Instant Pot Chana Masala Recipe

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Front View of Instant Pot Chana Masala

Are you in the mood for Indian takeout? Make this Instant Pot Chana Masala. It's hearty, saucy, yummy, and packed with warming spices sure to warm your tummy. These spices include cumin seeds, bay leaf, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and turmeric. So your taste buds will be super happy.

And this Instant Pot Chana Masala is packed with plant-based protein and fiber. It's comfort food - without all the guilt. Plus, it takes one hour to cook, yet it tastes like it's been simmering all day. The aroma is sure to get your neighbors banging at your door.

For the best results, serve this chole recipe from the instant pot right onto a bed of saffron rice. You’ll get all the beautiful richness of the curry interspersed with the lovely flavor of saffron and rice.

Our instant pot chana masala is delicious in and of itself, but even great dishes get better with good company. Saffron rice is an excellent choice, for instance, since it will soak up all the beautiful sauce from your chole. Saffron is also an excellent companion to curries as a whole. 

  • Dried Chickpeas - In this chole for the instant pot, dried chickpeas replace the meat traditionally used in most types of curries. As a legume, chickpeas are absolutely loaded with protein, making them an ideal meat substitute. At the same time, they’re full of unique and enchanting flavors while creating a brilliant texture.
  • Olive Oil - Olive oil is the perfect choice for sautéing your base materials for this recipe. It’s light enough to be a healthy option while still being loaded with flavor. 
  • Onion - Onion plays a major role in the base of almost any masala. It lends that beautiful, almost caramelized flavor when sautéed alongside the garlic and ginger and helps to enhance the flavors of the other herbs and spices. 
  • Garlic and Ginger - Garlic and ginger are two flavor powerhouses that lend a strong aromatic aspect to any curry. By distributing them throughout the dish, you get both a wonderful aroma and the excellent flavor that every masala needs.
  • Herbs and Spices - Working side by side with the garam masala, the blend of herbs and spices incorporated into this recipe is essential for flavor. From the cumin seeds to the ground coriander and the paprika, each of the herbs and spices chosen helps bring out a different aspect of this Chana Masala for the instant pot.
  • Water - Water is a necessity for any masala, helping to keep the different ingredients hydrated and ensuring that you get a uniform result throughout the dish.
  • Plum Tomatoes - Plum tomatoes contribute a complete and wonderful tanginess to this recipe, adding both moisture and that beautiful tomato flavoring to the dish as a whole.
  • Garam Masala - Garam masala is the star of instant pot chana masala. It gives it the unique, decadent flavor that infuses the rest of the recipe with such vibrancy. Without this blend, your chana masala would be a basic curry.

More Tasty Vegan Curry Recipes

If you’re craving curry, but you want it to be guilt-free, meat-free, or just vegan, consider this wonderful Vegan Cauliflower Curry recipe. Like our instant pot chana masala recipe, it contains no meat.

If you want a wonderful curry that has all the depth of flavor of a traditional coconut curry but without the meat base, try our Vegan Coconut Lentil Curry. Enjoy the wonderful creaminess of coconut milk and the protein fix of lentils. As with Chana Masala, it uses a legume as a meat replacement.

However, if you’re interested in trying something out of the ordinary, you can’t go wrong with this Curry Mango recipe. It isn’t rich in protein, like chole for the instant pot, but it’s absolutely loaded with flavor. 

What is the difference between chana masala and chole?

The difference between chana masala and chole is that chana masala is an onion-tomato-based curry. In contrast, chole is made without onions and tomatoes, making chole drier and less saucy.

How long does it take to pressure cook Chana?

It takes 35 minutes to pressure-cook Chana.

Is garam masala and chana masala the same?

No. Garam masala is a blend of ground spices such as cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, and cardamom. Meanwhile, chana masala is a dish made with onions, chickpeas, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. Therefore, garam masala is one of the spices typically used in chana masala.

Is chana masala good for weight loss?

Yes, it is. One chana masala serving only 273 calories makes it a tremendous low-calorie dish. It's also packed with tons of plant-based protein and fiber, which benefit weight loss.

Average: 5 (4 votes)
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Time & Serves

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
60 mins
4 persons


  • 1 cup Dried Chickpeas, soaked overnight

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds

  • 1 medium Onion, small dice

  • 1 Bay Leaf

  • 2 teaspoons Ginger, grated

  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon Ground Coriander

  • 2 teaspoons Salt

  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric

  • 1 1/2 cups Water

  • 2 Plum Tomatoes, small dice

  • 1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala


Once chickpeas are done soaking, drain and rinse. Set aside.

Prepare chickpeas

Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot, and add the olive oil. Let heat for one minute.

Prepare instant pot witn olive oil

Add the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute. 

Sauté cumin seeds

Add the onion and bay leaf, and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the onion starts to brown.

Sauté onions and bay leaf

Add ginger and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.

Sauté ginger & garlic

Add the coriander, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric, chickpeas, and water, stirring well.

Sauté more seasonings, adding chickpeas

Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and pressure-cook on high for 35 minutes. Once done, select the natural pressure release.

Cooking the chickpeas

Open the lid and add tomatoes and garam masala, stirring well. Sauté on high for about 5 minutes.

Adding Masala ang tomatoes

Ladle into bowls. Serve alongside steamed rice or cauliflower rice.

Serving cooked Instant Pot Chana Masala
Chigoziri Nwachuku

Cooking up health and flavor: Chichi's recipes redefine nutritious eating. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bland!

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chickpea curry, quick Indian dinner, fiber-rich meal, plant-based diet, spice-infused recipes, sautéed onions, traditional Indian spices, vegan comfort food, tomato-based curry, healthy Indian cuisine, coconut milk, easy, no soak, homemade

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