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instant pot Chana Masala recipe

Instant Pot Chana Masala

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Category: Vegan, Main
  • Method: Instant pot, stove top
  • Cuisine: Indian


This authentic Chana Masala Recipe can be made in an Instant pot or on the stovetop. A quick and easy Vegetarian dinner recipe that is full of amazing Indian flavor!


  • 1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas, (soaked in water 12-24 hours or see notes)  or sub 4-5 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil. ( GHEE elevates this to the next level of goodness!!!)
  • 2 teaspoons  cumin seeds ( whole)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds ( whole)
  • 2 large shallots, diced ( or one onion diced)
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1/21 jalapeno or 1 serrano chili, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced (and their juices) or 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices. (although fresh tastes better here)
  • 11 1/2 teaspoon salt ( use more if dry chickpeas, less if canned)
  • 2 cups water if using dry, soaked chickpeas  (or 1/2 cup water if using if canned or fully cooked chickpeas)

Serve over Basmati Rice or with naan Bread! Or over roasted sweet potatoes, or in a bun like a sloppy Jo!


  1. If using dry beans, soak chickpeas in a bowl with 6 cups water, for 12 hours on counter, or up to 24 hours in the fridge. Drain. (See notes for quick instant pot “soak”)
  2. Set Instant pot to Saute function. Heat ghee and add whole cumin seeds , and fennel seeds, stirring 2-3 minutes until fragrant and golden.
  3. Add shallots. Saute 4 minutes until golden. Add garlic ginger and diced chili, saute 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add all the spices- garam masala, ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, fenugreek, turmeric and bay leaves.
  5. Give a stir then add the tomatoes and their juices, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits.
  6. Once the tomatoes start to break down add the water (if using dry chickpeas),  salt and drained chickpeas. Give a good stir, scraping up browned bits ( to prevent burn error).
  7. Set Instant to High Pressure for 25 minutes. (SEE NOTES!!!) Naturally, release for 15 minutes then manually release.
  8. Taste and adjust salt.


Instant Pot Cooking Times:

  1. If using soaked chickpeas (12-hour soaking method-my prefered method), pressure cook Chana Masala for 25 minutes.
  2. You can “PRE COOK” chickpeas in the instant pot for 15 mins (high pressure) with 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain and follow recipe, pressure cook Chana Masala for 40 minutes.
  3. If using unsoaked chickpeas, pressure cook Chana Masala 55 minutes. Naturally release. (If using unsoaked chickpeas- be aware, they may not cook evenly- especially if they are older beans)

How to pre-soak chickpeas in the Instant pot: place 2 cups dry chickpeas, 4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set to High pressure for 15 minutes. Manual or natural release. Drain, set chickpeas aside and wipe out the Instant Pot.

If using canned chickpeas, set instant pot to 6 minutes, add only 1/2 cup water,  manually release.

*Or, preferably, make this on the stovetop with canned chickpeas, following the same directions, only adding  1/4- 1/2 cup water, simmering on low, for 10-15 minutes.

I really prefer the taste of fresh tomatoes in the recipe, versus canned.

Remember dry chickpeas will need more salt, canned chickpeas perhaps less salt.

Keywords: Instant Pot Chana Masala, Chana Masala recipe in an instant pot, authentic Chana Masala recipe, Chana Masala recipe