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Vegetarian Thai Panang Curry over rice in a white bowl
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5 from 7 votes

Instant Pot Thai Panang Curry

Instant Pot Panang Curry is a fast vegetarian meal with chickpeas and sweet potatoes in a spicy, creamy coconut and peanut broth. Use the pot-in-pot method to cook rice at the same time for a one-pot meal that comes together in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Natural Release10 mins
Total Time24 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: easy Thai recipe, instant pot, Instant Pot curry, vegetarian meal
Servings: 6
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $7.00


  • 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker
  • Pressure cooker-safe metal trivet and bowl


Panang Curry

  • 1 (14-oz) can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 tablespoon Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon grated Fresh Ginger
  • 2 14oz cans Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed (I prefer Bush’s or Goya brand chickpeas)
  • 12 oz Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed

Pot-in-Pot Rice

  • 1 ½ cups Long Grain Rice (Basmati rice works really well with this method)
  • 1 ½ cups Water

To Finish the Panang Curry

  • 1 ½ tablespoon Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (see note)
  • 2 teaspoon Fish Sauce (sub soy sauce for a vegetarian, non-fish version)
  • 2 teaspoon Lime Juice
  • ¼ cup Roasted Peanuts (optional)
  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro (optional)


  • In the bowl of the Instant Pot, combine all of the ingredients for Panang Curry - unsweetened coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes. (Note: If you don't want to add the pot-in-pot rice, skip ahead to Step #5.)
  • Top the curry with a 2” rack then with a 7-cup glass bowl. (Be sure that both the rack and bowl are approved for use in the Instant Pot.)
  • Rinse the rice well.
  • Fill the bowl with rice and 1 ½ cups water.
  • Close and lock the lid.
  • Set the steam valve to Sealing.
  • Cook on manual / high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • When done cooking, leave the machine on Warming (most machines automatically revert to this after cooking). Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. (Tip: I like to set a kitchen timer so that I don’t get distracted and forget.)
  • Manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Carefully remove the bowl of rice and rack and set aside, covered, to keep warm.
  • To the curry, stir in peanut butter, fish sauce, and lime juice. (Note: Stir gently - the sweet potatoes will be very tender.)
  • Taste sauce. If you’d like it to be spicier, stir in some more curry paste or some hot sauce.
  • Serve curry over rice. Top with roasted peanuts and cilantro.


Optional Pot-in-Pot Rice - Feel free to skip the pot-in-pot rice here. Just skip over the steps to add the trivet, bowl, and rice. Follow all other directions (including cook time) as written.
Curry Paste - American brands of curry paste like “Thai Kitchen” are typically less spicy than Thai brands that you might find at the international / Asian grocery store. I find that 3 tablespoon of Thai Kitchen brand curry paste is hardly spicy, and 3 tablespoon of a Thai brand is about right for me, but I have a pretty good tolerance for spice. Feel free to adjust this amount. You can start always start with 1-2 tablespoon and stir more in, to taste, after cooking. 
Peanut Butter - I prefer unsweetened “natural” peanut butter for this, but you can use a sweetened brand for this as well. Start with about 1 tablespoon of the sweetened variety and add more to taste after the dish is done cooking. 


Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 9225IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg