Instant Pot Herbed Chickpea Plov

A couple of notes. First, when I say to layer, I mean like you would layer a taco dip or a lasagna. Spinach, note that I've tested with fresh and frozen spinach - both work great, and the frozen allows you to always have it on hand, pre-prepped and ready to go.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 14- ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed (or equivalent)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup black olives, chopped
  • 2 cups boiling water with 1/2 teaspoon salt added, divided
  • 6 ounces kale or spinach, chopped (frozen is ok)
  • a couple handfuls chopped herbs (cilantro, dill, celery leaves)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice, well rinsed
  • a big pinch of saffron, (optional)
  • to serve (some or all of the following): salted yogurt with saffron, toasted walnuts, chopped olives, herbs, lemon wedges


  1. Sauté the olive oil and onions in the Instant Pot on the highest SAUTE setting until softened and starting to brown just a bit, about 5 - 7 minutes. Stir in the chile flakes. Working quickly, scatter the chickpeas, garlic, and black olives on top of the onions in a layer, without stirring, and add 1/2 cup of the salted water.
  2. Layer the spinach and herbs over the chickpea layer, again, not stirring. Smooth the greens into a layer with the back of a spoon (if you're using fresh spinach, do this as it begins to collapse). Add the rice in an even layer, sprinkle with saffron, and add enough salted water to just cover the rice - ~1 1/2 cups. Press Cancel to stop the saute.
  3. PRESSURE cook for 25 minutes, and then allow to NATURALLY RELEASE for 15 minutes. Then you can carefully QUICK RELEASE PRESSURE. Gently shake or tap the pressure cooker, and then carefully open away from you. Serve toped with any/all of the suggested toppings.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Serves 6


Inspired by the Green-herbed Plov with Chickpeas in Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & The Caucasus by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford. Kyle Books (2016)

For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1