Spicy, coconutty and filling… this curry can be served by itself as a rich little fish stew or on a fluffy pillow of Basmati rice. The trickiest part of this dish is obtaining all of the ingredients.  Since not everyone has access to these specialty ingredients I have suggested substitutions where appropriate.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger None 5 min. Low (1) Normal

4.9 from 12 reviews
Pressure Cooked Coconut Fish Curry
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Southeast Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
If your pressure cooker does not have a "low" pressure setting, pressure cook for two minutes at high pressure in stovetop pressure cookers, and three minutes in electric pressure cookers.
  • 1-1.5 lb (500-750g) Fish steaks or fillets, rinsed and cut into bite-size pieces (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 Tomato, chopped (or a heaping cup of cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 Green Chiles, sliced into strips
  • 2 Medium onions, sliced into strips
  • 2 Garlic cloves, squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated Ginger, (or ⅛ teaspoon ginger powder)
  • 6 Curry leaves, or Bay Laurel Leaves, or Kaffir Lime Leaves, or Basil
  • 1 Tbsp. ground Coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Chili powder, or 1 tsp. of Hot Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp. Ground Fenugreek (Methi)
  • OR
  • 3 Tbsp. Curry powder mix. (instead of the 5 spices noted above)
  • 2 cups or (500ml) unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • Salt to taste (I used about 2 tsp.)
  • Lemon juice to taste (I used the juice from ½ lemon)
  1. In the preheated pressure cooker on medium-low heat without the lid, add a swirl of oil and then drop in the curry leaves and lightly fry them until golden around the edges (about 1 minute).
  2. Then add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute until the onion is soft.
  3. Add all of the ground spices: Coriander, Cumin, Tumeric, Chili Powder and Fenugreek and sautee them together with the onions until they have released their aroma (about 2 minutes).
  4. De-glaze with the coconut milk making sure to un-stick anything from the bottom of the cooker and incorporate it into the sauce.
  5. Add the Green Chiles, Tomatoes and fish pieces. Stir to coat the fish well with the mixture.
  6. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  7. Electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes at LOW pressure.
  8. When time is up, release pressure using the Normal method - release vapor through the valve.
  9. Add salt to taste and spritz with lemon juice just before serving.
  10. Serve alone, or with steamed rice.




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  1. This was the first recipe I made with my Instant Pot. Quick question re: Step 6: “Set the pressure level to LOW. Turn the heat up high and when the pan reaches pressure, lower the heat and count 5 minutes cooking time at LOW pressure (or 2-3 at HIGH). ”

    All I did once I sauteed and mixed the ingredients was press the manual button, and set it to low pressure. As this was my first time using it, I was confused as to what to do next. I just waited for the time to start counting down but couldn’t “turn the heat up to high” or “lower the heat”…did I do something wrong?

    OK…now on to taste…

    1. No you didn’t do anything wrong.
      This is an old recipe written for a stovetop pressure cooker. Your InstantPot will handle all that stuff for you. You may need to adjust the time a little as the IP uses a slightly lower pressure which will increase the cooking time a little, but take a little longer to reach and lose pressure which will reduce the cooking time a little. Only experience will tell you which side of the fence it will come down on.

      1. Thanks so much!

  2. Just tried this and it came out curdled and wattery. Any idea where I goofed?

    1. Assuming you followed the directions accurately, I would bet on the quality of the coconut milk. There is home made, good and awful. The first two are OK. The third is not. Look for one made in Thailand. Though even that won’t avoid all the awful ones.

  3. This is really good! I used bay leaves but would like to get some curry leaves and try again. Also I wasn’t sure what kind of green chilies – the picture looks like what they call Fresno chilies but not sure where I would find them. Planned to use jalapenos but then I couldn’t get to the store anyway and just upped the amount of hot pepper flakes. This recipe meets the Whole30 plan as long as you don’t eat it over rice.

  4. This was so yummy!!! Easy to follow and ingredients were all obtainable. I left out one step by accident (sautéing the spices) but it still turned out beautiful. Thanks so much for this!!!

  5. Do you have any recommendations to half the recipe? Also what type of green Chile should use? Thanks

  6. Chilies are difficult as the names and varieties vary greatly from region to region. The ones in the photo look like ones I buy locally as “banana chilies” These are a very mild chili not much hotter than a capsicum (bell pepper) They are what I use when a recipe calls for a long Thai chili. Use anything available locally that you are comfortable with. Personally I would go up to a jalapeno, but not a habanero. These have only just become available where I live.

    As for halving the recipe…
    If you have a stovetop, as Laura uses above, you should be fine if you halve everything EXCEPT the time. This will remain the same.

    An electric may be problematic as they generally have a higher minimum liquid requirement. On the face of it, 1 cup of coconut milk plus half a tomato should be OK, but you are sailing pretty close the the edge. Perhaps leave the whole tomato and halve everything else. Again EXCEPT the time. It may come out a bit watery though. Also make sure you use coconut milk NOT coconut cream. The latter has a much lower water content.

  7. Thank you Greg

  8. Extremely tasty outcome from a simple recipe. My wife thoroughly enjoyed it, so did my kid. Thank you for making our evening joyful.

  9. Looking forward to making this (sounds delicious!) in my new instant pot this week end. How many people can it comfortably serve? ( about 4?)

    Also, can you see any reason why I couldn’t add a stick of lemon grass, finely chopped? I happen to have some in my fridge.

    Many thanks


    1. Yes, this recipe serves four. I think the lemongrass would be a perfect addition.



  10. I’m planning to prepare this dish in my new 8Qt Instapot. I will substitute chicken for fish. I would like to double the recipe too. What other changes should I consider?

  11. I made this last night. I’m new to the “Instant Pot” craze, so I’ve felt a little intimidated by the few recipes I’ve made. They all turn out fine.

    I decided rather than using 2 cups coconut milk, I substituted 1 cup for a cup of veggie broth. I also added carrots to the mix and would have added peppers but didn’t have any. Because I didn’t have the five spices listed, I just used the curry. I served this over quinoa, and it was very good! My husband and daughter enjoyed it as well. Yay! Something new I can add to my anti-inflammatory diet rotation.

  12. What is normal pressure release release? Is it neural for ten minutes then can’t or quick pressure release after its cooked?

    1. Normal pressure release is also known as “quick”. In other words, as soon as the cooking time is up, release the pressure.



  13. Just tried the recipe with my daughter and she said it is one one the best curry she’s had! It was a little too spicy for us so added about a cup of plain yogurt to the recipe and it turned out great! Thanks

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