Instant Pot Black Chickpea Curry, Kala Chana

December 03, 2019

Instant Pot Black Chickpea Curry, Kala Chana - Indian As Apple Pie


The Indian Pressure Cooker Project is ON! Now I just need you to cook along with me as I recipe test full-flavored family-style Indian recipes in my pressure cooker. This one is for black chickpeas. If you are not Indian, you've probably never heard of them. They are smaller and meatier than their white chickpea counterparts. AND lower on the glycemic index. More on that later. First, the recipe. 


Instant Pot Black Chickpea Curry
Electric Pressure Cooker Size: 6Q or larger
Warm-Up: 20 minutes - Cook: 30 minutes - Cool Down: 33 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 23 minutes
Makes: 10 cups

2 cups kala chana (dried black 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, ground
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, ground *
4 cloves of garlic, ground
1-6 Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and minced
1 large tomato, ground
2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
1 - 2 tablespoons salt
6 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Soak chickpeas in boiling water for at least 1 hour. Drain and discard the water. Set aside. If you don’t get to them right away, no problem. Just store them in the fridge and pull out at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Select SAUTE setting and adjust to MORE. When the indicator flashes HOT, add oil. Once hot, add hing and cumin. Mix well and cook 1 minute until the seeds are reddish brown. Because the oil pools to the sides, I push my spices into the oil in the border of the inner pot so they can cook fully.

Add turmeric. Cook 30 seconds.

Carefully add the onion. The moisture can cause the oil to splatter. Mix well. Cook 3 minutes. If it starts to dry out, add 1 tablespoon of water.

Add ginger and garlic. Cook 1 minute, mixing well.

Add fresh chiles, ground tomato, and tomato paste. Mix and cook 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water only if it starts to dry out.

Add garam masala, red chile, and salt. Cook 1 minute, mixing well. Press CANCEL.

Add soaked and drained black chickpeas and water. Mix well. Pressure cook on the MORE setting for 30 minutes. Cool down naturally or use manual release.

Add cilantro and lemon juice. Serve over basmati rice.

* The ginger and garlic can be ground together.

Want to cook this in your slow cooker? Check out my book, The Indian Slow Cooker, and turn to page 90. If you have my book and love it, consider leaving a review on 


Not to worry, I'll be adding more process shots as we take them. For now, here's a visual of the ingredients you'll need for this recipe. I will add photos as the end so that you can get the recipe immediately. Please do let me know what you think once you make this! 

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