One of my pantry staples is beans –dried and canned.   I don’t buy a ton of canned food; I tend to have just beans, ackee, coconut milk and condensed milk stocked.   In my pantry organization post I showed a gravity can holder of which I only used 2 shelves because I don’t have a lot of canned goods on hand.

Chick Peas otherwise known as garbanzos and channa is something that I always have because I cook with it a lot in soups, stews, curry, rice and even as a snack.  Canned chick peas are great for whipping up a quick meal because it is partially cooked.  Dried chick peas take a lot longer to cook and have to be soaked overnight then boiled and can take some time.

While cooking with dried chick peas is a longer process, it is definitely worth it because it has more flavor than the canned.  One quick way of cooking chick peas is by using a pressure cooker or instant pot. It takes just 12 minutes to soften chick peas once it’s been soaked overnight.  Here are a few tips on how to pressure cook chick peas and a channa recipe!

Pressure cookers have become wildly popular in recent years and many electric models are available such as the Instant Pot or Power XL Pressure Cooker.  There is also the stove top pressure cooker which is what I use.  Both have pros and cons – electric pressure cookers are easier to use because it has preset buttons so it takes the guess work out of cooking but it is bulky whereas stovetop pressure cookers do not have preset but they are less bulky and can be easily stored and don’t take up a lot of space.


  1. Soak beans in water overnight. I soaked 1 cup chick peas in 3 cups water.
  2. Place drained chick peas in pressure cooker and add enough water to cover, at least 1 cup. Most pressure cookers have a minimum amount of water that’s needed to pressure safely so check your manual just to be sure.  Add a chicken bouillon to the water; this gives the chick peas even more flavor.
  3. Cover pressure cooker and lock the handle. Turn heat up to high.
  4. When the whistle starts to sound, set the timer to 9-12 minutes depending on how you’re going to cook it. If you’re going to quickly sauté the chick peas then it needs to be a little softer versus if you’re going to cook it longer in a dish such as cook up rice then you need the chick peas to be a bit undercooked.
  5. After 10-12 minutes, use the quick release method by opening vent or removing the weight allowing the steam to escape.  Set aside.  To make the recipe below, strain if any liquid remains.



  • 1 cup dried chick peas
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon
  • 1 ½ tsp canola oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 wiri wiri pepper
  • ¾ tsp geera or cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 scallion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  • Soak dried chick peas overnight with 3 cups of water.
  • Drain chick peas then place in a pressure cooker with 2 cups water and 1 chicken bouillon.
  • Cover and cook on high heat for about 12 minutes after the whistle sounds.
  • Remove from heat and release pressure.
  • In a wide pan, add oil over high heat.
  • Sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes then add garlic and pepper and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Add cooked chick peas, geera and salt and stir to coat then cook for about 5 minutes. Add scallion and freshly ground black pepper and give it a stir then remove from heat.
Author: Jehan Powell