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Instant Pot

Indian Chicken and Cilantro Stew

4 Servings

FAST: 1 hour
Slow: 3¾ to 4¾ hours 30 minutes active

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For this multicooker version of chicken cafreal, a spicy green curry from the coastal Indian state of Goa, we make an aromatic cilantro puree and use half of it as a marinade for boneless chicken thighs and add the remaining half after cooking is complete so the flavors and color remain fresh and vibrant. Coconut milk tempers the mild heat of the jalapeños and gives the sauce richness and body. If you’re a fan of spiciness, leave the seeds in one or both of the chilies. We shred the chicken after cooking so each bite is deeply flavored. Serve the stew with basmati rice or warmed naan.




Don’t use chicken breasts in place of the thighs. Breast meat will end up overcooked and dry, and the dish will not be as flavorful.

FAST: 1 hour
Slow: 3¾ to 4¾ hours

30 minutes active


  • 3

    cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped, plus cilantro leaves, to serve

  • 2

    inch piece fresh ginger (about 1½ ounces), peeled and cut into 4 pieces


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Mary J.
January 12, 2023
One of our family favorites
We love this recipe and make it several times a month. I usually use a whole can of coconut milk and have even taken out the pepper for when we have those that don't care for spice. It's always a favorite.
Julie P.
June 9, 2022
bright and fresh
A different take on curry. We loved it.
Robert R.
May 19, 2022
I doubled this. Very good! Richly flavored. And really enjoyed the silky base. Potatoes, carrots or red bell pepper would be nice additions.
Gwyn B.
January 8, 2023
We enjoyed!
I did the slow cooker version in my eight quart Instantpot for 3 3/4 hours. I served it over white rice(I was out of basmati). My son took home the small amount of leftovers.
Laura M.
October 23, 2022
This is a lovely dish and so fun and easy to make! I added a little chicken boullion and 1 Tablespoon of green curry paste. This will be a dish we make many more times in our house!
Danni E.

This recipe is exactly why I love your company! This chicken stew has such depth of flavor--so rich and satisfying. I usually shy away from chicken thighs but didn't this time--so glad I made the recipe as written (although I didn't seed/devein the jalapenos). Thank you. Keep doing what you do, as you all are amazing at it.

Nikita J.

This recipe wasn’t very good. Which was disappointing because so many others on this site are truly marvelous.

Lucia C.

How would I make this recipe without an instant pot?

Lynn C.

Hi Lucia -

We only tested this recipe for our Instant Pot cookbook, Fast & Slow, so we don't have specific, tested instructions for making it without an Instant Pot. That being said, you could make this on the stovetop in a Dutch oven by braising the chicken in the puree until the chicken is tender. Since there is no evaporation in an Instant Pot you may find that, when cooking on the stovetop, you may need to add a little extra water to the pot so it doesn't burn or completely evaporate. You want to make sure the chicken is nestled in the puree about halfway up the sides of the chicken throughout cooking. All of Step 3 can be done on the stovetop easily. Good luck!

The Milk Street Team

Sara M.

The cilantro sauce straight from the blender was AMAZING (though quite spicy)... but the sauce out of the instant pot after cooking was broken and watery, and while it came back together once the remaining half and coconut milk were added, it still was too liquidy. The coconut milk made it kind of a dud, too - it muted the flavor of the cilantro sauce, but also wasn't enough to add a coconut flavor... so it was just a really high calorie but dull sauce. I won't make this again as written, but I will 100% make the cilantro sauce again (cutting back the jalapeno) to put over plain roasted chicken, vegetables, plain rice... anything.

Mary S.

This was a hit, and I will definitely make again. I deseeded the jalapeños and wished I hadn't - but it did make for a very kid friendly dish. I too envisioned a thicker sauce, but I don't think it needed one - although I agree on desire for more coconut flavor.