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Instant Pot Chana Masala Chickpeas Stew

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This Instant Pot chana masala chickpeas stew is super satisfying comfort food that’s simple to make with canned chickpeas that are delightfully spiced in a rich tomato gravy.

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew pin

Here is a dish that is easy to make and has so much to offer in terms of flavor and health benefits.

Chana masala is on the regular rotation at our house because we just can’t get enough of it. We love it for lunch and dinner any time of the year.

It’s so good that we even made some to take along on our camping trip.

Yes, that’s right.

Of all of the dishes out there, this is the one we wanted to have with us out in the wilderness.

Well, ok, maybe not wilderness exactly.

But, still.

We just had to have this chana masala ready. Wherever we happen to be.

Come to think of it, next time we should bring some of that amazing tomato dal to go with it too!

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What is Chana Masala?

In Hindi, chana means chickpeas and masala refers to a spice blend mixture or gravy. Chana masala is basically an Indian style vegan chickpea curry. It can range in spice level, from mild, medium to quite hot.

Chana masala and chole masala are often used interchangeably.

But, chana masala tends to be more tomato based while Punjabi chole masala usually has a darker brown curry sauce.

Punjabi chole masala is often served with a type of fried bread and the dish is called Chana Bhatura. We love chana bhatura as well, but tend to make this tomato based chana masala more often.

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew closeup 3

Ingredients in Instant Pot Chana Masala Chickpeas Stew

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew ingredients mise en place
  • Chickpeas — we use canned for convenience here. You can also soak dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with enough water to more than cover them.
  • Tomato — chopped
  • Onion — you can include red, white or yellow onion in this recipe
  • Garlic Cloves — minced
  • Ginger — grated
  • Chili Pepper — chopped
  • Avocado Oil — avocado oil is an excellent choice for stir frying your aromatics, although other types of oil (olive, coconut, vegetable, etc.) can be used if you prefer.
  • Cumin — we incorporate both ground cumin and cumin seeds in our recipe
  • Garam Masala — a savory blend of spices that provides an earthy flavor to the dish
  • Coriander — we like coriander powder for convenience, although you can also grind some coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  • Nigella Seeds (Kalonji) — optional
  • Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi) — also spelled kasoori methi, dried, optional
  • Salt — Himalayan pink salt, ground
  • Chili Powder — you can adjust according to your spice level tolerance or omit altogether.
  • Amchur Powder — dried mango powder, this is added in after cooking. If you don’t have any, it’s ok to omit.

You can get away without some of the spice ingredients. That’s why we’ve listed some as optional.

Of course, they add more depth to the flavors in the curry, but they’re not all necessary. I would definitely still make this even if I only had the basic ingredients.

Plus, you’ll find that a lot of chana masala recipes differ from cook to cook. So, some may include them and others omit. It can come down to personal preference.

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Health Benefits of Chana Masala

Chick peas are full of fiber, protein rich and are highly satisfying in flavor and texture. They will keep you full and energized for a long time.

In addition, chana masala offers a multitude of vitamins and minerals with tomatoes, onions, chilis, garlic and ginger as well as seeds and spices.

Chana masala is an excellent high protein option for vegetarians or those looking to incorporate more meatless dishes into their diet.

How To Make Instant Pot Vegan Chana Masala

STEP 1 – Sauté Cumin and Kalonji Seeds

In sauté mode, heat oil and add cumin and kalonji seeds, if using. Stir fry the seeds for about a minute, using a wooden spoon.

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 1

STEP 2 – Sauté Onions

Add onions and sauté for a few minutes until they begin to turn translucent.

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 2

STEP 3 – Sauté Tomatoes, Ginger, Garlic and Chili

Combine tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chili in your Instant Pot and give everything a good stir.

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 3

STEP 4 – Add Chickpeas and Spices

Pour in the canned or soaked chickpeas, as well as the spices (except for amchur that will be added after cooking).

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 4

STEP 5 – Stir and Pressure Cook

Mix everything together and fasten the lid securely. Move the pressure valve to sealing and set Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for, normal temperature for 25 minutes.

Once complete, allow for a natural pressure release (NPR) of 5 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure by turning the pressure valve to venting.

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 5

STEP 6 – Add Amchur

If you have dried mango powder (amchur) you can add it in after cooking. Mix it into the chana masala well.

STEP 7 – Optionally, Mash and Sauté

If you like the sauce to be thicker, you can use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon to break up some of the chickpeas. You can also boil the dish in sauté mode for a few minutes to thicken the sauce. Just be sure to stir often so that the contents don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.

Although, if you prefer a thinner sauce, and all of the chickpeas intact, you can skip this step.

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 6

STEP 8 – Serve and Enjoy

Now it’s time to enjoy this comforting, restaurant quality dish. You will be so impressed with the results and marvel at how easy it was to throw together!

instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew recipe 2

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can toss the ingredients into a crockpot slow cooker and let it simmer for a few hours until you’ve reached your desired chickpea tenderness.

Can I Make Instant Pot Vegan Chana Masala With Dried Chickpeas?

Yes, you can! It’s especially easy when you remember to soak the chana in water overnight. Then, in the morning, you can follow the recipe as it is the same for soaked chickpeas.

If you haven’t soaked the chickpeas overnight, that’s ok. You can still make this dish, but the pressure cook time will be longer. Just set your Instant Pot to 60 minutes.

There is also an “instant” method for soaking chickpeas that involves boiling water to pour over top of the dry chickpeas and allow them to soak for one hour.

Chef’s Tips and Tricks

Even though canned chick peas are precooked, we love to pressure cook our chickpeas for enough time so that they are tender!

Just add the canned chickpeas to an Instant Pot (with the chick pea liquid if you like, or you can drain and rinse the chickpeas and add a cup and a half of water to the Instant Pot) and set on high pressure for 20-30 minutes, depending on how tender you’d like them to be.

The same applies to soaked chickpeas, the extra 20 minutes or so of pressure cook time will produce tender chickpeas that make all the difference in this dish!

If you’re using dried chickpeas and have forgotten to soak them overnight, don’t worry. Just add the dried chickpeas to a bowl and top with boiling water and allow to soak meanwhile you prep ingredients and gather your spices.

What To Serve With Instant Pot Vegan Chana Masala

Chana masala is perfect with a rice dish or any Indian style flatbread like naan, roti or chapati.

A side salad kachumber style is another great option for a fresh and delicious side dish.

You may want to add a vegan raita or yogurt based raita to your meal to help cool down and balance the spicy heat from curries.

Here’s an easy Indian inspired menu that we love to make often:

instant pot Indian restaurant food dinner idea

Instant Pot Chana Masala with Instant Pot tomato dal with basmati rice or vegetable or chicken biryani. Don’t forget to include a cooling yogurt sauce on the side such as popular cucumber raita or lemon dill raita.

Indian Vegetarian Dishes:

Indian Meat and Seafood Dishes:

Instant Pot dishes are so convenient to prepare and cook. You’ll love how much you can accomplish with them.

More Recipes With Chickpeas

With all of the health benefits, it makes sense to include chickpeas in your diet regularly.

If you like to save time, you can soak and/or pressure cook extra chickpeas at the same time and cook up a variety of delicious chickpea recipes.

Here are some easy ways to get more chickpeas into your rotation:

Preparation and Storage Tips

Chana masala can be frozen and thawed when you need it.

We recently brought some leftover frozen chana masala and a batch of cooked basmati rice with us on our camping trip.

We let the chana masala thaw and heated it in a skillet. It was amazing! Perfect, of course, with a nice cup of coffee or tea!

You’ll Also Love

This super easy and satisfying bhindi masala okra curry is a simple stir fry with big flavor.

You’ll love the intriguing texture of this vegetable with a sizzling combination of onions and spices that you can cook right on the stovetop.

You can stir fry this while your chana masala is cooking in the Instant Pot!

bhindi masala okra curry featured 1

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instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew recipe 2

Instant Pot Chana Masala Chickpeas Stew

Susan & Björn
Delectable spiced chickpeas in an aromatic, flavor-packed gravy that's an easy weeknight meal with basmati rice. Pressure cooking the chickpeas makes them so satisfyingly tender!
No ratings yet
servings4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Calories 303 kcal
Fiber 13 g
Carbohydrates 43 g

Equipment

1 Instant Pot 6 Quart

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Nigella Seeds, kalonji, optional
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 inch Ginger, grated
  • 2 Chili Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 38 ounces Canned Chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Leaves, dried
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, Himalayan
  • ¼ teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Amchur Powder

Instructions
 

  • Press Sauté on the Instant Pot. When the display reads HOT, add oil and cumin seeds. Let sauté for a few minutes until the seeds start to sputter.
    instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 1
  • Add the chopped onions and green chilies. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onion is tender.
    instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 2
  • Add the tomatoes, minced garlic and grated ginger. Let sauté for 5 minutes.
    instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 3
  • Pour in the canned chickpeas, liquid included and add all the spices aside for the amchur.
    instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 4
  • Mix well and secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Move the pressure valve to sealing and pressure cook on HIGH pressure, normal temperature, for 25 minutes. Let naturally pressure release (NPR) for 5 minutes and then quick release.
    instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 5
  • When the pressure is released and it is safe to do so, carefully open the lid. Add the amchur and stir.
  • If you like the Chana Masala thicker, you can mash a few of the chickpeas using a potato masher and sauté the dish for 5-10 minutes.
    instant pot chana masala chickpeas stew step 6

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcal Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 13g Net Carbohydrates: 30g Protein: 14g Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Sodium: 1346mg Potassium: 509mg Sugar: 2g Vitamin A: 229IU Vitamin C: 6mg Calcium: 121mg Iron: 4mg

Note

The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

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