Print Friendly and PDF

CHANA MASALA (Instant Pot)


Chana Masala is a popular Indian dish consisting of chickpeas cooked in a spicy onion and tomato gravy. It is hearty, flavourful, and super satisfying.

My husband’s family is East Indian, so I have been eating — and making — chana masala for decades. In the past, I often used canned chickpeas, but all of that changed once I got my Instant Pot. This recipe can still be made on the stove top with canned or pre-cooked chickpeas, but the Instant Pot makes the cooking and clean up a cinch!

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • 1 medium cooking onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced, or 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

  • 2 tsp sea salt

  • 2 tsp cumin powder

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 2 tsp dried mango powder or lemon juice

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 2 cups water

  • optional for serving: chopped fresh cilantro, hemp hearts, and naan bread, basmati rice, konjac or cauliflower rice


  1. Soak chickpeas in cold salted water overnight. Rinse, drain, and set aside.

  2. Turn on Instant Pot to sauté. Add oil and heat. Sauté bay leaves and cardamom pods for 1 minute.

  3. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 7 minutes until soft and browned.

  4. Add garlic, ginger, and spices and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.

  5. Stir in tomatoes, followed by chickpeas and water.

  6. Close the lid and set to pressure cook for 35 minutes, followed by natural pressure release. Open the lid carefully, stir, and discard the bay leaves and cardamom pods.

  7. Serve with your choice of chopped cilantro, hemp hearts, naan, basmati rice, or konjac or cauliflower rice.

Chana Masala can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.