Instant Pot Chana Masala recipe - Delicious , Indian Spiced Curry made with Dried Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans.
Chana Masala is also called Chole in india.It is a rich curry made with chickpeas, spices,onions and tomaotes.
Here is a no onion, garlic and tomatoes recipe of pindi chana.This is a saatvick version of punjabi chole.
This recipe is a punjabi version of chole.It's ideal for special occasions and festivals.It's a perfect chole recipe to serve with puris and bhaturas.
There is regular chole and there is this.You should make this recipe when you are entertaining or for special occasions, diwali or holi.
My sister in law taught me the trick to make a good chana masala.
Double the amount of onions to tomatoes.Unlike Rajma where the ratio is opposite, in making chole, you need double the onions.To get the texture of the gravy right, chop up the onions.But puree your tomatoes.Please do not use tomato puree(store bought).That will give it a completely different texture and taste.
Bhuna Masala- Take time to make the Base sauce or bhuna masala.Brown the onions.They should be just beyond the golden brown stage.Add the channa masala spice mix and let it cook before you add the pureed tomatoes.This step works better in a pan instead of in the instant pot.
Cook the Channa in the bhuna Masala - You cant just add the chole to the bhuna masala and call it a day.You need to let it cook for a few minutes so that all the spices go in the channa.
Add the Channa Masala spice mix to your onions after they have browned.Cook it for a few minutes before you add the tomatoes.This will give a great colour to your chole.
To take the chana masala to the next level, you need to add
- Tea Bag
- Tamarind or Amla or Indian Gooseberry.
- Dried Chickpeas
- Ghee or Oil
- Whole Spices- Clove, Black Cardamom & Bay Leaf
- 1 tea Bag(Optional)
- Dried Fenugreek/ Kasoori Methi
- Channa Masala Spice Mix - Homemade or Store bought
Let me explain a bit about some of the tricky ingredients.
Dried Chickpeas- Use the white dried chickpeas here.You can also use the canned chickpeas.Just Skip the step of cooking the chickpeas in the instant pot.Also use Drained chickpeas.
Ghee- This is a major flavour component.If you aren't vegan, use ghee instead of oils.If you want to avoid dairy, use mustard oil.
Garlic- In this curry, garlic is not the main flavour and can be omitted.
Ginger- I Like to use thin slivers of ginger.Ginger is a major flavour component here so don't omit it. If you dont have fresh ginger, use ½ teaspoon of ginger powder.
Whole Spices- Whole Clove, Bay Leaf and Large black cardamom.Add these while boiling the chickpeas.They help in digestion.
Chana Masala Spice Mix-Use storebought.Store it in the freezer.It's very cheap and you get a authentic taste every single time.
OR you can make it on your own but it's a ingredient heavy list.
This recipe from the great Tarla Dalal comes close to the storebought chana masala mix.Most other recipes will not give you the rich flavour.
These are not absolute essentials but they add a lot of flavour and look to the chana masala.
Tea Bag- This is the best kept secret in making channa masala.The dark color chana thats served with bhature is that color beacuse of the tea bag. Tea helps in nutralisaming some of the anti nutrients in the channa.
Indian Gooseberry/ Amla - Chana masala benefits from sour notes.This is a great way to eat more amla. If you dont have fresh amla, you can also use the meetha amla or murrabba that you get in stores.
Dried Chickpeas- Fell absolutely free to use canned chickpeas! Less work for you! You can also use black chickpeas instead.
Tomatoes- If you cant find fresh tomatoes, you can use
- Canned tomatoes- Just make sure it's chopped up.
- Tomato puree- ¼ cup
- Tomato Paste- 1.5 tbsp.Add a little water to dilute it a bit.
Chana Masala Spice Blend- For a simplistic version,add the follwoing
- 2 tablespoon Coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
How to make Channa Masala in Instant Pot
Soak the Dried Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans in water for 6 hours or overnight.
Or you can soak them in boiled water for 1 hour.
Chop up your onions and puree the tomatoes.
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Pressure cook the chickpeas in the instant pot.I like to make the bhuna masala separately, most days on the stove but I will give you instructions for instant pot too.
If you want the chana masala to be dark in color, especially while serving with bhaturas, add a tea bag while boiling the channa.
This is the most important step to make a good chana masala.Pay the most attention to this.Especially if you are making chana masala for entertaining or a festival.
I like to make mine on the stove.I can brown the onions better and faster without worrying about the burn sign.
- Start with adding the ghee and browning the onions till they are a touch beyond golden brown.Midway through, add the ginger and garlic.
- To this, add the dry spice blend.Cook this for about 1 minute.If it starts to burn, add a splash of water.
- Now add the pureed tomatoes.At this point, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.That stuff is flavour gold!
You are looking for a saucy, jammy consistency.Add water if the masala starts to burn.
Once your Chickpeas are boiled and the bhuna masala is ready, mix them toghether!
Use the water you boiled the chickpeas in.Do not throw it.It has a lot of flavour and it thickens the gravy.
You can either let the chana simmer in the gravy for 10-15 minutes or you can pressure cook them toghether for 1 minute.
One of my favorite ways to make chana is with raw mango.
You boil raw mango, take the pulp and thats used as the gravy.
Samething is done with tamarind pulp too.This is a great recipe when you are making chaats with chole.
How to Serve Channa Masala
If entertaining or just impressing someones socks off...Make this with Bhatura or Puri or plain parathas.
You can also serve this with jeera rice or Basmati Rice.
Or a more interesting twist is to use this recipe in making samosa chole or tikki chole.
Here is a list fo recipes to make if you plan on entertaining
- Paneer Recipe- Matar Paneer or Paneer Butter Masala
- Veggie - Bombay Potatoes or Bhindi Fry
- Bhatura /Puri / Naan
- Rice- Jeera or plain rice
- Papads & pickels
If you love chickpeas and always have leftovers, learn how to properly store chickpeas in the fridge.
A QUICK NOTE ON Instant Pot
I have been using this Instant Pot Duo 6 Qts for the past 5 years!
We are a family of 3 but I like to cook a lot.(lol..Am sure you already know that)I would suggest you buy a 6 qts instant pot for a family of 3-5 and an 8 qts Instant Pot for a family of 5+.
If you are in India, you can get it on amazon here.
Please let me know how your Channa Masala turns out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
- 2-3 tablespoon Coriander Chopped
- 1-2 teaspoon Lime Juice
- Wash and Soak the Chickpeas overnight.Alternatively, Soak the chickpeas in Hot(just boiled) water for 1 hour.
- Drain and add the Chickpeas to the instant pot.
- Add the whole spices- black cardamom,Bay Leaf , cloves, 2 teaspoon Salt and a tea bag.
- Pressure Cook on high for 35 minutes.
- Once the pressure cooking time is over, wait for 10 minutes before Quick Releasing.
- Heat a pan to make the sauce.(To use Saute mode in instant pot, read notes)
- Add the Ghee.Let it melt and heat through.
- To this, add the onions and saute for about 10-12 minutes till they are brown.(Chopped onions will brown faster than sliced onions)
- Add the ginger garlic and the channa masala spice powder.
- Tip in the pureed tomatoes and cook till the masala is mushy- about 10-15 minutes.The more time you take in this step, the better your channa masala.
- Add this masala to the cooked chickpeas(along with the water chickpeas were boiled in).Give it a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively pressure cook for 1 minute. (Check notes on using amla)
- Once your cooking time is over, Mash some channa with the end of a spoon or a masher. This will give body to the channa masala.
- Garnish with ginger slivers,Coriander and Kasoori Methi.
- Taste test.Add more salt and lemon juice if required.