Instant Pot Chickpea Tikka Masala


This is an especially great recipe for showing vegan-curious omnivores and new vegans alike, as are most Indian recipes with the large population and long history of vegetarianism there. This instant pot chickpea tikka masala showcases how filling and satisfying beans can be, how luxurious a sauce or broth can be without dairy creams or butter and how absolutely unnecessary meat and dairy are at making a meal feel whole. This chickpea tikka masala provides comfort and familiarity, two really important things when making a complete lifestyle overhaul like going vegan, and is also incredibly inexpensive (less than $2/serving), simple as can be and makes for the besssttt leftovers!

This chickpea tikka masala is ‘restaurant style’ and is really rich and creamy, which perfectly fit my requirements for my First Week Vegan meal plan. Mind-blowingly simple and mind-blowingly satisfying. The non-instant pot instructions are pretty self-explanatory but I’ll include them below. As always, one of the most important parts of any recipe is properly browning your aromatics! Do not try to make this in a slow cooker!

*full disclosure: sometimes, even when I’m pretty sure I’ve done everything the same, this recipe takes a long time to thicken up the way you see in the photos. Other times it comes together easily using the times instructed in the recipe below. It might be just when I scale up and make several batches at once that it takes forever to thicken up, I’m not sure, but sometimes I add 2-4 tbsp of starch whisked into 1/4 cup of cold water and slowly stir that in to get it as thick as pictured*

Instant Pot Chickpea Tikka Masala

makes 5 large servings


1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil (optional)

1 medium onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 tsp kosher salt

4 ” knob ginger, peeled and diced

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp curry powder

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 (28 oz) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes – must be crushed! Diced won’t cook down into the sauce the same

1 cup vegan chicken broth (I use better than bouillon)

2 (16 oz) cans chickpeas, drained

2 (16 oz) cans coconut milk (sometimes you can get away with using 1 and having it just as thick/creamy if you cook it down enough)

~5 cups cooked basmati rice for serving

optional – I’ve been using 3-5 dried kashmiri chilis lately and love it. Definitely try some if you can!

Instant Pot version – Hit sautee on your instant pot and cook down the onions, garlic and ginger with salt in the vegan butter. Stir in the spices, tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes and chicken broth. Add the lid and pressure cook for 15 minutes. Depressurize manually, then stir in the coconut milk and simmer another ~15-25 minutes or until very thick and luxurious. Stir in the strained cans of chickpeas, let warm for a minute, then serve with rice.

Stovetop version – Sautee the onions, garlic and ginger in the vegan butter with a pinch of salt until well browned and very aromatic. Stir in the spices, then add the tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then simmer for at least 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and reduce the simmer even more, make sure the coconut milk doesn’t scald, and cook until thickened considerably. Add in the chickpeas, stir and cook until warmed through and serve with rice!

This was heavily based on a recipe from Making Thyme For Health


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