Not your MAMA’s pressure cooker
For all those who use pressure cookers that are very similar to what our mothers used, and who approach the newfangled electric pressure cookers with trepidation, Coco Morante presents foolproof recipes for what has become one of the most popular kitchen appliances. These recipes are from the book The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante, Ten Speed Press, $29.99
1 cup dried chickpeas or 2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups water if using dried chickpeas, plus ¼ cup
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups Indian simmer sauce
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus coarsely torn leaves for garnish
Steamed rice or warm naan for serving
If using dried chickpeas, combine the chickpeas, 4 cups of water and salt in the Instant Pot. Leave the pot turned off and let the peas soak for 10 to 12 hours or up to overnight.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing.
Select the Bean/Chilli setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure.
Let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, then move the Pressure release to Venting to release any remaining steam.
Open the pot and wearing heat-resistant mitts, life the inner pot out and drain the chickpeas in a colander.
Return the freshly cooked chickpeas to the inner pot and return to the Instant Pot housing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program.
Add the simmer sauce and 1/4 cup water and stir well. (If using canned chickpeas, start here by adding them to the simmer sauce and ¼ cup water.)
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Bean/Chilli setting and set the cooking time for 3 minutes at high pressure.
When the timer goes off, you have three choices:
You can perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting; You can let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam; or you can let the pressure release naturally, then leave the chickpeas in the pot on the Keep Warm setting for up to 10 hours.
Once you have opened the pot, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
Spoon the chickpeas over the rice or accompany with naan on the side. Garnish with cilantro before serving.
Variations: Stir in any of the following along with the cooked chickpeas – it’s easy to add to this dish to make it a hearty one-pot meal:
6 oz baby spinach; 2 cups cubed paneer, winter squash or potatoes; 2 cups small cauliflower florets, frozen green peas, or mixed vegetables.
Indian Simmer Sauce
2 tbsp avocado oil or other neutral oil with high smoke point
3 large yellow onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp kosher salt
4 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp garam masala
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes and their liquid
1 cup water
Select the Sauté setting in the Instant Pot and heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and salt and sauté until the onions have softened, given up their liquid, and are just beginning to stick to the pot, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes and the liquid, crushing the tomatoes with your hand as you add them to the pot. Stir in the water.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the manual setting for 15 minutes at high pressure.
Let the pressure release naturally. This will take about 25 minutes.
Open the pot and, using heat-resistant mitts, remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot and let the sauce cool.
The sauce can be used right away or transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To freeze the sauce, transfer in 2-cup portions to quart-sized plastic freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
This recipe makes enough for three batches of chana masala.
Bean/Chili: Whether you’re cooking a basic pot of beans, Indian dal or chili, use this cooking program. Adjust the cooking time to Less for just-done beans, Normal for soft beans, or More for very soft beans.