how to make spinach curry in an instant pot

Sun Butter & Spinach Chicken Curry [WHOLE 30]

This curry was really tasty! I wanted to have a curry that had a full creamy and nutty flavor, but I didn’t want to use nuts since my mom has an allergy. I tried it with sunflower butter and it worked perfectly!


  • Chicken Thighs (boneless and skinless): About 2 pounds, cut into chunks.
  • Ghee: 2 TBLspns (or more). I also like to add in a little bit more ghee at the end of cooking so that the curry has a nice gloss to it.
  • Onion: 1 medium, chopped.
  • Garlic: 8 cloves, pressed or minced. I like garlic. Like, a lot. Use less if you prefer.
  • Ginger: 2 teaspoons, grated.
  • Jalapeño: 1 pepper, seeded and minced.
  • Tomato Paste: 2TBLspns. I like to buy my tomato paste in a tube so that I don’t have to waste the remainder in a full can. I have found tubes of tomato paste at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods
  • Garam Masala: 2 tspn. I like to make garam masala using this recipe from The only thing I changed was that I grated some Star Anise instead of cloves (I didn’t have any clove).
  • Cumin: 2 tspns. Adds a wonderful warmth with this spice.
  • Turmeric: 1 tspn. Turmeric is a great spice with lots of proven health benefits. It also adds a beautiful warm color to this curry.
  • Cayenne: 1/2 tspn. You can add more or less depending on how spicy you like things. I used 1/2 tspn and my 8 year old son really like it–not too spicy.
  • Spinach: 1 lb. We need to use a lot of spinach for this recipe. I used frozen spinach that I had frozen myself from fresh. When it was in the ziplock bag I smooshed it so that the leaves would crack and I wouldn’t have to shop up all of the leaves.
  • Coconut Cream: 1 can. My favorite is from Trader Joe’s and it is very economical. I love that it’s entire ingredient list is only organic coconut and water.
  • Sunflower Seed Butter (aka Sun butter): 2 heaping TBLspns. You could also use almond butter or other nut butter.
  • Salt: 1 TBLspn (more or less depending on your taste).


Instant Pot Sun Butter & Spinach Chicken Curry

This yummy curry is great served with rice, cauliflower rice, or potatoes. Feel free to substitute any nut butter of your choice for the sunflower butter if needed.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian


  • Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker


  • 2 lbs Chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 2 TBLspn Ghee
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves Garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tspn Ginger, grated
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper, minced
  • 1 TBLspn Tomato Paste
  • 2 tspn Garam Masala
  • 1 tspn Ground Cumin
  • 1 tspn Turmeric
  • ½ tspn Cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb Spinach (fresh or frozen), chopped
  • 1 can Coconut Cream
  • 2 Heaping TBLspns Sunflower Seed butter, or other nut butter
  • 1 TBLspn salt, more or less depending on preference
  • Chopped Cilantro (optional), to garnish


  • Set Instant Pot to "Saute" setting.
  • Add ghee, onions, ginger, and jalapeno and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  • Add chunks of chicken thighs to the pot and cook for a couple minutes. Season chicken with salt.
  • Add spices (garam masala, ground cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper) and tomato paste to pot. Stir to coat the chicken. Make sure there are no clumps of tomato paste left over.
  • Add chopped spinach, coconut cream, and sunflower butter. Stir well so that there are no clumps.
  • Press cancel for the "Saute" function. Put the lid on the instant pot. Select "Manual" and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  • Let sit and natural release for a few minutes and then quick release. You can also just quick release without waiting if you are feeling impatient. 🙂
  • Carefully open the lid, being careful not to burn yourself. Stir the curry so that it comes together nicely. I like to stir in a little bit of ghee before serving so that the curry is nice and glossy.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and enjoy! This curry is great served with basmati rice, naan bread, cauliflower rice, or potatoes.
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Simple Abundant Life is a lifestyle blog written by Jennifer Evans Beatty. Here we celebrate practical habits and techniques for living a joy-filled simply awesome life.