Chana Masala is a classic. And now, my recipe from page 85 of The Indian Slow Cooker, has been perfected for the Instant Pot. It took a few tries and I want to thank my recipe testers that provided feedback. It seems the original recipe was just a touch too brothy, so I pulled back the water and I can't even tell you how much I love this recipe. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Desi Corner: Chana Masala is slightly confusing. It's the name of the curried chickpea dish you order from your favorite Indian restaurant. It's also the name of the spice blend we use specifically for this dish. My Chana Masala spice blend is made slightly tart with dried pomegranate seeds and green mango powder. The instructions on how to make your own are in my books. You can also use any brand you have on hand. The key to Chana Masala? It has tart ingredients like dried mango powder and dried pomegranate seeds. If you don't have it, but still want to make this recipe? No problem. Add an extra teaspoon of garam masala and/or also add a teaspoon or two of dried mango powder (Amchur powder).
Instant Pot Chana Masala, Curried Chickpeas
Pressure Cooker Size: 3 quart or larger
Warm-Up: 13 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cool Down: 10 minutes + manual release time
TOTAL: 53 minutes + manual release time
Makes: 6 cups
2 cups kabuli chana (dried white chickpeas), picked over and washed
1 tablespoon oil or ghee
1 pinch hing (asafoetida) (optional)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small yellow or red onion, minced
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 4 Thai, Serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and minced
1 small tomato, pureed
1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons red chile powder or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chana masala
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1. Soak the 2 cups chickpeas in boiling water for at least 1 hour. Drain and discard the water. Set aside.
2. Place the inner cooking pot in your Instant Pot. Select the SAUTE setting and adjust to MORE. When the indicator flashes HOT, add the 1 tablespoon of oil.
3. Once the oil is hot, add the pinch of hing and 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds. Mix well and cook for 40 seconds until the seeds are reddish-brown. Because the oil pools to the sides, push the spices into the oil along the border of the pot so they can cook fully.
4. Add the 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
5. Carefully add the 1/2 cup of minced onion. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the 1 tablespoon minced ginger, the 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, and minced fresh chiles. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
7. Press CANCEL. Add the 1/4 cup of pureed tomato, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of garam masala, 2 teaspoons of coriander, 2 teaspoons of red chile, 1 tablespoon of chana masala, 1 tablespoon of salt, chickpeas, and water. Stir.
8. Lock the lid into place and make sure the pressure release valve is set to the sealing position (upwards). Press the PRESSURE COOK button and then press the PRESSURE LEVEL button until the panel reads HIGH. Adjust the cook time to 30 minutes.
9. Once the cooking is complete, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then, manually release the remaining pressure.
10. Add the 1 tablespoon of cilantro and serve over basmati rice or with Indian bread like roti or naan. If you want to thicken this up, break down a few of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon or blend a bit with an immersion blender.