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instant pot chickpea curry recipe north indian chana masala

Instant Pot Chana Masala

Easy and delicious vegetarian chickpea curry recipe made in instant pot with spices in onion tomato mixture for gravy.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword instant pot chana masala, instant pot chickpea curry, instant pot chole masala, instant pot kadala curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Soaking time for dry chickpeas 8 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 198kcal


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons marinara sauce optional
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 3 green chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon salt adjust as needed
  • 2 tablespoons oil use more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 red chilies dried broken
  • 4 cups water
  • extra water as needed for soaking the dried chickpeas

Spice Powders

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder

For garnishing

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves  optional


  • Wash and soak the dry chickpeas in enough water (the chickpeas will double in size as they are soaked for hours) for about 8 hours of time or overnight for best results.
  • Drain the water from the soaked chickpeas, rinse again in fresh water and keep this aside.
  • Wash and peel the onions, roughly chop the onions, keep aside.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and also peel the ginger, keep the peeled ginger and garlic cloves aside with the onions.
  • Wash and chop the tomatoes, keep the chopped tomatoes also aside with the onions, garlic and ginger.
  • Transfer the onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes to a food process and also add the green chilies and marinara sauce (if using) to the food processor.
  • Grind the onion tomato mixture to make a coarse mixture (no need to make a smooth paste), if needed you may use very little water. Keep the onion tomato mixture aside.
  • Add the oil to the inner pot of instant pot and press the saute function, adjust to low setting.
  • Add the cumin seeds and lightly fry.
  • When the cumin seeds are lightly fried, also add the broken dried red chilies and lightly fry.
  • Add the onion tomato mixture to the pot very gently and carefully (be very careful while adding the mixture to the hot oil to avoid any splatter of oil), and stir using a good spatula.
  • Add the salt, mix together and saute for another 12 minutes or until the onion tomato mixture starts leaving the from the sides of the pot separating from the oil. While sauteing the mixture, you will need to stir in between to avoid the mixture sticking at the bottom of the pot and if needed you may add a little more oil to make the process easier.
  • Once the onion tomato mixture is sauteed in the oil, add the spice powders - turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin seeds powder and garam masala powder, mix well and saute for another 1 minute.
  • Add the chickpeas and enough salt also to the pot and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the water, mix well and press the 'keep warm/cancel' button so the saute function will stop.
  • Close the pot with lid in sealing position and press manual, cook in high pressure for 12 minutes. The pot will take a few minutes to build up the pressure and start cooking. Once the cooking is done, the pot will beep so you will need to wait until then.
  • Once the cooking is done and the pot beeps, press the 'keep warm/cancel' button and wait for a natural pressure release which will take another few minutes of time.
  • Once the pressure is all naturally released, carefully open the lid of the pot by turning to venting position and stir the curry. If desired, you may simmer the curry for another couple of minutes to reduce the gravy a bit, by pressing the saute function and simmering in 'medium' (use the adjust button to select) for about 2 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves if using, serve hot with rice, chapathi, poori or bhatura!


You may slightly reduce the amount of water or simmer for little more time if you prefer less gravy. Instead of dried chickpeas, you may also try the recipe using canned chickpeas. If you are using canned chickpeas, you do not need to soak the chickpeas in advance, but you can directly use it in the recipe, but the cooking time will probably reduce.


Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 49.8mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2.9mg