Instant Pot chickpea tagine is based on a Moroccan stew recipe. A nutritious stew flavoured with spices, packed with chickpeas and veggies, this vegan tagine can be served with cous-cous or rice for a delicious meal.
(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. I've shared two African-inspired recipes before - a hearty chickpea and squash stew and a delicious, flavourful chicken tagine.
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 Cook' button), the cooking time is cut down by half!
Tips and Guidelines for making Instant Pot Tagine:
- Use dried chickpeas instead of canned: Use dried chickpeas and say goodbye to canned chickpeas forever. Dried chickpeas are more nutritious and flavorful than canned chickpeas, and also do not come with preservatives that are there in many brands of canned chickpeas. To cook chickpeas in the pressure cooker, pre-soak the chickpeas in water for at least 3 hours, or up-to overnight. Pressure cook the chickpeas for 10 minutes, and use them in recipes that call for chickpeas.
- Pressure cooking the tagine to reduce time: Traditional tagines are made by slow-cooking all the ingredients together. By pressure cooking them, we are cutting down the time significantly. In other words, delicious tagine, in less than half the time!
- Using Dried fruit and honey : Tagines are known for their characteristic tang and sweetness that helps build its flavour profile. A tagine is typically made with dried apricots or pitted dates or raisins . Honey is also used to balance out the tang in the dish. Don't worry, the dish doesn't become too sweet! The dried fruit and honey helps to round off the flavours very well and are key ingredients for making tagines.
- Serving suggestion: Serve your tagine with some cous-cous or rice. If you are not familiar with couscous - it is made with semolina and is usally served with stews and tagines spooned on top. If you are serving this taginewith rice, any rice will work well, but long-grained Basmati would be ideal.
How do I make tagine in the Instant Pot?
Chickpea tagine can be made in the Instant Pot in two steps :
- Cooking the chickpeas: if you are using dried chickpeas, soak them for 3 hours of overnight and pressure cook the chickpeas for 10 minutes on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' mode. Drain the chickpeas and reserve the chickpea water - this will be used in cooking the tagine in the second step. Skip this step if you are using canned chickpeas.
- Cooking the tagine: To make the tagine, we add the cooked chickpeas to the rest of the ingredients in the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 5 minutes. Allow 5 minutes for steam to release naturally before manually releasing the steam and opening the IP.
Ingredients used for making chickpea tagine:
For this recipe you will need:
- Cooked and drained chickpeas along with the reserved chickpea water
- Chopped seedless dates
- Paprika powder or chili powder (use Kashmiri chili powder as a substitute)
- Cumin powder
- Turmeric powder
- Coriander powder
- Ginger and garlic (minced)
- Tinned tomatoes (or use fresh)
- Carrots and sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes are optional)
- Harissa Paste (optional) - This is a North African hot chili pepper paste that is used to add heat to tagines. You can substitute this with hot sauce or skip this entirely.
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 for 10 minutes - 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!
To make the tagine, saute the ginger and garlic in olive oil, and then add the onions. Saute onions untill translucent.
Add the veggies, followed by the spices, dates and honey.
Add the tomatoes. Deglaze the pot using a spatula to remove any residue stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the cooked chickpeas, and mix together.
Add the reserved chickpea water, salt to season and pressure cook for 5 minutes. Let the steam release naturally 5 minutes, and then manually release steam.
Open the lid of the Instant Pot, add the juice of 1/2 lemon and stir. If the amount of liquid is too much, reduce by cooing on Saute mode for a few minutes more.
Mix well and serve with rice or cous-cous.
- 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 cup dried chickpeas 1 cup = 250 ml (see notes if using canned chickpeas)
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic minced
- 1 large potato cubed
- 1 carrot cubed
- ½ sweet potato peeled and cubed
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon Paprika powder or use Kashmiri chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tin tomatoes approx. 5 oz tomatoes
- 6-7 seedless dates chopped (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Harissa paste optional (see notes)
- ½ Lemon
To cook the dried chickpeas
- Soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in 4-5 cups of water for at least 3 hours, best overnight. Rinse and drain the water after soaking.
- In the Instant Pot, add around 3 cups of water. Add the pre-soaked chickpeas and a teaspoon of salt (the chickpeas should be submerged in the water). Give it a stir and close the lid of the Instant Pot.
- Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes
- After the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manualy release steam and open the lid.
- Strain out the cooked chickpeas, preserving the chickpea liquid for later.
To cook the tagine
- Hit the ‘Saute’ mode, in the ‘More' setting.
- Add the olive oil, and let it heat. Then add the minced ginger and garlic.
- Add the chopped onions. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions turn translucent.
- Add the potatoes, followed by the carrots.
- Add all the spices, honey, dates and the chopped tomatoes. If using harissa paste or chili paste, add it now.
- Stir all the ingredients well, deglaze the pot to make sure there is no residue sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the strained chickpeas and 2 cups of the reserved chickpea liquid.
- Add salt to season and give all the ingredients a stir.
- Put on the lid of the Instant Pot and Pressure Cook on High for 5 minutes. Once the IP beeps, and the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes more. 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 stir. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to the tagine and mix well. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or coriander.
- Canned chickpeas can be used instead of dried chickpeas. In this case, directly proceed to cooking the tagine.
- Dates can be substituted with dried apricots or raisins or prunes.
- Harissa paste is a North African chili paste. It can be substituted for any hot sauce or chili paste or can be skipped entirely.
- You can add more of the chickpea liquid if you want more liquid in your tagine. 2 cups of liquid worrks well for me, but you could increase it to 3 cups if you prefer a more runny stew.
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