Learn the secret of preparing your own Chana masala and the best tasting Instant Pot Chana Masala here and now!
This deliciously spicy, tangy, vegan, healthy, and protein-rich chickpea curry is a perfect match as a pairing for Poori or Chapati. My entire family goes crazy for this protein-rich curry and I am sure you will like it just as much as I did.
This restaurant-style chana masala is loaded with flavor and it is relatively easy to prepare it too. You can prepare this for a fraction of the cost of eating out.
It’s a naturally vegan and gluten-free recipe, making it perfect for anyone. This Instant Pot Chana Masala would be the easiest Chana Masala recipe you’ve ever made.
In the traditional recipe, you cook chickpeas individually and then mix it with onion tomato gravy. Whereas, in this recipe, you don’t need separate cooking or any kind of babysitting. This one-pot Chana Masala curry takes the fuss out of cooking onion and tomatoes separately.
How to serve this curry
Traditionally, this curry is served as a pair for poori, chapati, jasmine or basmati rice, and naan. But, just like the substitutions for some of the ingredients, there are lots of ways to enjoy Instant Pot Indian chana masala. I have tried pairing it with rice variations like Jeera rice or Matar pulao and they were delicious. That’s because the supporting taste comes from the right proportion and the right kind of spices.
Spices that I used
Chana masala tastes good only if you add the specific spices listed below and the end result is definitely worth the extra effort of finding the right species. If you are looking for a restaurant-style dish, this is the blend you want to use. It’s my favorite blend...if there are slight variations to suit your preference, feel free to do that, but do not skip any spice altogether.
I used a coffee grinder to grind all the spices right before I added them to the dish. The fresh ground spices give an extra flavor when compared to the store-bought spice blend or if you have them stored in the freezer. Here are the spices you need...
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 4 cloves
- ½ inch cinnamon stick
- 5 peppercorn
- ½ tsp saunf - fennel seeds
- 2 black cardamoms
- 1-star anise
Step by step Method
Press the ‘saute’ button (medium) and add oil. As the oil heats up, add cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add chopped onions.
Saute onion until they turn translucent. Then add ginger and garlic and saute for 30 sec.
Now add bay leaf, canned tomatoes, and stir well.
Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, fresh chana masala spice blend, and salt. Cook for 1 -2 min mixing them well in the process.
Add soaked and drained chickpeas, water and stir well.
Press cancel, close the lid and press the ‘pressure cooker’, and set the timer for 35 mins in high pressure.
When the instant pot beeps let the pressure release naturally. When the pin drops down, open the lid.
Press saute mode again and add amchur powder, Kasuri methi, and brown sugar.
Mash some of the beans with a potato masher and continue to stir well.
Let the mixture come to a boil and let it simmer for a minute.
Press ‘cancel’ and garnish with cilantro.
Instant Pot Chana Masala is ready for the table!
With dried chickpeas
Just as with the freshly ground spices, dried chickpeas instead of canned chickpeas bring better results. But the only downside is that there’s a little bit of prep work. The dry beans need to be soaked in warm water for at least 2-4 hours. I just soak them overnight so they are ready when I need them.
Tips or alternatives
- If you don't have all the spices listed below, you can find chana masala powder in many stores. Just use about 1 tbsp of that in this recipe.
- I have used soaked chickpeas which works perfectly for this recipe. But that does not mean, canned chickpeas don’t work. If you do not have the time to prep dry chickpeas, use canned chickpeas, and adjust the cooking time to 8-10 minutes under high pressure in Instant Pot.
- To make this curry creamier, use a potato masher and mash a few beans in the pot. After 5- 8 mins gradually it will start to thicken.
- If you are using fresh tomatoes make sure to puree them before adding it to the pot. The tomato puree will easily absorb the spices.
Note: If you are using store-bought chana masala powder then be sure to add a little bit of red chili powder. Later on, after you taste the chana masala, you could add more to suit your preference.
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Instant Pot Chana Masala
- In a bowl, soak the chickpeas in 3- 4 cups of warm water and let it sit overnight or for at least 4 hours. Drain the chickpeas and set aside.
- Start by grinding the spices mentioned above, in a coffee blender or mixer jar. (Skip this part if you have bought chana masala powder from a store)
- Press the ‘saute’ button (medium) and add oil. As the oil heats up, add cumin seeds.
- When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add chopped onions.
- Saute onion until they turn translucent. Then add ginger and garlic and saute for 30 sec.
- Now add bay leaf, canned tomatoes, and stir well.
- Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, fresh chana masala spice blend, and salt. Cook for 1 -2 min mixing them well in the process.
- Add soaked and drained chickpeas, 3 ½ cups water, and stir well.
- Press cancel, close the lid and press the ‘pressure cooker’, and set the timer for 35 mins in high pressure.
- When the instant pot beeps let the pressure release naturally. When the pin drops down, open the lid.
- Press saute mode again and add amchur powder, Kasuri methi, and brown sugar.
- Mash some of the beans with a potato masher and continue to stir well.
- Let the mixture come to a boil and let it simmer for a minute.
- Press ‘cancel’ and garnish with cilantro.
- Instant Pot Chana Masala is ready for the table! Serve it hot with roti, poori, or steamed rice.
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