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Chana Masala (Chickpea curry) served in a black bowl
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Instant Pot Chana Masala / Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe in Pressure Cooker

Punjabi Chole Masala or Chana Masala is an Indian favorite chickpea curry. This one-pot recipe for the authentic Chana Masala can be made in the Instant Pot or stovetop Pressure Cooker. A healthy protein-rich vegan and gluten free chickpea recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Keyword: chana masala recipe, chole masala recipe, instant pot chana masala, pressure cooker chana masala
Diet: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method: Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Servings: 4
Calories: 255kcal
Author: Meeta Arora

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash and soak chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight or at least for 4+ hours. 

For Instant Pot Chana Masala:

  • Start instant pot in sauté mode. Add oil, whole spices (cumin seeds, bay leaves, black peppercorn, cinnamon), ginger, garlic and green chili. 
  • When the ginger and garlic turn golden brown, add onions and sauté for 3 minutes 
  • Add tomato and all spices except dry mango powder. Drain the chickpeas soaking water. Add chickpeas and water for cooking. Stir well.
  • Change the instant pot setting to bean/chili mode for 35 minutes with vent in sealing position. (This is the same as pressure cook on high pressure for 35 minutes)
  • When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. If the pin does not drop in 20 minutes, you can release the pressure and open the instant pot.
  • If you like a thicker gravy, use a hand masher or the back of your ladle to mash the chole a bit. Add the dried fenugreek leaves and dry mango powder. Change the instant pot setting to sauté mode and let it boil for 2 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Chole Masala is ready to be served with naan or bhatura.

For Stovetop Pressure Cooker Chana Masala

  • Heat oil in the pressure cooker on medium-high heat.  Add whole spices (cumin seeds, bay leaves, black peppercorn, cinnamon), ginger, garlic and green chili. 
  • When the ginger and garlic turn golden brown, add onions and sauté for 3 minutes 
  • Add tomato and all spices except dry mango powder. Drain the chickpeas soaking water. Add chickpeas and water for cooking. Stir well.
  • Pressure cook for 6-7 whistles or till the chana can be broken easily between two fingers. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • If you like a thicker gravy, use a hand masher or the back of your ladle to mash the chole a bit. Add the dried fenugreek leaves and dry mango powder. 
  • Adjust water if chole are too thick. Adjust salt to taste. Bring to a quick boil if you add more water. 
  • Garnish with cilantro. Chole Masala is ready to be served with naan or bhatura.

Video

Notes

No dry mango powder? If you don't have dry mango powder or amchur, replace with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Which Chole Masala? When using store-brought chole masala, to get an authentic taste always buy "Chole Masala" and not chana masala.
Green Chili Pepper: I typically use Thai, Birdeye or Serrano Chili Pepper in my recipes. Don't forget to adjust to your taste. 
Chole Masala Powder: If you don't have chole masala, you can also replace it with a blend of:
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne or Red Chili powder
Using canned chickpeas: Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Pressure cook for 10 minutes in the instant pot or 2 whistles on the stovetop pressure cooker. Add only 1 cup water for cooking.
Using canned tomatoes: Use one cup canned tomatoes to replace fresh tomatoes. 
Double the recipe: Cooking time will remain the same, even if you half or double the quantity in this recipe. 
Make it a meal: Cook pot-in-pot brown rice with this Chana Masala to make a complete meal. See my Dal Makhani with Rice recipe for detailed instructions. 

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 8.5mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 5.2mg