Recipe: Instant Pot Butter Chickpeas

One of the best things to ever come out of my Instant Pot was a perfectly spiced batch of Indian butter chickpeas, using a recipe I’d modified to use a bag of frozen chickpeas I’d bought impulsively on clearance and the canned tomatoes I had on hand.

We try to eat vegetarian dinners a couple of nights a week at our house, but even if an entire meal isn’t vegetarian, a vegetable side dish can lighten a heavy main course, add extra nutrition, and stretch your budget.

You can use soaked dried chickpeas or canned for the below recipe, or try frozen ones if you can find them. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make your butter chickpeas on the stovetop, but the flavors won’t be infused as deeply into the chickpeas, and you will have to adjust the cook time (simmering until the mixture thickens after adding the tomato sauce and spices). I snuck a red bell pepper into this for added nutrition, but you can omit it if you want the finished dish to be more authentic.

Instant Pot Butter Chickpeas

(serves 4-6)

Indian butter chickpeas with rice
Butter chickpeas made in the Instant Pot and served with rice.


2 tbsp. olive oil 1 1/2 c. onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 1/2 c. water 2 tsp. curry powder 2 tsp. salt ½ tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. paprika 1 tsp. ground turmeric 1 tsp. ground ginger ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper ½ tsp. ground cumin ¾ c. heavy cream 1 tbsp. butter Cooked basmati rice, for serving Instructions:

Place the oil into the bottom of an Instant Pot. Press the sauté button, and when the oil is hot, add the onion and red bell pepper. Sautee, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent (about 6-7 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chickpeas, the diced tomatoes and the water. Stir to combine, then add the curry powder, salt, pepper, coriander, paprika, turmeric, ginger, cayenne and cumin. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 35 minutes at high pressure. After 35 minutes, naturally release the pressure. Add the cream and butter to the chickpea mixture and stir until combined. Serve the sauce and chickpea mixture over the basmati rice.

Let us know in the comments if you try Amber's recipe! Meanwhile, learn more about Amber Royer in her interview with Eat Like a Writer here.

Try Amber's other recipes: Osso Buco and Filipino-style chicken adobo