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Instant Pot

Ginger-Lemon Grass Chicken and Potato Curry

6 Servings

FAST: 1¼ hours
Slow: 5½ to 6½ hours 30 minutes active time

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Kari debal, the starting point for this spicy, tangy curry, comes from Malacca, Malaysia, and specifically the Kristang people, who are of mixed Malaysian and Portuguese descent. Though “debal” translates from the Kristang language as “leftovers” (the dish traditionally was prepared after Christmas using leftovers from the holiday meal), some sources speculate that the closeness of the terms “debal” and “devil,” coupled with the dish’s intense spiciness, led to “devil curry” as a common moniker. In traditional recipes, candlenuts, which are high in fat, are pureed with the aromatics to make the seasoning paste, but these nuts are difficult to source in the U.S. We find macadamia nuts to be a good substitute, with cashews as the next best choice. Our curry has solid but not searing heat. Steamed rice is the perfect accompaniment.




Don’t cut the potatoes into chunks smaller than 2 inches or they will end up overcooked. If using the slow cooker function, don’t put raw potatoes into the pot; make sure to parcook them in the microwave as directed so they cook in the same amount of time as the chicken.

FAST: 1¼ hours
Slow: 5½ to 6½ hours

30 minutes active time



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Jennifer B.
July 11, 2022
This was a bit different, maybe the macadamia nuts. Much better in the second day when the flavors mix.
Michael D.

Going into the Instant Pot, I cannot see how this will come out yellow. Smells great, though!

Bethany S.

Oh my gosh, the ginger in this is WAY too much. Extremely overwhelming. I weighed my ginger and didn't even use the full amount listed in the ingredients. It was way way way too much. Maybe my ginger was especially fresh? I have no idea but the curry ended up basically inedible. Way too spicy and ginger just destroying your palate. :( I haven't really had such a big miss with Milk Street recipes before and I think this would actually be pretty good if the ginger hadn't completely destroyed every other flavor in there. Yikes. So my recommendation is add the ginger in a little bit at a time during the blending step and stop when you start tasting it take over.