instant pot chickpea curry

This tasty Instant Pot chickpea curry uses mostly ingredients from your pantry and is a weeknight staple!

Today’s recipe for Instant Pot chickpea curry is one of those recipes that I keep in my back pocket for whenever I Just Can’t Even. It’s made mostly out of items are pantry staples — canned chickpeas, canned diced tomatoes, canned coconut milk, an onion, a couple of carrots, a variety of spices and cilantro. My kids are obsessed with the creamy tomato sauce, the chickpeas and the heaps of steamed white rice that I serve with it. With the Instant Pot, it’s even faster to make than on the stove, which really leaves zero excuses not to make it a part of your weeknight rotation.

This tasty Instant Pot chickpea curry uses mostly ingredients from your pantry and is a weeknight staple!

This Instant Pot chickpea curry frequently finds its way to our dinner table on Monday nights. Do you find Mondays the hardest day of the week to plan meals for? I do. I try to make one big dinner for our whole family on the weekends, and by Mondays I’m already spent from a weekend full of running around and trying to keep up with our two very rambunctious, very overeager kids. In a perfect world, I’d roll into Monday with some amazing meatless meal, my house would be sparkling clean and I’d be well on my way to figuring out the secret to world peace.

This tasty Instant Pot chickpea curry uses mostly ingredients from your pantry and is a weeknight staple!

But yeah…that’s not usually the case. Mondays are the days when I’m just getting my head around the start to another week. That’s when this Instant Pot chickpea curry saves the day. I throw in all of the ingredients into the pot and hit the “soup” function just before I head out to pick the kids up from school, and by the time we get home all I have to do is spoon it out onto bowls of rice (or, if I’m feeling extra, super lazy, I just pull naan out of the freezer and toast it in the oven).  The kids also love this chickpea curry with dollops of Greek yogurt on top; the yogurt is a nice, cool contrast to the zesty chickpeas. I love this dish because it makes me feel like I haven’t just thrown my hands up and said, “You know what? Whatever,” at my family. It’s the minimal effort + maximum output that really makes this dish worth it.

Never mind that I may have worn sweatpants all day…

For other kid-friendly recipes I’ve made in the past, click here or check out these recipes:

Cauliflower and ground turkey pie

Ground pork noodles (Chinese zha jiang mian)

Wild garlic (ramp) pasta

instant pot chickpea curry

Time45 mins
CourseMain Course
CuisineAsian, Indian


  • 2 cans (14 oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion (diced)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (14 oz full fat coconut milk)
  • chopped cilantro (for garnishing)
  • white rice (for serving (at least 1 cup uncooked))


  • Heat your Instant Pot using the “Saute” function. Pour in the olive oil and let it heat to a shimmer.
  • Add the onions and carrots and saute for 7-8 minutes, stirring constantly and cooking down until the carrots are soft and the onions are slightly translucent. Add the spices (cumin, ground cloves, turmeric, ground coriander, and salt) and continue cooking the onions until soft.
  • Add the garlic and ginger, stirring and cooking for 1 additional minute. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and coconut milk, stirring to combine.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and hit the “soup” function. Let cook, then either use the natural release to let the steam out gradually, or use manual steam release (letting the Instant Pot automatically switch to the warm function for 10 minutes, then releasing the steam and opening the Pot).
  • Remove the lid and stir again. If the chickpea curry is too watery, switch to the saute function again and let the curry reduce a little, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately over white rice or naan, with chopped cilantro (as an added option, try adding a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top for ultimate creaminess).


This tasty Instant Pot chickpea curry uses mostly ingredients from your pantry and is a weeknight staple!

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Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

This is one of my go-tos for weeknights! And I love chickpeas, too! 🙂

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Thank you! Let me know how it goes if you make it! 🙂


I really enjoyed this recipe! The flavors are powerful and delicious.
When I make this again next time, I plan to drain out more liquid from the tomatoes, since I found the end result more liquid than I preferred and spent quite a while reducing the liquid. Other than that, I really enjoyed it!

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Anna, thanks for posting your comment! I’m glad you liked it. It’s one of our family favorites. I think draining out the liquid from the tomatoes makes sense to give the curry a creamier consistency.


Help! I have a Cuisinart pressure cooker instead if an Instant Pot! Should I use low or high pressure? How long should it cook?
Thanks, Pam

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Hi Pam! I’m not familiar with the Cuisinart pressure cooker, but my gut tells me you should try to use low pressure at 15 minutes and add time from there. Let me know how it goes!


How long is it supposed to cook on the soup function, or am I just missing where it says that?

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Hi, the soup function is usually an automatic function that will run for 30 minutes, but if you’re not using an Instant Pot specifically, you can always set your cooker to “manual” for 30 minutes. Good luck!


Canned chick peas? How long do they cook? High pressure or low pressure? THe soup default goes to 30 min. High pressure, but you mention to someone else to try low pressure for 15 min., ??

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Hi Jenn! Yes, use canned chickpeas. I use soup default 30 minutes, high pressure and have had no issues. Let me know how it works for you!


This recipe was a hit with my wife and teenage son. I made a couple modifications, one accidental and the other intentional.

I used the soup setting but only for ten minutes, not 30 (I misread the recipe) Since the chickpeas are pre-cooked I think manual high pressure for 5-7 minutes followed by natural release would probably be enough cook time. Will try next time!

We had some fresh green beans in the fridge so I chopped them into 1” long pieces and added at the very end (with sauté on low setting). They were just cooked enough to stay crunchy.

Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Hi Larry! That’s great to hear. Interesting that you did only 10 minutes and it came out well! I’m going to try that next time. The green beans sound like a great add, too!


I was kind of disappointed in this recipe. Unfortunately I found this recipe much too watery and not too be very spicy. I only pressure cooked for 10 minutes (not the 30, as written), and even then, my chick peas were overcooked. In the future, I would cook for about half that time. When I tasted the curry after it cooked, the amount of spice was not nearly enough, so I ended up adding about a tablespoon of curry powder.

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Sorry to hear that, Megan. I made this curry deliberately less spicy because my daughter is really sensitive to heat. Next time, try adding a teaspoon of cayenne pepper along with the other spices for more kick. As for overcooking the chickpeas, I’m surprised to hear that. I make this recipe all the time and haven’t experienced that. Maybe switch your instant pot to low pressure and see if that helps? Thanks for your comment!


I don’t understand why this recipe used the Soup setting. It would have been much more effective to do a manual on 7 minutes. Even after 30 minutes on Soup with 10 minutes Warming, it’s extremely watery. Definitely will not make this recipe again.

Relevant commenter background or experience:Author

Lauren, what kind of coconut milk are you using? I’ve found that different brands of coconut milk might make the curry more watery. To fix that, I stir in an extra tablespoon or two of tomato paste to thicken it up. Sorry it didn’t turn out well for you!

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About me

I’m Ann, a mom / wife / lawyer / certified culinary enthusiast. I share recipes, travel guides and home life tips while living overseas. Currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.

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