I had been thinking about getting a pressure cooker for a while. But, after seeing a friend use her pressure cooker to make perfect Indian chickpeas (Sundal) in a matter of minutes, I knew I had to have one. I love making fresh beans from scratch, but the long soaking and cooking time made it more effort than I wanted. I wasn’t very happy with my slow cooker either, because it was too big, and I was never quite sure the temperature was right. So, finally for Christmas the DH ordered me a beautiful, fancy new pressure cooker from Amazon. (The Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker ) My friend’s pressure cooker made perfect chickpeas, but it also squealed alarmingly and sputtered liquid out the top. We bought one that wouldn’t be so loud and wouldn’t be so hard to clean. The first time I used it to make Archana’s recipe for a rasam dal soup. It was tasty, but lentils are so much easier to cook that I felt like I was cheating using a pressure cooker. Luckily, when we got the pressure cooker, I also ordered a vegetarian pressure cookbook, Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, by pressure cooker goddess Lorna J. Sass so I would know how to use it. This week I picked a recipe for Thai chickpeas and tried it out. It sounded extremely promising, and just needed a little revision to be gluten-free. Best of all, it was fast and easy. I added some additional seasonings to complete the flavors, and expect to enjoy making it again in the future, perhaps with even more modifications depending on my mood. I served it with a healthy salad and some tasty brown rice. If you’ve been feeling a time crunch lately, and love making lentils and beans but hate the time commitment, I highly recommend trying to prepare them in a pressure cooker. I have a feeling I’ll be using my pressure cooker (and new cookbook) a lot in the future!
Thai Coconut Basil Chickpea Pressure Cooker Recipe
1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight or for 8 hours, starting in the morning)
1 can light coconut milk + 1 1/4 cup water or 3 cups light coconut milk
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and cut into large 1 inch chunks
1 cup canned chopped plain tomatoes (no seasoning), drained
1 tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Drain and rinse your soaked chickpeas and put in pressure cooker with all the ingredients through cilantro. Seal pressure cooker and bring to high pressure on high heat, and then lower so it is barely still at high pressure and cook for 18 minutes. (*If you have any hiccup with your pressure cooker and need to open it, fiddle with the gasket and start again, it’s fine- just don’t cook it for the full 18 minutes afterwards or the sweet potatoes will fall apart.) Then release pressure and check chickpeas for doneness. You can bring them to a simmer or pressure cook them a few more minutes if the chickpeas aren’t done. Stir in low sodium wheat free tamari (or soy free substitute) into the dish and taste. add salt or more tamari if needed.
To serve, sprinkle each dish with fresh basil to taste and add sliced fresh lime pieces to each dish.