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Instant Pot Chana Masala

Chana Masala [Punjabi Chole]

Jyoti Behrani
Chana Masala, also known as chole or chickpeas curry, is a popular North Indian dish. Simple curry made with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and some aromatic Indian spices. Hearty, healthy, plant-based protein diet. This recipe is gluten-free and vegan.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas [garbanzo beans]
  • 3 cups water; For soaking the beans overnight
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped or 1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 green chili, chopped, adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  • salt to taste

DRY SPICES

WHOLE SPICES

FOR SPICE POUCH

FOR GARNISH

  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 fresh lemon or lime, cut into wedges

Instructions
 

  • Pick any stones, or debris from the chickpeas. Rinse the chickpeas couple of times. Soak the chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight.
  • Drain, and rinse the soaked chickpeas.

MAKE SPICE POUCH

  • You will need Tea Ball Infuser
  • Add all the ingredients listed under the spice pouch into the tea ball infuser.

INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA

  • Turn ON the saute mode (more), when it displays “HOT”, add oil.
  • Add cumin seeds, caraway seeds, bay leaf, and onions,  and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are slightly brown.
  • Add garlic, and saute for a minute or so, until the raw smell of the garlic is no more.
  • Now add tomato puree, ginger, green chili, dry spices – coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, dried mango powder, coarsely ground pomegranate seeds, and salt to taste.
  • Saute for another 3-5 minutes or until the oil starts to separate from the tomato puree.
  • Add the drained and rinsed, chickpeas, spice pouch, baking soda (optional), and salt to taste. Add water, and deglaze the pot.
  • Turn OFF saute mode. Turn ON Pressure cook / Manual mode (high) for 40 minutes with a vent on sealing position.
    Note: If using baking soda, reduce the cooking time to 25 minutes.
  • When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes. Open Instant Pot, and remove the spice pouch. 
  • Using the back of your ladle slightly mash the chickpeas. This gives a nice thick, stew-like consistency.
    Add garam masala, and dried fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
    Note: If the chickpeas are not soft, pressure cook the chole for a few additional minutes.
  • Turn ON saute mode, mix well. Bring it to a gentle boil, around 2-3 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more chili powder for heat or dry mango powder for a tangy flavor. You can also add some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Turn OFF saute mode. Garnish with some fresh cilantro, some onion slices, and lemon wedges. Serve hot with naan, bhatura (Indian fried flatbread), or over steamed white rice.

STOVETOP PRESSURE COOKER CHANA MASALA

  • Heat oil in the pressure cooker on medium-high heat.
  • Add cumin seeds, caraway seeds, bay leaf, and onions,  and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are slightly brown.
  • Add garlic, and sauté for a minute or so, until the raw smell of the garlic is no more.
  • Now add tomato puree, ginger, green chili, dry spices - coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, dried mango powder, coarsely ground pomegranate seeds, and salt to taste.
  • Sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until the oil starts to separate from the tomato puree.
  • Add the drained and rinsed, chickpeas, spice pouch, a pinch of baking soda (optional), and salt to taste. Add water, and deglaze the pot.
  • Close the pressure cooker with weights on and pressure cook on high. After the first whistle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 35-40 minutes.
    Note: If using baking soda, reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally, around 20 minutes. Open the pressure cooker, and remove the spice pouch.
  • Using the back of your ladle slightly mash the chickpeas. This gives a nice thick, stew-like consistency.
    Add garam masala, and dried fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
    Note: If the chickpeas are not soft, pressure cooks the chole for a few additional minutes.
  • Bring chana masala to a gentle boil, around 2-3 minutes.
    Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more chili powder for heat or dry mango powder for a tangy flavor. You can also add some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Turn OFF the heat. Garnish with some fresh cilantro, some onion slices, and lemon wedges. Serve hot with naan, bhatura (Indian fried flatbread), or over steamed white rice.

Notes

Please refer to the post for the following:
  1. Pro Tips For Best Chana Masala
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
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