Instant Pot Vegetable Curry

I’ve eaten authentic Indian food three meals a day for several weeks when my husband and I spent a summer in India in 2015. With those meals in mind, I wouldn’t say this is authentic Indian curry. That would require spices I don’t know where to find, vegetables I don’t even know the name of, a mortar and pestal, and quite a bit of oil. Think of this as the American home cook’s version. Very simple, and so tasty! The spices are perfect! The red lentils make it thick and creamy while adding lots of fiber and nutrition.

Thai curry is a little sweeter, hotter, and uses Thai curry paste that involves lemongrass and such. Indian curry has a thinner sauce, and uses spices like tuermeric, cumin, corainder, and cayenne pepper. Both are rich in flavor and I love them!

Curry is one of our very favorite meals. I make Cookie and Kate’s Red Thai Curry very regularly. So much flavor, tons of vegetables, and very filling.

One drawback of curry is that it usually always involves coconut milk, which is both expensive and high in saturated fat. If you are trying to reverse a disesase or lose weight, I would recommend limiting or eliminating your intake of all saturated fat (it’s only found in animal products and coconut). In that case, you can skip the coconut milk in this recipe and thicken it with a little corn starch, as indicated in the recipe notes. Still very flavorful and yummy, just not quite as rich.

This is how you make it: Chop vegetables, dump all ingredients into the instant pot. Set for 5 minutes. Do a quick release, add cilantro and lime juice, and serve with rice!

Let me know how you like it! You can leave a comment, or find me on Instagram or Facebook at @faithful.plateful!

5 from 5 votes
Instant Pot Vegetable Curry
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Instant pot pressure-building time
20 mins

Indian-type curry that's simple and super delicious!

Author: Faithful Plateful
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 small head cauliflower (2-3 cups florets)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (2-3 cups of 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk (light or full-fat)
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsps curry powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
Add at the end
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 large handful spinach or mixed greens
  • pistachios or peanuts (optional)
  1. Start cooking rice, if desired. For four people, I cook 1.5 cups dry brown rice in 4 cups water for about 40 minutes.

  2. Chop all the vegetables, and combine all ingredients and spices into the instant pot. Stir together well so that the lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pot and cause the burn signal to come on.

  3. Set to high pressure for 5 minutes. It will take 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to build up to pressure before that 5 minute cooking time starts.

  4. Once the 5 minutes is up and it beeps, flip the valve for a quick release.

  5. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, spinach. Taste and adjust salt and curry powder for flavor. Serve with rice and additional cilantro and peanuts/pistachios for garnish, if desired.

Stove-Top Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are soft and lentils are cooked.

  2. Add cilantro, lime juice and spinach. Taste, and adjust salt and curry powder for flavor. Serve with rice and additional cilantro and peanuts/pistachios for garnish, if desired.

Recipe Notes


Onion is optional. I didn't have one once, and it tasted the same.ย 

If you don't like sweet potatoes, you can use butternut squash or carrots.ย 

To make low-fat, use 1.5 cups of water to replace the can of coconut milk. Then, after cooking, stir together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl, and stir into hot curry until thickened.ย 


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    1. Love it!! I want to double the recipe but I’m not sure how much stuff I can put in my new Instapot!
      Any tips?
      Has anyone else done it?

      1. It depends on how big your instant pot is, but if it’s the biggest size I think it would work fine to double it!

  1. I made this once and then ate all the leftovers over the next 24 hours and now I find myself craving it every few days. I just made my second batch today and it’s going in my rotation! I love really loading it up with cashews and I added a bunch of carrots because I had them ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. So flavorful and good! I loved this curry recipe. Love putting it all in the instant pot and devouring it after. I didn’t have any cauliflower on hand, so i used some carrots and bell pepper – it was still delicious! I even put some in the freezer – which will be so nice to just pull out whenever ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I love this recipe faith! My Sister reminded me of it last weekend at a family getaway and I ate two huge platefuls. I love eating it over mashed potatoes-itโ€™s just so yummy! Iโ€™m going to be making this a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. the recipe sounded really good and I have been using the ip for over 3 years and never had the
    ‘burn’ signal came on. It did! Did I miss something, ingredient – no, not in the recipe, not sure what’s going on. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Dan, so sorry that happened. I have had the burn signal come on with other recipes and it’s frustrating. Try adding a little extra liquid (I’ve upped it to 1.5 cups water instead of 1 cup) so it’s not so thick and stir well before turning it onto pressure. When there is food stuck to the bottom of the pot, the burn signal comes on. I stop it, stir and scrape anything off the bottom, and turn on again and it usually is fine.

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