Gluten-Free Pressure Cooker Recipes: Thai Coconut Chickpea Recipe

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

1/2 cup minced fresh basil (thai basil is great but anything is ok)
2 tbsp. wheat free low sodium tamari OR for soy-free, 2 tbsp. soy-free, GF vegetable broth (from bullion with extra salt added)
1 fresh lime, sliced into sections

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.

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20 Responses to “Gluten-Free Pressure Cooker Recipes: Thai Coconut Chickpea Recipe”

  1. ooh! I SO don’t need new kitchen toys, but now I’m jealous, that looks delish! if you were to un-pressure cooker it, how would you do it?

  2. C- I was actually thinking about that. I think I would try to do it in a slow cooker (after I went and complained about my old one, haha). Probably slow cook chickpeas in coconut milk (all 3 cups) w/ ingredients thru curry powder. Possibly add sweet potatoes later, though. Or not. Then maybe an hour before serving, throw in the fresh cilantro and soy sauce/ salted veg broth, and serve with a lime. I would want to try it before saying for sure, though. Let me know if you try it another way!

    (but pressure cookers are wonnnnnderful! you can even do brown rice in them!!!)


  3. This looks lovely, and so very JM friendly with the soy-free modification. :) I’ll have to show the boy, my official pressure cooker user, this recipe! (It’ll help reduce our vast surplus of sweet potatoes, too.)

    Seriously, brown rice? I hadn’t pondered that, clearly I have left the instruction/recipe reading to the boy. Hmmm. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Sea
    I would be lost without my pressure cooker, which is a basic model, but perfect for root vegetables, lentils, split peas and so on. Everyone in Ireland had one when I was a child, and family meals were a succession of unexciting stewed meat and veg. I acquired one over a year ago, and now I can make a 3-minute curry, and cook beetroot in 10 minutes. At this time of year, home-made soups are ideal: swede and split pea soup with cumin in 10 minutes, where split peas would take 30 minutes normally plus overnight soaking. A lot of my friends are convinced that pressure cookers are miniature bombs, ready to explode at any minute, but when I ask them whether they have ever seen or experienced this at first hand, they admit that they haven’t.

  5. Sea
    I keep reading about pressure cookers and thinking I’d like to try one, but I have these childhood memories of the scary old pressure cooker on my grandmother’s stove when she was canning the bounty from her garden out back. I was sure the thing was gonna blow! I think I wasn’t the only one. The new ones don’t seem so scary and cooking from scratch is so time consuming. Hmmm… am I talking myself into this. The bean cooking would be the thing that convinced me. So much cheaper and no more cans or soaking.

  6. I got my basic, noisy pressure cooker as a pre-Christmas present and have been using it several times a week for chickpeas, beans, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, soups, curries, chilis, etc. I love it!

  7. Wendy,
    Many of us have those same scary pressure cooker memories. But using a modern pressure cooker will definitely help erase them.
    Cooking beans has never been easier and they taste so much better when you make them yourself. I always make extra and freeze them for the next time that I need/want them.
    Lorna Sass is my mentor. 13 years ago I started teaching pressure cooking and have never stopped. I’m going to keep going until everyone gets over their fear.
    In Cuba, they handed out pressure cookers to everyone as a way to reduce energy usage. Interesting, huh?
    Keep the PC recipes coming.

  8. I have that cookbook, so how have I not tried this yet? I’m definitely going to put this on our menu for next week. I have a hand-me-down crockpot with the wrong jiggler on the top, but I haven’t managed to make it explode yet =) Maybe I’ll by a nice new one as my after tax-season present!

  9. This looks yummy. Gotta love the pressure cooker. I made somethig similar tonight for dinner – an Indian style chickpea potato curry over brown jasmine rice with a cilantro-lime chutney to top it all off. I had loads of already cooked chickpeas in the fridge so no need to pressure cook tonight.

    -Ali :)

  10. Once again…this looks amazing!

    Love & Light,


  11. yes! I am going to try this! yum!!

  12. Lorna Sass’s Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure is a goldmine! Usefull cooking charts and excellent advice
    on adapting recipies for yourself. Pressure cookeed beans
    are so much more delictible than canned! With modern pressure cookers and a digital timer and you are a kitchen magician!

  13. hi, i tried this recipe and i had a ton of water/coconut milk remaining in the pot. do you have any ideas what could have caused that? i measured the liquids properly.


  14. This may have been touched on, but I have found that swapping pressure cooker and slow cooker recipes is seamless. They are both one-pot meal helpers and I use both all the time…though mostly the pressure cooker as I am not a very good at planning ahead.

  15. Hi Sweetie, Hmm… You used a pressure cooker and had about 3 cups of liquid starting out including water and coconut milk? I don’t know what could have happened… You could try reducing the amount of liquid, but it worked for me in my pressure cooker. You can always reduce the extra liquid by simmering in a separate pot, but this would be a bit of an extra step. :)


    Thanks for the tip, Karyn!

  16. I made an un-pressure cooker version of this today using canned chickpeas. Seriously delicious. I made it in my 12″ Everyday pan. Sauteed the sweet potato chunks, 1/2″-3/4-chunks, for a few minutes, then added the minced ginger (and some garlic) and sauteed for a minute or two. Added 1 can coconut milk, 14.5-ounces petite cut diced tomatoes undrained, knob of ginger, curry powder, cilantro, brought to boil, then simmered til sweet potato was tender, added 2 cans drained chickpeas (should have used 3 cans), cooked for 10 minutes, fished out knob of ginger, stirred in about 3/4 cup of Thai Basil leaves. I can’t remember, but I don’t think I added any water with the coconut milk, and I used regular, not light coconut milk.) It took about 25 minutes to make.

  17. yum yum yum best pressure cooker recipe yet!!

  18. OUT of this world. I’m no vegetarian and gluten-FULL but love this dish. It’s fantastic.

  19. I tried this recipe tonight. It was good, but I have several suggestions to improve it. My Costco Cuisinart electric pressure cooker manual suggested about 35 minutes to cook chickpeas. This is probably about right. I followed the 18 minutes (plus 5 minutes) indicated in this recipe, and my chickpeas were still a little tough. I will also hold back on the liquid next time. My dish turned out too soupy, but I solved the problem by eating it over rice. I also missed the spiciness that is typical of Thai and Indian food. How can I spice it up? This recipe seriously needs some heat. What type of pepper does one use in a Thai recipe? I also think I will add the sweet potatoes near the end of the cooking. Potatoes only take about 8 minutes in my pressure cooker, so in the future I will add them after 20 minutes or so. Finally, I have a general question about sweet potatoes. Tonight, I used sweet potatoes purchased at a Korean grocery store. They had a redder skin and a whiter meat than the typical sweet potatoes one might serve on Thanksgiving Day? Also, these Korean market sweet potatoes were not as sweet as traditional American sweet potatoes. Does anyone have any opinion on which type of sweet potato (red skin/white center vs brown-orange skin/orange center works best with the Thai Coconut Basil Chickpea Pressure Cooker Recipe?

  20. I always wanted to try this kind of recipe and I never thought that a pressure cooker is used to cook this amazing and tasty food.

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