Instant Pot chickpea tagine is inspired from the classic Moroccan tagine recipe. A nutritious meal flavoured with spices, packed with chickpeas and veg, this delicious tagine is vegan and full of protein. Serve with cous cous.
(This recipe was first published in October 2018, and has been updated with new content)
Allow me to talk a bit about that wonderful meal that we know as tagine. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know how much I love African cuisine and flavour-packed meals and stews.
What is a chickpea tagine?
The word ‘tagine’ itself has a dual meaning – it refers to both conical vessel used to cook the dish and the dish itself. A tagine (the dish) is, simply put, a flavourful stew made with spices, veggies and ocassionally, meat, with origins in North-African cuisine. (I personally love this recipe for lamb tagine)
Traditionally slow-cooked, the sweet-and-savoury flavours blend harmoniously together, resulting in a beautiful dish that is packed with flavour.
Over time, I’ve made several versions of chickpea tagine, and I think I’ve found my sweet spot with this Instant Pot chickpea tagine. The stew comes together in under and hour, and there is no slow cooking involved, instead, by using the ‘Manual’ function of the Instant Pot (on newer models, this is the ‘Pressure’ button), the cooking time is cut down by half!
Tips and Guidelines for making and serving Instant Pot Chickpea Tagine:
- No need for canned chickpeas: Use dried chickpeas and say goodbye to canned chickpeas forever. To cut down the cooking time, pre-soak the chickpeas in warm water for at least 3 hours, or up-to overnight. By cooking with dried beans instead of canned, you can regulate the amount of salt you want to add, and be assured of tastier, flavourful chickpeas!
- Pressure cooking instead of slow-cooking: In the Instant Pot, chickpeas are cooked with water in the ‘Manual’ / ‘Pressure Cook’ mode. This cuts down the time and makes a delicious tagine without the need for slow cooking. In other words, delicious tagine, in less than half the time!
- Dried fruit or honey for that depth of flavour: Tagines are known for their characteristic depth of flavour. To acheive this, you use either apricots or pitted dates or raisins or a little of each. Or just substitute with honey. Rather than making the dish cloyingly sweet, dried fruit or honey balances the tomatoes and rounds off the flavours very well.
- Serve with cous cous: Serve your cooked tagine with some cous-cous. To make perfect cous-cous, add 1 cup cous-cous to a large bowl. Pour over 1 cup boiled water . Let it sit undisturbed for 5-6 minutes, then fluff it up with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil (optional), and a pinch of salt. Stir and serve!
How do I make chickpea tagine in the Instant Pot?
By pressure cooking the tagine, you can cut down the cooking time as compared to the traditional method of slow cooking the tagine. Use your Instant Pot to first cook the chickpeas and then cook the chickpeas along with the rest of the ingredients that make up the Instant Pot chickpea tagine.
To make tagine with dried chickpeas, you need to pre-soak the dried beans in warm water for at least 3 hours. Pressure cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes and let the pressure release naturally – this renders the chickpeas cooked, yet firm. Remember, you will be cooking them again so you need not cook them for more than 10 minutes.
Once the chickpeas are cooked, take them out, reserving the cooked chickpea water for later – you want to keep this for later! You could also skip cooking the chickpeas and substitute with canned chickpeas, if you are pressed for time.
To make the tagine, saute the ginger and garlic, onions, add the veggies, spices, dates, honey followed by the chickpeas and the reserved water (detailed instructions and recipe video are there in the recipe card). Let the IP pressure cook for 5 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally.
Once the tagine is cooked, serve with some cous sous or even rice or bread. You can customise the amount of liquid you want in the tagine by adding more water or even vegetable stock.
- Dates can be substituted with dried apricots or raisins. Honey can be substituted with maple syrup or even sugar.
- You can opt for canned chickpeas instead of making them fresh.
- Harissa can be substituted with any hot sauce of your choice. Take a look at a these options for harissa substitues.
For more comfort-meals made in the Instant Pot, take a look at:
Instant Pot Chickpea Tagine
For the Tagine:
- 1.5 cups dried chickpeas 1 cup = 160 ml
- 1 +1/2 teaspoon salt divided
- Olive oil
- 1 large chopped red onion
- 1 heaped teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
- 2 small potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 large carrot cubed
- ½ teaspoon Harissa paste
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder or paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ can chopped tomatoes
- 6-7 pitted dates chopped (or substitute with dried apricots)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Parsley and lime wedges to garnish
For the cous cous:
- 2 cups cous cous
- 3 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon butter or olive oil
For the tagine:
- Soak the dried chickpeas in warm water for at least 3 hours, best overnight. Rinse and drain the water after soaking.
- In the inner pot of the Instant Pot, add around 5-6 cups of water (the chickpeas should be submerged in the water). Add the pre-soaked chickpeas and a teaspoon of salt. Give it a stir and close the lid of the Instant Pot.
- Turn the vent to ‘Sealing’ position, and switch it to 'Manual’ mode (or Pressure Cook mode), in ‘High’ pressure setting. Set the cooking time for 10 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally, open the lid and take out the inner pot.
- Strain out the cooked chickpeas, preserving the chickpea liquid for later.
- Transfer the inner pot back to the Instant Pot. Turn on the ‘Saute’ mode, in the ‘More' setting.
- Add the oil, followed by the onions. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions start to turn translucent.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and stir.
- Add the potatoes, followed by the carrots and harissa paste and stir together with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the coriander, cumin, red chili powder or paprika powder, and turmeric followed by the chopped tomatoes.
- Stir it well, deglaze, making sure you get all the little bits that may stick to the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add the pitted dates, followed by the honey. Stir well again.
- Add the strained chickpeas and 3/4 to 1 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid (see notes).
- Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and give all the ingredients a good stir.
- Put on the lid of the Instant Pot and turn the vent to ‘Sealing’ position, and switch to 'Manual’ mode (or Pressure Cook mode), in High Pressure' setting. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes. Once the IP beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Once all the steam has released, the pressure valve comes down and the IP lid is safe to open.
- Open the lid and give the tagine a good stir. Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley and lime.
For the cous cous:
- Boil water in a kettle or on the stovetop.
- In a large bowl, add 2 cups cous cous.
- Add 2 cups boiled water to the large mixing bowl and cover with a lid.
- Let it sit undisturbed for 5-6 minutes, then open the lid and fluff up the cous cous with a fork.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil, and a pinch of salt and stir it before you serve.
- You can add more of the chickpea liquid if you want more gravy in your tagine. I prefer mine less runny, and so I added around 1/2 – 3/4 cup chickpea liquid. This amount can be increased to 1 cup of liquid.
- Harissa paste can be substituted for any hot sauce if unavailable.
- You can also skip the steps for cooking chickpeas in the IP and substitute with canned chickpeas instead.
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