Instant Pot Butter Chickpeas (Vegan Butter Chicken)

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I’m sure you’ve heard of butter chicken, right? Well this instant pot butter chickpea curry recipe has all the butter chicken flavor minus the actual chicken!

Butter Chickpeas aka Vegan Butter Chicken

I almost don’t want to tell you that this recipe for instant pot butter chickpeas is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free because I am sure that if you didn’t know – you wouldn’t know! You know? 😉

This dish is just as decadent as butter chicken – it’s rich, creamy, and hearty. A celebratory plant-based meal, perfect for the vegans and vegetarians in your life.

It’s also a great option for meat-eaters looking to switch things up. Make this on a meatless Monday or really any day of the week.

I mean just look at these chickpeas swimming in a spiced, creamy tomato sauce – everyone is going to love this.

Butter Chickpeas aka Vegan Butter Chicken

DO I NEED TO SOAK DRIED CHICKPEAS OVERNIGHT?

My recipe calls for dried chickpeas, making this dish extremely economical. With an Instant Pot, this dish takes a fraction of the time it’d take to make this on the stovetop and cooking this dish in an electric pressure cooker really infuses the chickpeas with a ton of flavor.

I know there’s always a lot of disagreement over whether or not to soak legumes but I think a lot of Indian families soak beans/legumes prior to cooking. That’s what I do because that’s what my mom taught me and that’s what my grandmother taught her. I think it makes them easier to digest. You do you – but know that if you’re not using pre-soaked beans then you will likely need to cook the chickpeas for longer than the recipe calls for. My method results in perfectly soft and tender chickpeas.

WHAT IF I FORGOT TO SOAK CHICKPEAS? HOW CAN I DO A QUICK SOAK?

You either need to soak the dried chickpeas overnight OR do a quick soak. The amount of water listed in my recipe is what’s needed for soaked chickpeas. Dried chickpeas absorb a lot of water so if you don’t soak them in advance, the proportion of chickpeas to water will not be correct. Also, I believe that soaking legumes helps them to be more easily digested.

Did you forget to soak the dried chickpeas overnight? You can easily do a quick soak by covering the dried chickpeas with an inch of water and pressure cooking them for 10 minutes with a natural release. Then dump out the water, rinse the chickpeas well and follow the directions for butter chickpeas from there.

Butter Chickpeas aka Vegan Butter Chicken

If you’ve tried my butter chicken before, then you will love this recipe. And if you haven’t tried it because you don’t eat meat, now you can enjoy this vegan version which is honestly just as good!

 

Instant Pot Butter Chickpeas (Vegan Butter Chicken)

Butter Chickpeas aka Vegan Butter Chicken

Instant Pot Butter Chickpeas (Vegan Butter Chicken)

4.94 from 31 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

Spices

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

 

  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups water

Add later:

  • 1 green bell pepper chopped into large pieces
  • ½ cup unsweetened cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
  • Pinch of dried fenugreek leaves kasoori methi
  • Cilantro garnish

Instructions
 

  • Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside. 
  • Press the sauté button. Add the oil and allow it to heat it up for a minute. Add the onion and stir-fry for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and spices stir, then add the chickpeas, tomato sauce and water.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 35 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • Add the bell pepper, cream and fenugreek leaves to the pot and mix well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Video

Notes

  • If you are not vegan, then feel free to use ghee instead of oil and heavy cream instead of coconut milk!
  • Did you forget to soak the dried chickpeas overnight? You can easily do a quick soak by covering the dried chickpeas with an inch of water and pressure cooking them for 10 minutes with a natural release. Then dump out the water, rinse the chickpeas well and follow the directions for butter chickpeas from there.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Butter Chickpeas aka Vegan Butter Chicken
Butter Chickpeas aka Vegan Butter Chicken

Like this recipe? You can find all of my Indian Instant Pot Recipes right here on the blog!

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Cookbooks

Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Kiran says

    5 stars
    The butter chickpeas turned out amazing. I used tinned chickpeas but accidentally didn’t adjust the water quantity so had to sauté it until it thickened up!! I added the green peppers in with the chickpeas when cooking as my husband doesn’t like crunchy peppers in curry. We will definitely be making this again!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Kiran, I’m so glad you liked the butter chickpeas! Thanks for sharing your experience with canned chickpeas – they don’t absorb water – I’m sure your comment will help others. I’m glad you still made it work! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out for you guys 🙂

  2. Upstairs Woman says

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I subbed a dollop of sour cream and some ghee for the coconut milk since I didn’t have any on hand. Still came out delicious!

  3. Arielle says

    This sounds amazing! I love all your recipes I’ve tried! I have a question- I don’t love raw vegetables in dishes and I don’t usually like green peppers. Do they add a lot or can I just leave them out? Or would you substitute something else?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Arielle, that’s great to hear 🙂 You can skip the green peppers, they don’t add much in terms of flavor – I mainly use them to provide a contrast in texture and also to include a veggie. Let me know how you like this!

      • Arielle says

        5 stars
        Finally made this last night and it was amazing (not surprising- all your recipes are favorites).

        I halved the pepper and cayenne and it was perfect amount of spice for my 3 year old (who prefers his food less hot than we do). I left out the green pepper but next time I’ll try cooking it with the chickpeas and see what we prefer.

        We were out of rice (how does that happen?!) so we we just ate it by itself and it had the comfort of a bowl of creamy noodles without the gross feeling after. Definitely going into the rotation!

        Thanks for creating this!! I’m so lucky I found your blog 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Oliver, you can leave them out if you don’t have them – it’ll still be great! The fenugreek leaves do make this dish taste more restaurant-like so I would suggest getting them if you can in the future.

  4. Tania benatar says

    i have to say, after 35 min, my chickpeas were still crunchy. Very disappointing. i’m ‘trying 15 min more, but honestly, the crowd is getting rowdy. plus i had timed it to go out after. Now im’ delayed and nothing else to feed people. the timing should be increased a lot, or else, should be used with canned chickpeas. i’m afraid this will still not be done in another 15 min.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Tania, and this is with soaked chickpeas? If so, that’s surprising… I wonder if perhaps the beans are very old? Typically old beans take longer to cook and sometimes don’t cook well at all. I hope it turned out okay!

  5. Emily says

    5 stars
    Family favorite, and friends often ask for the recipe. I always throw some potatoes in, because I love them in curries. If using canned garbanzos, you can adjust instant pot cook time to 7 mins or so. I like to add a splash of liquid aminos (like soy sauce) after cooking too. Thank you for the great recipe!

  6. Elaine says

    Do I put the coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight so that the cream separates from the liquid?

  7. Angie says

    Do you have a suggestion of what to make with the remainder of the coconut milk in the can after using the full fat at the top for this recipe? I do own your cookbook as well if there is a recipe in there you can suggest. Trying to be thoughtful of waste

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Anna, that’s so great to hear! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out for you 🙂 I haven’t tried freezing this dish but don’t see why not – please let me know how it goes if you do. Hopefully another reader can help answer this as well.

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