Braised Chickpeas with Saffron and Mint
pressure cook total time
1 hour 10 minutes (plus brining time)
slow cook total time
6 hours (plus brining time)
why this recipe works This recipe combines buttery chickpeas with fragrant saffron, plump golden raisins, and fresh mint for a side dish that’s as flavorful as it is unique. While we often turn to canned chickpeas for simple sides, the multicooker made cooking dried chickpeas nearly as easy as opening a can—and their flavor and texture couldn’t be beat. To make sure the chickpeas were well seasoned and held their shape, we brined them first. We infused the cooking liquid with garlic, onion, and saffron to give the chickpeas nuanced flavor. When slow cooking the beans, we ensured even cooking by bringing the mixture to a simmer and topping the chickpeas with a sheet of parchment before closing the lid. After either pressure or slow cooking, we didn’t even need to drain the chickpeas; we simply stirred in the raisins and mint, along with some lemon juice for brightness. A dollop of tangy yogurt offered a creamy finishing touch. You’ll get fewer blowouts if you soak the chickpeas overnight, but if you’re pressed for time you can quick-salt-soak your chickpeas: In step 1, combine the salt, water, and chickpeas in the multicooker and bring everything to a boil using the highest sauté or browning function. Turn off the multicooker, cover, and let the chickpeas sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and proceed with the recipe as directed. If using an Instant Pot, do not choose the slow cook function; the chickpeas will not cook through properly.
Salt and pepper
1 pound (2½ cups) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch saffron threads, crumbled
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
⅓ cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Plain whole-milk yogurt
1 Dissolve ½ tablespoons salt in 8 cups cold water in large container. Add chickpeas and let soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
2 Using highest sauté or browning function, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until onion is softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and saffron and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and chickpeas.
3A to pressure cook Lock lid in place and close pressure release valve. Select high pressure cook function and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off multicooker and let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick-release any remaining pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
3B to slow cook (Do not use Instant Pot to slow cook this recipe.) Bring mixture to simmer using highest sauté or browning function. Gently press 12-inch square sheet of parchment paper onto surface of chickpeas, folding up edges as needed. Lock lid in place and open pressure release valve. Select low slow cook function and cook until chickpeas are tender, 4½ to 5½ hours. Turn off multicooker and carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
4 Stir in raisins, mint, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with yogurt.
Recipe from our partners at America’s Test Kitchen