Vegan + Healthy + One pot meal + gluten-free !!!!!!!!!! Oh yes definitely sign me up !Today I am excited to share an easy recipe that goes by many names – Instant Pot Chana Masala / chickpea curry / cholay . This garbanzo bean recipe is vegan & gluten-free too. I love that making beans at home is super easy in a pressure cooker and tastes much better than the canned beans. This Indian style chickpea curry comes together with just 15 minutes of preparation and makes a delicious hassle free one pot meal for busy weeknight. A meal from scratch has never been so easy. It is packed with protein , fiber and all the amazing nutrients that you want in your meal.
I am getting lot of requests for daily meal ideas which require minimal effort and clean up and at the same time are packed with nutrition.
For this recipe I have used my new favorite kitchen gadget – The Instant Pot.
I am even getting requests to do vegetarian Instant Pot recipes too .
Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker . I would say it’s more than a pressure cooker. It’s a multi cooker with great and impressive cooking options which just makes life easier . It’s convenient , will save you $$$ that you spend on outside food and you will eat more home-made and healthy stuff.
Though this post is about the recipe to be cooked in an instant pot and not how to use or what are the advantages of the pot , I can’t stop praising it.
For those who are already using it can tell you how amazing this pot is. And for those who don’t know about it please look up online for details.
Don’t have an instant pot then feel free to make this recipe in your traditional stovetop pressure cooker too.
What I love about chana masala in Instant Pot ?
Everything!!!! I love the fact that I don’t have to boil the beans first and then make the curry later .
I love that you can just dump everything in one pot and a lovely meal is ready in minutes from scratch.
I love that I need not be around stirring the curry . Instead use that time to do something else.
Chana masala , cholay or chickpeas curry whatever you want to call it makes a healthy wholesome option for lunch or dinner. Leftovers can be enjoyed the next day too.
This recipe is vegan and gluten- free .
For extra nutrition I have added lots of spinach to the curry. You may skip it.
This is my 1st Instant Pot recipe on my blog and I promise to do many more in future.
Given below is a step by step pictorial tutorial followed by the recipe.
Instant Pot spinach chana masala - vegan & gluten-free
- 1 cup raw chickpeas/ cholay / chana to be soaked
- 3 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic
- ½ tablespoon grated ginger
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 cups fresh tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon roasted chickpea flour * optional see notes
- Spices needed
- 1 green chili finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoon cayenne/ paprika / red mirch powder
- 1 tablespoon cholay / chana masala
To be added later
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach
- Salt to taste
- Fistful of chopped fresh cilantro
- Wash chickpeas in a mesh under cold running water for 30 seconds.
- Now soak chickpeas in 2 cups water.
- Bring it to a rolling boil and let it boil for good 5 minutes. Switch off the flame , cover it with lid and let it soak for 8-10 hours/ overnight.
- Next day before cooking drain out all the excess water from soaked chickpeas .
- Switch on the instant pot on sautee mode . After 3 minutes add in 3 tablespoon cooking oil .
- Add in the onions and cook for 2 minutes or until translucent .
- Add in the bay leaf, green chilly , ginger , garlic paste and cook it for 20 seconds .
- Add in the chana masala , turmeric , chili powder , coriander powder along with 1 tablespoon water to avoid masala to burn.
- Sautee it for 10 seconds.
- Add in roasted chickpea flour/ besan and sautee for 10 seconds .
- Now add in the tomato puree , drained chickpeas and 1.5 cups of water and mix well .
- Now close the lid and choose 15 minutes on manual mode High pressure.
- Position the steam release to sealing .
- After the timer goes off let it naturally cool off for 15 minutes .
- Carefully vent any steam off after 15 minutes and open the lid.
- Give it a stir and check for doneness by smashing a chickpea.
- The chickpea should smash up easily without any resistance.
- Now put the instant pot on sauté mode again and add in chopped spinach and salt.
- Mash few chickpeas with back of the spoon for thicker gravy .
- Let it cook on saute mode for 3 minutes .
- Switch off the instant pot.
- The Gravy will thicken eventually after it starts cooling down.
- Add in chopped coriander and some lemon juice if desired.
- Taste test, adjust spices if desired and serve warm as a soup , along with roti or over rice/ quinoa .
You can leave it and just smash up few chickpeas later and the gravy will thicken once it starts cooling.
Use garam masala if chana masala unavailable.
You may skip spinach all together.
The spice level of this recipe is 3 on the scale 1-5 , 5 being the hottest .
Adjust seasoning to your spice level .
It's important to soak the beans for 8-10 hours . If you forget to soak the beans refer to tips below
If using store bought puree , add only 1.5 cups puree and increase water by additional ½ cup.
Leftovers can be enjoyed up to 3 days . Store in refrigerator .
Tastes even better the next day so makes a perfect next day lunch.
Stove top pressure cooking method mentioned below.For more easy Instant Pot recipes - Follow link here.
I want to try this recipe but totally forgot to soak the beans. Can I still make this chickpea curry with unsoaked beans ?
Yes you can . It will just take a bit longer. Here is what you do – Disregard the water called in the recipe for cooking the chickpea. After adding chickpea to the pot , pour water to cover chickpea plus 3 ” above the chickpea. High pressure MANUAL 35 minutes followed by NPR (Natural Pressure Release. ) It really takes only 5 minutes to soak chickpea so that the cooking time is cut into half. Soak and cook beans whenever possible.
Chana masala in a traditional stove top pressure cooker
Follow instant pot steps from 1-10
Pressure cook on medium up to 5 whistles , then turn down the heat to low and let it cook for 10 minutes.
Switch off the flame and let the cooker cool for 15-20 minutes before opening.
After 15 minutes , carefully release any pressure left by gently pulling up the whistle and open the pressure cooker .
Proceed with spinach as mentioned for instant pot.
Taste test and adjust the spices if needed.
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Hope you like this recipe Instant Pot chickpea curry spinach chana masala and do give it a try. I would love to hear from you.
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Can this be frozen? If yes, for how many days?
Yes, it can. For 3 months in one time use a freezer-safe container or ziplock.
Recipe looks so yummy. Its one of favourite dish with puri or bhature. I have not made it using insta pot. Looking forward for more recipes.
I got myself an IP when my crock pot died and THIS exceptional recipe was my first in it! I am both amazed at how well the IP works and how delicious this was over jasmine rice. Thank you for the detailed instructions. I am now watching my carnivore-hubby dig into a second plate! KUDOS!
Welcome Roni , I am glad that you enjoyed this recipe. You may be interested in other easy veg recipes on my blog too. Thank you!!
ps I forgot to ask is the fresh tomato purée (fresh tomatoes whizzed up) or Passata normally canned or in a carton here in UK or crushed tinned tomatoes, tomato purée in a tube is very concentrated here, you would n9rmally only add a tablespoon or so to a recipe – thanks,
Greetings from the UK and big thanks for the recipe. Couple of questions. Re the roasted Chickpea flour, excuse my ignorance how do you do this? Here I can only source Chickpea flour (not roasted)
Also it mentions in the ingredients list cayenne pepper/paprika here in the UK they are 2 completely difference spices or do you add both, cayenne pepper is very hot spice paprika much milder, thanks, Do you release steam the naturally I own a Cooker similar to Instant Pot (Heston Blumenthal Slow/Fast Cooker) I can choose to release steam immediately or short spurts or naturally ie wait for it to cool down before opening. Thanks in advance
Hello Nina. Roasted chickpea flour is something my mom used so I use it too to thicken curries. I roast chickpea flour at home in a broad pan on low medium flame for 6-8 minutes . I stir it often until the flour is warm and browns a bit with nutty aroma. I let it cool down and store it in air tight container and use it for thickening soups or curries. It is completely optional though. You may use cayenne if you can handle the heat or paprika if you do not prefer spicy. It is either of the two. I am doing Natural release here. If you wish to do quick release then add 8 more minutes to the timer . I have used fresh tomato puree – roma tomatoes . Simply because Fresh isn’t very tart as compared to the carton ones.
This is my first time ever using my instant pot! So I’m new to the whole shabang. But super excited ! Anyways, I kept he sauté on the whole time until the pressure cooker part… but it burnt the bottom big time. Should I have turned the sauté off after the onions were done?
Hello Kimi , welcome to IP gang. You will definitely like cooking in IP as you start getting hang of it. I like to keep all my ingredients on hand before starting to cook. This way there is no lag between following the steps. If you feel you need to prep something while cooking example sauteeing here then of course you can pause / cancel sautee and resume whenever ready. I have mentioned to add tablespoons of water to avoid burns. Hope this helps!
On a oil free diet so skipped it .. turned out really delicious and topped with quinoa.. yum
No oil.. sounds great Turner.
So good. Made this for my wife subbed in garam masala and cut the cayenne in half and the heat was perfect for us. Served with warm naan and that was the meal. Can’t wait to try your other recipes !
Glad to know this Vin, I hope you like other recipes too!
Just started with cooking in my ip. Saw your recipe on buzz feed .. I love Indian food and so made this Chana masala. It turned out very good. I used very less spice . May be I will increase a bit next time. Overall very nicely cooked chickpeas. Thank you!
Glad you liked it Kyle.. happy cooking!
Will this recipe need to be cut in half for the 3quart instapot?
You may cut recipe in half . I think full recipe will be fine too .. it shouldn’t be a problem as it occupies only 1/4 space of 6 qt instant pot.
Hi I just wanted to mention that I think what you mean by chili powder in the recipe is more of Indian chili powder or cayenne pepper than to what a lot of people like me who are just learning to cook Indian think of it. I used chili powder and now it’s tastes like chili instead of Chana masala. I will try again but maybe you can clarify on the recipe for use novices. 🙂 thanks.
Thank you for the feedback Jennifer . In India we call cayenne pepper as chili powder.. sorry for that , I will update the same. Basically look for grounded cayenne peppers without any other spices added. I will update the post. Thank you for bringing that to my notice.
Tripled the recipe for guests . They loved it. Full of flavors and so easy . Thanks!
Hello there, I was hoping to find a vegetarian IP recipe site. So glad to have found yours. I so want to make this recipe, but I need to feed 8 people. So do I double the recipe?
This recipe gives you 6-8 servings . If you are just having this for dinner then a person might need 2 helpings. So double the recipe and cooking time will be the same if you are pre soaking overnight or 8-10 hours.
How can I make it a 1 on the spicy scale? My girls can’t tolerate much spice 🙁
Hello Lisa , simply eliminate the green chilies and add just 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder and cholay masala. I do that for my son all the time.
Jamie Shane OBrien
I would like to make this using canned chick peas so I can truly make it Instantly without the soaking. I see you ansered yes to the question, but then is it still 1 CUP of canned chickpeas in the recipe or is it more? any other changes needed to make this recipe come out right? Thanks!
Jamie here is what I found online, 1 cup dried beans when cooked turns approx 3 cups . So accordingly use 3 cups canned beans . One 15 oz canned beans is approx 1.5 cups. So for this recipe use two cans. Add only 3/4 cups water. The cooking time cuts down too. It will take 6 minutes high pressure. Good luck!
I made your recipe from dinner tonight and my husband raved about it! I’m on a no oil, no salt diet and omitted them from the recipe and it was still fabulous!
Wow no oil and no salt and still good!. thank you for a lovely feedback Mary!
Didn’t imagine it to be this easy. Turned out so yummy. Thank you.
Thank you for a lovely feedback Rucha .
I made this in my ip . Turned out so delicious. Thank you.
Happy to know this Kameron. Thank you for a lovely feedback.
My husband (who is South indian) and I LOVED this recipe – we added 1tsp cumin seeds as well. Will definitely make again.
Thank you for a lovely feedback Amelia. I am glad that you have added spices to suit your taste. Cumin indeed adds a great flavor .
Is there a way to do this without soaking the beans? Increase time maybe? …. For those days i forget to soak the beans hehehe
Haha Laura I totally get it. Sure you can. Just rinse it well and go head with the recipe 30-35 minutes bean/ chili mode. You will have to increase water water by 1/2 cup too plus add 1 teaspoon baking soda . Soaking not only cuts the cooking time it also gets rid of gastric stuff . Recommended to Soak at least for 1 hour in boiling water and discard , fill with fresh water then cook on chili/ beans mode for 30-35 minutes.
Can I use canned chickpeas?
Yes you can ,with canned chickpeas the cook time will drop to 5 minutes only in instant pot with NPR. You may even directly cook it in a pan on a stove top as chickpeas used are cooked already.
I work on busy schedule and ip is by far my smartest investment. We enjoy this recipe . I have made it three times already. So easy to double up and store . I use curry powder and less spice . Thank you.
I can’t agree more Rebecca. IP is indeed a boon. So happy you are in love with this recipe. Thank you for a wonderful feedback.
Tried it. It was so yum . I loved the fact that no baby sitting is required. Thank you
isn’t it. I love instant pot for the same reason, no baby sitting. Glad you liked it.
The recipe says 1 TB Chana masala. Do you mean 1 TB of curry powder?
Hello Charlotte , curry powder are various kinds with slight difference in spices. I have used chana masala also known as cholay masala. It’s a North Indian curry powder. You may use anyone that you have on hand . Thank you for stopping by.
Tried this last night as a first recipe in my new instant pot. The dish came out really well. Thanks for the clear instructions!
That’s fantastic Priya, congratulations on your new instant pot.Thank you for a lovely feedback.
I love all your recipes. Tried this one and was a super hit.
Glad you liked it . Thanks Kritika for taking out your precious time and leaving a lovely feedback on the recipes you have tried. Have a nice day!
Hi Khushboo… Made it in pressure cooker… Loved it.. Husband loved it too… Superb n Thanks
That’s awesome , thanks for a lovely feedback.
Made it in my instant pot . Turned out perfect. I omitted spinach. Thanks
Great Melanie , happy to know this 🙂
Hi Khushboo Can we make this without onion garlic.. will it taste good.. else what to add or delete..
Hi Rishita, yes you can omit onion garlic. I do it a lot for my Jain folks.
Janani Rakesh Kumar
Looks soo yum, healthy and easy! Beautiful clicks Khushboo! will try it out and let u know!:-)
Thank you Janani , do try and give me your feedback 🙂