Instant Pot: Khata Imlee Chana - Tangy Tamarind Chickpeas

October 06, 2022

Instant Pot: Khata Imlee Chana - Tangy Tamarind Chickpeas

Khata means tangy in Hindi. This dish reminds me of the chickpeas I used to eat as a little girl by the lake in Chandigarh when I would visit my grandmother. They were drier, but the flavor was similar. Hot, spicy, and tangy, it was even better than homemade because it was served in a little cone made out of newspaper. In this dish you get a darker version of chickpeas because of the imlee or tamarind. I like using the puree here because it easier than soaking the tamarind pulp and using the water - but that's another option. If you prefer to make this on the stovetop, head to page 155 of my book, Indian For EveryoneI will also give you a stovetop version in future posts and some tips are below at the end of this post. The recipe below is from my upcoming book, Instant Pot Indian, which will release early next year (2023). You can pre-order it by clicking here. If you want to watch me make this, click on my Facebook Live class here. Remember, the recipe below is for the 3-quart IP but can be made safely in a large size Instant Pot as well. If you want to make more product in a larger Instant Pot, feel free to sign on to be a tester by emailing me and I would be happy to share the recipe, which will be in my upcoming book. 

Instant Pot: Khata Imlee Chana, Tangy Tamarind Chickpeas
Pressure Cooker Size: 3 quart or larger
Warm Up: 13 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cool Down: 10 minutes natural release + manual release
TOTAL: soak time + 1 hour 3 minutes + manual release time
Makes: 7 cups

2 cups kabuli chana (dried white chickpeas), picked over and washed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pinch hing (asafoetida) (optional)
1 small yellow or red onion, pureed
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, pureed
8 cloves garlic, pureed
2-4 fresh Thai or serrano chiles, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tamarind puree
¼ cup plain, unsweetened hung curd or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups water, for cooking
Juice of ½ lemon, add later
1 small yellow or red onion, sliced in thin rounds, for garnish

1. Soak the chana in ample boiled, hot water for at least 1 hour or in room temperature water for 6 hours to overnight. Drain and discard the water.

2. Place the inner pot in your Instant Pot. Select the SAUTE setting and adjust to MORE. When the indicator flashes HOT, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the hing and onion. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add the ginger, garlic, and fresh chiles. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. If this starts sticking, add 2 tablespoons of water.

4. Add the tamarind puree. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

5. Press CANCEL. Add the yogurt, ground cumin, coriander, garam masala, red chile, salt, chana, and cooking water. Stir. Omit the yogurt if you prefer or substitute it with an unsweetened dairy-free option. 

6. 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 40 minutes.

7. Once the cooking is complete, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then, manually release the remaining pressure, press CANCEL, and remove the lid. Add the lemon juice and stir. Garnish with the fresh onion rounds and serve with basmati rice or with Indian bread like roti, naan, or puri. All the spices are edible. 

No pressure cooker or Instant Pot? No worry. I will have a more precise recipe for you soon because I prefer to give you separate recipes for the different methods rather than just notes. But, you will want to cook the chickpeas on the stovetop for about an hour. Then follow the remaining instructions in a pot on the stovetop. Add 4 cups of water and simmer for 40 minutes until everything pulls together. 


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