Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry

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An easy vegan Instant Pot curry that is bursting with flavor! Made with warm and aromatic Indian spices, jackfruit, sweet potatoes, and coconut milk, this Instant Pot curry is both vegan and Paleo and incredibly creamy! Plus, it's quick to make and perfect for those busy weeknights.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
5 from 30 votes

This incredibly delicious and easy Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry is a fun way to incorporate jackfruit and is guaranteed to become a new dinner favorite!

Why you’ll love this recipe

Flavor-packed. It’s brimming with warm, aromatic Indian spices and sooo much flavor.

Wholesome. It’s very nourishing (it’s vegan, gluten-free, AND paleo). You could even make it keto if you limit the amount of sweet potatoes in the recipe. I’m no keto expert, but I think you can have up to half of a sweet potato per day on a ketogenic diet.

Indulgent. This curry is oh-so rich and creamy. Despite being wholesome, it tastes incredibly indulgent thanks to (a) full-fat coconut milk and (b) sweet potatoes. Especially if you use the Instant Pot method, the sweet potatoes practically melt into the curry, which makes the texture even creamier and thicker. Plus, the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes deftly balances the spicy and slightly sour flavors of a curry.

Easy. This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal, especially if you use the Instant Pot method.

Meal prep friendly. This curry stays great in the fridge for at least 4-5 days, the leftovers are amazing, and it also freezes well.

Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry, Vegan Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry, Vegan Jackfruit Curry

What is jackfruit and how do you use it? 

Jackfruit is a fruit that grows on trees in tropical climates (South Asia and Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Africa, and a few other places). It’s the largest tree-borne fruit in the world and has a spiky green exterior and a spongy, plump pale yellow interior.

Fresh jackfruit isn’t too widely available in the U.S., though you can find it at specialty stores or Asian grocery stores. I always buy it in cans, and most often when it’s canned in water.

It’s often prepared more like a vegetable than like a fruit, and it has the remarkable ability to mimic meat. Yes, MEAT!

When you shred the flesh of jackfruit, it looks and feels just like shredded pork (or chicken). And because it’s quite neutral in taste, jackfruit really takes on the flavors of the ingredients in which it’s cooked. So you can marinate jackfruit in ancho chiles, and have ancho chili jackfruit that will remind you of ancho chili chicken. Or you can coat jackfruit in barbecue sauce, and have barbecue jackfruit that will remind you of barbecue pork. It’s really quite amazing!

Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry, Vegan Jackfruit Curry, Vegan Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry, Instant Pot Vegan Jackfruit

You can purchase canned jackfruit at Asian markets, online, specialty or natural foods stores, and Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

For this recipe, you’re looking for jackfruit that’s canned in water or brine, not sugary syrup. Canned jackfruit is pre-cut into these little triangles, and you can easily shred them apart using your fingers or forks (I find the former method to be easier). You can, of course, buy a whole jackfruit, but given that they can weigh dozens of pounds, it seems like a gargantuan task to cut one open (and frankly, not a task I am interested in at the moment).

Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry, Vegan Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry, Vegan Jackfruit Curry

Tips for cooking this Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry

You should be able to find most of the spices used in this recipe at most grocery stores, but if you’re having trouble, you can always find them in Indian grocery stores or on Amazon. And if you’re really in a pinch, it’s okay to omit one or two of the spices. The curry will still come out delicious!

While I do LOVE sweet potatoes in this curry, you could also use butternut squash or another winter squash if you prefer. The curry won’t have the natural sweetness from the sweet potatoes, however. To balance the spicy and sour flavors, then, you’ll want to stir in a tablespoon of sweetener before pressure cooking (organic cane sugar, agave nectar, etc.).

Now that we’ve talked about the ingredients, let’s talk about the cooking method. I love using my Instant Pot for this jackfruit curry because it makes it easier and more hands off, but I’ve also provided stovetop instructions for those who don’t have an Instant Pot. There are minor variations between the two methods, so be sure to read the Ingredient list and directions closely.

Regardless of which method you use, the basic cooking steps are pretty straightforward and typical of most traditional curries.

Start off by heating up a bit of oil and frying the whole spices (cumin seeds and black mustard seeds). If you don’t have black mustard seeds, you can just use brown mustard seeds. If you want to omit the oil from this recipe, you can dry toast these seeds (do this on the stove, preferably in a nonstick skillet, as frying without oil is difficult in the Instant Pot).

Once the whole spices are fragrant and begin to sizzle, sauté the aromatics (onions, followed by garlic, ginger, and chili peppers). Next, add the ground spices and cook briefly until you have somewhat of a paste. Then, you’ll add most of the remaining ingredients—the jackfruit, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and tomato paste.

In the Instant Pot method, you’ll notice that the tomato sauce is added after the curry is pressure cooked. That’s because thick, viscous sauces, especially tomato-based ones, tend to burn in the Instant Pot during pressure cooking, so I wait to add the tomato sauce after the curry is done pressure cooking.

Finish the curry by adding in a generous amount of baby spinach (use as much as you like, and vary the greens according to what you have on hand), fresh lemon juice, and cilantro. Voilà, that’s it! I like to serve it with white rice and/or flatbread, but any grain will do.

Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry

I hope you enjoy recipe for Jackfruit Curry! If you do, leave a rating and review down below. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram with your recreations!

Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry

5 from 30 votes
An easy vegan Instant Pot curry that is bursting with flavor! Made with warm and aromatic Indian spices, jackfruit, sweet potatoes, and coconut milk, this Instant Pot curry is both vegan and Paleo and incredibly creamy! Plus, it's quick to make and perfect for those busy weeknights.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian-Inspired
Diet Vegan
Keyword: curry, gluten-free, instant pot, jackfruit, nut-free, soy-free
Serving size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (or neutral oil of choice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (can substitute brown mustard seeds)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2- inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced (omit membranes and seeds for a milder version)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Indian red chili pepper (NOTE: this is NOT the same as standard chili powder; if you don’t have it, substitute with 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on your spice level)
  • 4-6 curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup water (omit for stovetop version)
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 (20-ounce cans jackfruit) (in water or brine), drained and rinsed and pulled apart with fingers (for instructions on how to do this, watch the video at the 08:30 mark)
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 6-8 ounces each), peeled and diced into 3/4-inch cubes (diced into 1/2-inch cubes for stovetop version)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4-5 cups baby spinach or baby kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • For serving: White Basmati rice or flatbread

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions

  • Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. After a few minutes, add the oil to heat up. Once the Instant Pot displays reads “HOT,” add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and fry for 45 seconds, tossing frequently, until they begin to pop and are very aromatic.
  • Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and pepper, and cook for 90 seconds, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  • Add the ground spices (turmeric, garam masala, coriander, paprika, and chili powder), curry leaves, and the 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Stir to coat and cook for 30 seconds, stirring to combine. Add the 3/4 water to deglaze, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, followed by the shredded jackfruit and chopped sweet potatoes. Stir to combine and select Cancel.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 6 minutes.
  • Once the timer has completed, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Open the pot and add the tomato sauce and spinach, and stir to incorporate. Select the Sauté setting, bring the curry to a boil, and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
  • Serve with white basmati rice or flatbread.

Stovetop Directions

  • Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and fry for 45-60 seconds, tossing frequently, until they begin to pop and are are very aromatic.
  • Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  • Add the ground spices (turmeric, garam masala, coriander, paprika, and chili powder), curry leaves, and the 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Stir to coat and cook for 30 seconds, stirring to combine.
  • Add the shredded jackfruit and chopped sweet potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and tomato sauce, and stir to coat. Bring to a simmer and then cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and thickens slightly and the sweet potatoes are very tender. If you want the curry to be even thicker, use an immersion blender or potato masher to mash 1/3 to 1/2 of the mixture to thicken.
  • Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve with white basmati rice or flatbread.

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55 comments on Instant Pot Jackfruit Curry

  1. Emily W.

    5 stars
    This is one of my new favorite recipes! I did not have Mustard seeds, but it was still really good. I can’t wait to make this again!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Emily!

  2. Sean Kline

    Where may we purchase Indian red chili pepper?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sean! If you can’t find it at any of your local grocery stores, here’s an amazon link! https://www.amazon.com/Indian-Spice-Chili-Powder-Regular/dp/B003CIAP3E

  3. Amy P.

    5 stars
    I don’t own an Instant Pot, so made this on the stove top. I did add 3/4 cup water to deglaze my pot a bit after adding the spices, and instead of an 8 oz can of tomato sauce added at the end of the recipe, I used a 14.5 can of diced fire roasted tomatoes and added them at the same time as the coconut milk. I also swapped one of the cans of jackfruit for a can of chickpeas, just to add a little protein. The spices were just right, and the hit of lemon at the end really brought it together. Great over rice or with naan.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Amy!

  4. Rhonda

    5 stars
    This was delicious! A lil too spicy for me but my son devoured it!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks Rhonda! Next time you can omit the seeds of the serrano pepper for a milder dish.

  5. Brooke

    Hi! I am trying to figure out if the Indian red chili powder is the same thing as Kashmiri Chili powder? I have omitted it from my curries due to not finding it but I am going to finally order it on Amazon. Just want to be sure it’s the same thing?

  6. Lori

    5 stars
    You can literally do no wrong lol. Another phenomenal recipe!

  7. Fyra

    I’ve scrolled up and down this page about a dozen times. It’s impossible to find the video, particularly with all the video ads that are playing. I even turned on an ad blocker and the video still isn’t anywhere to be found.

    Enough text here to figure it out, but the recipe does reference the video at specific timestamps.

    1. Sarah

      YES!! I tried to find in on youtube but its not on there either?! Does she read these comments…??

  8. Christine

    5 stars
    Why oh why can’t we leave a 10 star review as this is, without a doubt, a 10 star dish!!! So much flavour, so easy to make – ticks all the boxes. I added some spinach and kale (to be honest it was lurking in the fridge screaming to be used), but otherwise perfect as is. Thank you Nisha. You’re a genius!!

  9. John walter Pirog

    Just made this recipe, it is AMAZING!!! I have tried jackfruit in many different ways and this is by far, THE only way to eat jackfruit. In my opinion, the Indian way of cooking and spicing is the worlds best. Did not have sweet potatoes so I used russet white which broke down to a real creaminess. Also added a half jar of four pepper salsa along with the tomato sauce. Many many thanks for such a fantastic recipe. This one is definitely a keeper.
    JP

  10. Dana

    You are such a wonderful cook and teacher. This is a wonderful recipe. However, having said that, I cannot use coconut milk. All of my plant based Drs. Don’t approve. Too much fat. Maybe one half of a low-fat can would be the limit. Would good full fat soy milk work? Thank u sooooo much. Sincerely, Dana

    1. Taryn

      I’m not sure if this would work, but I’ve used oat milk with coconut extract in place of coconut milk and it worked out great.

  11. Heather

    I made this last night to freeze for us on an upcoming camping trip. It smelled amazing! It is going to be such a treat to heat up after a long day of trail riding!

  12. Lefevre

    i wanted to warn you that when you clik on the print sign on your page, you are redirected to a banking site (whitch is very weird)

  13. Aoife

    5 stars
    Thank you so much!! This recipe turned out incredible!!

  14. Nicole

    5 stars
    Made this recipe last night for my SO and neighbors (all omnivores) and it was a hit! I did omit the curry leaves and mustard seeds as I didn’t have them on hand, but will definitely get them for the next time I make this recipe. I added some chickpeas at the end as well. Loved this recipe, so delicious.

  15. David Dakar

    5 stars
    Excellent. Made it exactly as outlined, turned out perfect, plenty of leftovers. One addition was cashews on the table, for an added crunch, and of course some chutney. Great depth of flavor for 16 minutes in the IP. Reminded me of a lot of Meera Sodha recipes.

  16. Diana

    Another great recipe from you Neesha. I bought an instant pot about 1 month ago and there it sat, I was little nervous about using it. But I knew I’d be safe with you. So after first doing my “water test”…I knew I had to look up one of you recipes. I picked this one (though I didn’t have the spinach or tomato sauce (I’m actually camping with my IP) but I went for it anyway. I used diced tomatoes and added a can of chickpeas. Very yummy, and in my IP to boot. Thanks!

  17. Jennifer

    Do you use dried curry leaves or fresh curry leaves? I’m assuming dried but I could be wrong.

  18. Matthew Mejstrik

    5 stars
    Just got an instant pot and this is the first thing I’ve made in it besides rice. It was easy, delicious, and didn’t require a lot of clean up. I think it makes a lot more servings than four but I’ll defiantly enjoy the leftovers. It ended up being a little too thick so I added in some plant milk at the end.

  19. Marisel Smit

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I bought my Instant Pot recently because I am a student with very limited time and I am always on a budget. My other main motivation was because I wanted to try all the Instant Pot recipes on this website. This is my very first dish I made in my brand new Instant Pot and I loved it! I look forward to try the rest of the recipes. It was also my first time using Jackfruit and I am so impressed, I however used canned diced tomatoes instead of can tomato sauce because that was all I had in my pantry, it tasted it bit more tomato-y than I expected but still a great recipe.
    Love this recipe, I definitely recommend it.

  20. Elena

    5 stars
    I had never made anything with Jackfruit before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. It was delicious! My spices did almost burn in the beginning, so next time I will add the oil and spices as the pot is warming up rather than wait until it is already hot. Have yet to go wrong with an RPL recipe!

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