Instant Pot Punjabi Chole Recipe | Savory Indian Chickpeas | How to make Chana Masala

Chole Masala or Chana Masala ~ a popular north-Indian savory dish of spiced garbanzo beans or chickpeas is the answer to everything. Be it weekday dinner, be it a vegetarian dish on the table for a dinner party or a delicious Indian dish if you are vegan and eat only gluten free, it’s great for all occasions.

I’ve tried making Chana masala at home with a combination of a variety of spices. This recipe or the pictures you see in this post is probably more than the 50th time I’ve made this dish. So, it’s tried and tested and this is the BEST recipe of Chana Masala without a doubt. And you can make it in the Instant Pot! (You can also make this in a regular saucepan and a pressure cooker, and follow the same spice blend and process. )

(I’m unabashedly owning the bragging rights for this… 🙂 )

Ingredients you will need:

  • 3 cups garbanzo beans or ‘chana’
  • 6 cups water (approx)
  • 3-4 mustard oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3-4 dried red chili
  • 1 tsp asafetida or ‘hing’
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3-4 whole cardamom
  • 1 whole cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4-5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder or ‘amchoor’
  • 2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste

Method for cooking:

  • Soak the chole/garbanzo beans in the water overnight. Leave this as it is.
  • In the Instant Pot (Saute Mode, Normal, 30 mins), add the mustard oil. Once hot, add asafetida, cumin, and dried red chili, whole spices (cardamom, clove, cinnamon). Let this crackle for a few seconds.
  • Next, add fenugreek seeds and in 3-4 seconds add chopped onions. Saute.
  • Add the grated ginger, sugar, and salt. Let onions cook it light brown.
  • Once browned, add the tomatoes (except a few chopped pieces), turmeric, coriander, dry mango (‘amchoor’) powder. Add salt according to taste. Combine well. Uncover and cook. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. (The more this sauce base will cook, the better will be the flavor.)
  • When 10 mins are left, add the soaked garbanzo beans with the water (about 2 cups). Mix well and cook uncovered. (in ‘normal’) till timer goes off.
  • Now add 2 cups of warm water, roasted cumin powder, garam masala powder, ghee, coriander, and dried fenugreek leaves. Mix well. Cover with lid. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook mode, High Pressure, 45 mins, Sealing)
  • Once timer goes off, you may let it rest without releasing the steam (Natural Pressure Release). After 5 mins, you will have the best Chana Masala you’ve ever eaten!



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