!

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium (~180 g) yellow onion, roughly chopped to fit in food processor
  • 1 medium (~140 g) tomato, roughly chopped to fit in food processor
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as avocado or grapeseed
  • 1 lb bone-in, cut up, skinless chicken (See Note 1 for boneless), cleaned and excess skin removed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 inch ginger, crushed
  • 1 small green chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 small (320 g) Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

Whole spices

  • 1/4 tsp whole coriander seeds, roughly crushed, optional
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves

Spice Powders

After cooking

Equipment

Instructions 

  • Place the onion in a food processor and use the pulse function to chop it finely. Be careful not to blend it, which can cause the onions to break down too much and end up releasing water. Remove and set aside. In the same food processor, add the tomatoes and chop into a rough purée.
  • Select the Sauté – More setting on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the oil and onions and sauté until the onions turn lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until the raw smell disappears, about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp of water. Add the chicken and fry it until it changes color from pink to pale, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan if it starts to stick to the bottom. Add the whole spices, ground spices, salt, green chili pepper, and tomato. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the potatoes along with 1 cup of water, or more, depending on how much curry you want. Mix well.
  • Cancel Sauté to turn off the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting and cook at High Pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and taste and adjust salt. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro. Stir gently as the potatoes will be very tender. Serve with rice, roti, or naan.

Notes

Note 1 – Boneless Chicken: If using boneless chicken, add 3/4 cup water and pressure cook for 6 minutes.
Calories: 328kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 821mg, Potassium: 665mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 420IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 4mg