This very classic Indian dish features soft chickpeas simmered in a spicy tomato gravy. Here, the dish is made entirely in the pressure cooker, beginning with the dried chickpeas and ending with the bubbling sauce. However, if it’s more convenient, you can just cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker, preparing the sauce and finishing the dish in a skillet. That will leave your pressure cooker free for rice (see this page), which is just perfect to serve underneath a pile of these fragrant, ruddy chickpeas.


1 pound dried chickpeas

2½ teaspoons kosher salt

3 onions: 1 halved, 2 thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons grapeseed, safflower, or peanut oil

4 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced

1 1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 jalapeño or other green chile, seeded if desired, minced, plus more for serving

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon garam masala

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. In the pressure cooker, combine the chickpeas, 7 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of the salt, the onion halves, and the bay leaf. Cover, and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. If the chickpeas aren’t done, cook at high pressure for another 5 minutes, then manually release the pressure. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the broth, and return the empty pot to the pressure cooker.
  2. Using the sauté function (or do this in a skillet over heat), heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and tomato paste, and cook until fragrant, another minute. Then stir in the tomatoes, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the sauce has thickened, 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute; then stir in the chickpeas. If the mixture looks too thick, add a few tablespoons of the reserved chickpea cooking broth. Simmer for another 5 minutes to let the flavors meld. Then taste, adjust the seasonings if necessary, and serve with more jalapeño on top if you like. Extra reserved chickpea broth can be frozen for up to 3 months and is an excellent substitute for chicken stock.

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