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 27 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 27 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. JG

    5 stars
    My new staple and favourite dish! Seriously, I’d get an instant pot just for this recipe. The flavours are unbelievable. It’s so delicious and comforting, while still being healthy. Incredible!

  2. Callie Vail

    5 stars
    Super tasty curry! And super easy. My husband and I both loved it.

  3. Nutfreevegan

    I’ve never made anything with jackfruit and really want to try this recipe! All I could find was frozen jackfruit. Can I use that in this recipe?

  4. Briana

    SOOOO yummy!!! I added 4 Serrano’s a jalapeño and poblano and switched the sweet potatoes for fingerling potatoes! Delicious as always! Thanks for another great recipe!

  5. Penny Young

    Tried this and it was amazing. Restaurant quality Indian food. Thank you!

  6. jackie

    Made this and was so good, making again today. Will add some diced capsicum (pepper) and Aubergine(egg plant) this time . got even better the next day .

  7. Victoria

    This is soooooooo goooooood!! The first recipe ever tried in my Instant Pot is a huge success. I’m now in a rabbit hole trying to find the next recipe I want to try!

  8. liz

    i was able to dedicate some time this past week towards making this recipe -i’ve never peeled that much jackfruit in my lifeee! haha the results were spicily satisfying and worth it! but i did have some frustrations towards the end of sautéing and feel like its important to share:
    when i got to step four (i used the stovetop instructions with a dutch oven) – the bottom was already pretty critically dry, so after adding the jackfruit and potatoes on top of what was already in there, and trying to get everything incorporated and cooking for longer amongst all that dryness – wasn’t working out for me (i.e. things were starting to burn, no matter how much i had stirred) – so i added the milk and tomato sauce pretty immediately instead of waiting the 5 minutes. after that, it still wasn’t feeling like enough, so i added a lil water. (which wasn’t suggested for the stovetop) — after i put the lid on, it all eventually softened and co-mingled and i chilled outt haha but just wards of warning that it was a bit tricky finding the right temperature and liquid.

  9. Patti

    This recipe sounds amazing! Is there something I could use as a liquid instead of the plant based milk? Trying to decrease fat. Would water be to bland and mess up the flavor? Would a "potato milk" (boiled potatoes with water blended to the consistency of milk).
    Thanks for all the great recipes especially the curries!

  10. Carol

    amazing thank you!! I usually add chocolate to balance the tomato next time i will. I had extra veggies to use up so I added them. We love jackfruit. We are Vegan. When I take Jack Fruit Chilli to a potluck…it’s the first thing gone.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Carol, I’m glad you enjoyed this curry! I love using chocolate in chili recipes for the same, but have never tried it with curry! And a great way to use extra veggies too!

  11. Patty

    Can I replace the curry leave with ground curry, and would you know how much ground curry to use?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Patty, curry leaf and curry powder are not the same thing, so I would omit the curry leaves (it’ll still be tasty and flavorful without them). You could try adding a couple bay leaves. Not the same flavor but always a good addition in Indian curries. You can also try adding some lime zest at the very end of cooking to somewhat replicate the flavor, though totally optional and only if you have limes on hand.

  12. Eileen C

    If I want to substitute cumin seeds with ground cumin, how many teaspoons should I use?

    1. Nisha Vora

      I would use about 1 teaspoon – ground cumin is more concentrated in flavor than the seeds so you don’t need as much. Add it along with the other ground spices in step 4.

  13. Cate

    Kept getting the "food burn" warning on the instant pot on this one… any suggestions for avoiding that? Followed the directions to a T so I’m not sure where it went wrong :(

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Cate, sorry to hear that. I know that’s an annoying experience! I’ve never had that happen with this recipe and no other readers have mentioned it, so I’m not 100% sure. But a couple things:
      Did you deglaze the pot after sauteing the onions and spices and scrape up the browned bits? If there are bits stuck to the bottom of the pot when you start pressure cooking, it can trick the instant pot’s heat sensor into thinking that something is burning.
      Also, did you happen to add the tomato sauce in step 8 before pressure cooking? Thick tomato-based products like tomato sauce tend to scorch the instant pot, so that’s why the directions call for adding it after pressure cooking.

  14. Faye

    I am low carb. What could I replace the sweet potatoes with? I’m replacing the rice for cauliflower. I wander how would it effect it if I use less potatoes?

    1. Nisha Vora

      The sweet potatoes balance out the spiciness in the curry, so I would use less spice if you omit the sweet potatoes or if you reduce the quantity. You can try butternut squash instead if you are able to have that. Hope that helps !

  15. Nadine

    I stumbled upon your blog quite by accident and I’m so glad I did! Making this, my kitchen smelled like heaven, only to be surpassed by the incredible flavours! Thank you so much – I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog and picking up your cookbook :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Nadine! That’s so great to hear :) I am so happy you loved the jackfruit curry. And hope you’ll find more delicious recipes to make from my book and blog!

  16. Diane Courtney

    I made this curry for yesterday. My husband and I aren’t vegan but son and partner are. I’ve never had jackfruit before either so felt it was all a bit risky. I needn’t have worried, this was absolutely delicious! We all loved it. I held back on the chilli a little bit as I don’t like things too hot ( extra chopped chilli to sprinkle on for those that do). I also roast the sweet potatoes first.Thank you. Will definitely check out more recipes here.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Diane, I am so happy that you loved this jackfruit curry. I’m glad you were able to tailor it to your spice level as well (I am a bit obsessed with spicy food but know that a lot of people aren’t haha). Sounds extra delicious with roasted sweet potatoes too!

  17. jo

    I love the idea of this recipe so much, and it sounds delicious. That said, the prep and ingredient list sounds a little daunting to me (busy household, blah blah blah) Any chance at replacing some of those with dried spices?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Jo! Ha, totally get it! It depends on what you’d like to replace. I love using whole spices such as the cumin seeds and mustard seeds in Indian-style cooking, but I’m sure it would be fine if you omitted those.
      For the ginger and garlic, I don’t think ground garlic and ginger have the same taste or flavor, so I would keep those fresh (if anything, I might omit the fresh ginger instead of using ground ginger). You can also omit the curry leaves.
      Hope that helps!

  18. Jane

    Such a delicious recipe!!

  19. Gabbie

    It’s so funny to me that you say jackfruit is neutral in taste. In Jamaica it’s one of those fruits people either love or hate because of how strong the flavour is. We eat it ripe and its incredibly sweet (I’m on the love jackfruit team btw) with a very strong scent. I have yet to try cooking it as a savoury dish, but I recently roasted the seeds and those were tasty.

  20. Home Plix

    Aww amazing!!! I’ve loved following your blog – your amazing recipes (many of which I’ve tried and loved!), beautiful photos and refreshing writing! I’m looking forward to your new cookbook – what an awesome work! Congratulations!
    https://homeplix.com/aicok-juicer

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