Make your weekend meals or festive meals easy and quick with this delicious Instant Pot Chana Masala recipe. One Pot Indian Chole Masala recipe.
Detailed stepwise recipe and Video included in the recipe to show how cook Indian Chickpea Masala Curry in Instant Pot
Sharing here one of the most popular Indian curry Chana Masala made in Instant pot. Since we are from North India, Chole Masala is one of the regular dishes at my place. I mostly make it on weekends with steamed/jeera rice. It is also a part of the menu when we have guests at home and also on special occasions.
- What is Chana Masala
- Chana Masala in Instant Pot
- Ingredients to make Chana Masala in Instant Pot
- Why it is important to pre-soak Chickpeas
- What if I forget to pre-soak Chickpeas
- How to make Chole Masala in Instant Pot
- Can we use Bhuna Masala to make Chana Masala in Instant Pot
- Can we use Canned Chickpeas
- Serving Suggestions
- Storing the leftover Chana Masala
- How to fix the spicy curry/How to reduce the spice in Chana Masala
- Recipe Card
- Some more Chickpea Recipes from the blog that you will love to try
What is Chana Masala
Masala Chole or Chana Masala are Kabuli Chana or Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) cooked in spicy, tangy gravy of onions, tomato, ginger and garlic in spices and herbs.
Chana Masala or Chole Masala is a completely Vegan and Gluten-free North Indian curry which is prepared in almost every household for weekend lunch, on festivals or special occasions and served in restaurants. It is also a popular street food in Delhi region. You can find many hawkers or small vans selling Chole Chawal at lunch hrs for many office goers.
It is a budget friendly filling meal and ideal for weekly lunch menu preparations.
For years I cooked Chole (as we call it) in the traditional Indian pressure cooker, where I had to boil chickpeas and cook masala separately. Now with my Instant Pot it is a one pot meal affair and the best part is that I don't have to keep a watch on the whistles or the masala burning.
Chana Masala in Instant Pot
I have shared detailed post on the traditional way of cooking Chana Masala in Indian Pressure cooker. So, here is my tried and tested recipe for Chole Masala in Instant Pot.
Check out my detailed post on Chana Masala(Stove top Pressure Cooker recipe)
Advantages of Cooking in Instant Pot
Instant Pot is a wonderful kitchen gadget which is of great use when it comes to fuss-free one pot cooking.
I love using my Instant Pot Ultra for making dal, soups, pasta, rice/pilaf, proofing pizza dough and many more ways..
Do you know you can ferment your Dosa/Idli batter in Instant Pot and also use it to make rich and creamy Yogurt
Usually stove top cooking we need to keep a check on the no. of whistles. While cooking in IP simply set the timer and do your other work.
Then there is no spilling of dal water on counter, which is a common problem with pressure cooker.
We can cook two things together in with Pot in Pot(PIP) method, using stackable container for Instant pot. Will cover the PIP method of how I make Dal and Rice or Dal and subzi for the meal together.
Instant Pot Recipes from the blog that I love to make
and for many more Instant Pot recipes .. CLICK HERE
Ingredients to make Chana Masala in Instant Pot
Onion (use red onions), Tomatoes, Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies, spices like Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Chana Masala powder.
Whole Spices- adding whole spices adds a lot of flavour. Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Cloves, Black Peppercorns, Black Cardamom.
Chana Masala powder is a special spice mix for Chana Masala curry. It is a blend of whole dry spices like Bay leaf, cinnamon, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and dried pomegranate seeds or dry mango powder(amchur).
Brands of Chana Masala spice mix to look for at Indian Stores(USA and other countries)
Badshah Punjabi Chole Masala, Everest Chole Masala, MDH Chana Masala
If you do not have Chana Masala then you can use Garam Masala along with 1/4 tsp of Dry Mango Powder(Amchur) and Anardana or dried pomegranate.
Chana Masala/Chole Masala Spice mix is available at the Indian grocery stores and also online (Amazon).
You can also make Chana Masala(spice Mix) at home also. Will soon update the recipe for the same.
Why it is important to pre-soak Chickpeas
Chickpeas need to be softened before we boil. Pre-soaking helps in reducing the cooking time. It also make Chickpeas more gut friendly. Directly cooking chickpeas without presoaking leads to digestive and gastric issues. So it is always better to pre-soak overnight or quick soak at least for an hour. Always remember to discard the water in which you soaked chickpeas.
What if I forget to pre-soak Chickpeas
If you have canned chickpeas in your pantry then you can use it for making the curry. But many places (in India) canned chickpeas are not easily accessible or are very costly. Here instant/quick soaking comes in picture.
If you have forgotten to soak chickpeas(or any beans/legumes) overnight or don't have canned ones too, then this trick definitely works.
Wash chickpeas. Heat water till tiny bubbles start to come. Take about 3 cups for 1 cup of Chickpeas.
Add 1/2 tsp salt to it and add chickpeas in boiling water. Switch off the gas and cover with a fitting lid. Leave it undisturbed for about 30 mins-1 hr.
When ready to make, drain the beans and discard the water in which you soaked chickpeas. Add fresh water and use in the recipe. (See recipe card)
1 cup of dried chickpeas will make about 2.5-3 cups of soaked chickpeas, depending on the size of bean.This is equivalent to about 2 15 Oz. cans of cooked chickpeas.
How to make Chole Masala in Instant Pot
When using dried Garbanzo beans, wash and soak the beans at least for 4-5 hrs.
Make onion tomato masala at SAUTE mode.
Take chickpeas, drain the water in which the chickpeas were soaked. Add to the onion tomato masala.
Add water as per the consistency of the curry required.
Cancel the SAUTE MODE and then then PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 30 mins.
If adding Chickpeas without soaking then PRESSURE COOK for 40-45 mins.
The recipe can be made in any Electric Pressure cooker, since we have so many new brands coming up. Do follow the SAUTE and PRESSURE COOK MODE and timings as per your model.
Can we use Bhuna Masala to make Chana Masala in Instant Pot
Making Chana Masala using pre-prepared Bhuna Masala is a 10 min. Fuss free recipe. Checkout the details in recipe card.
Take 1-1.5 Cup Bhuna Masala for 3 cups of boiled or 2 15 Oz. canned chickpeas
For Bhuna Masala Recipe in Instant Pot CLICK HERE
Can we use Canned Chickpeas
Canned Chickpeas can be conveniently used to make Chana Masala. Use these cuts down the soaking time and cooking time. Ideal for those who are pressed on time or when unannounced guests arrive or you have Chana Masala cravings and no time soak the chickpeas.
For the recipe take 2 15 Oz. cans of canned chickpeas.
Chole Masala is one of the popular party menu item as it is easy to make and a crowd pleaser and pair up with rice and chapatis and any other Indian curry.
In U.P and Delhi region, Aloo Tikkis are also served with Chana Masala along with yoghurt and chutneys.
Another Chaat with Aloo Samosas 'Chole Samosa Chaat' is very popular and mostly served in restaurants.
Storing the leftover Chana Masala
You can make Chole Masala a day ahead of your parties . I prefer making it fresh on the same day. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an air tight container.
You can also freeze the curry in portions for about 1-2 weeks. Thaw in refrigerator a few hrs before reheating it. It is an ideal curry for weekly lunch menu preparations as it freezes well.
Reheat in microwave on High for 1-2 mins. Add little water to adjust the consistency.
Or, reheat on stove in a pan, add 1-2 tbsp water and then add accordingly as per the required consistency of gravy.
Do not freeze again the reheated curry.
How to fix the spicy curry/How to reduce the spice in Chana Masala
The heat in this curry is due to the Chana Masala. If the masala is too spicy then add 1/4 cup of yogurt/dahi. Beat it smooth and then add to the curry. Cook curry for 2-3 mins.
OR, you can can dairy/vegan cream or coconut milk. It will neutralize the spice in the curry.
Instant Pot Chole Masala/Chana Masala
- Instant Pot or any other Electric Pressure Cooker/
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Chopping Board
- Grinder for pureeing tomatoes
- 1 Cup Dried Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans Kabuli Chana
- 2 Onion medium sized
- 4 Tomatoes
- 4-5 Garlic Cloves
- Ginger Piece(small)
- 1-2 Green Chillies optional, use as required
- ½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1-2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tbsp Chole Masala
- 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Cinnamon Stick small
- 4-5 Black Peppercorns
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1 Green Cardamom
- Wash chickpeas 2-3 times nicely in water
- Soak in enough water for about 4-5 hrs or overnight.
- When ready to make, drain water, rinse 1 time in fresh water and add to masala.
Cooking Chole Masala in Instant Pot
- Finely chop onions.You can use chopper for this.
- Puree tomatoes.
- Make a paste ginger, garlic and green chilli. You can also use store bought ginger garlic paste.
- Gather all your ingredients.
- Switch on your IP and set the SAUTE MODE , Timer 10 MINS.
- When the display shows HOT, add oil and then whole spices.
- Then add chopped onions and then add ginger garlic paste.
- Saute and cook onions till it starts turning light brown.
- Now add tomato puree. You can also add store bought tomato puree/sauce ( about 1 cup).
- Cook tomatoes till the oil starts separating.
- Keep on stirring the masala and add 1-2 tbsp water if masala starts sticking to the base of inner pot.
- Now add dry masala powders and chana masala.
- Mix all the spices nicely in masala and cook for about 1-2 mins.
- Now add soaked chickpeas. Do not forget to drain water in which the chickpeas were soaked.
- Add about 2-3 cups water and salt. Give it a stir.
- Cancel the SAUTE mode and set the PRESSURE COOK MODE for 30 mins.
- When the time is over, let the pressure release naturally. Do not do QPR(quick pressure release).
- Open the lid and check the chickpeas are soft and mashable.
- Mash some chickpeas with the ladle.
- If required check the consistency of curry. If you feel it is watery, then Switch on the SAUTE mode for 5 mins and cook the curry . Be careful the curry doesn't burn at bottom.
- If the gravy is too thick, then add about ½ cup water(at a time) and then Switch on the SAUTE mode for 5 mins and cook the curry. Or, simply add hot water to curry.
- Close the lid and let the flavours infuse.
- Serve hot with your favourite bread or rice.
Let the pressure release naturally. Check the chickpeas for softness and gravy for the consistency.
Some more Chickpea Recipes from the blog that you will love to try
Pindi Chole(No Onion Garlic Recipe)
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