Instant Pot Chana Masala Recipe

There's nothing better than a warm, aromatic meal for dinner. From soup to stew to curry, there are a plethora of options for a warm meal, but curry definitely wins the "most aromatic" prize. Loaded with warming spices and the perfect kick of flavor, curry makes for a great meal, and recipe developer Miriam Hahn is no stranger to this fact. "The flavor of this dish is very savory and full of rich Indian spices," Hahn describes of her Instant Pot chana masala recipe. "The spices make it a warming and a very satisfying meal."

Indeed, this dish is incredibly satisfying, and it's also completely vegan! Even if you don't follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, there is plenty to love in this dish, and you can count on getting lots of nutrients from the chickpeas. "It is full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and the spices even offer inflammatory benefits," Hahn says of this curry. "This is [an] immunity-building meal that is also great for weight loss." A meal that tastes amazing and is good for you? That's a win-win, so let's dive right into this delicious recipe.

Gather the ingredients for Instant Pot chana masala

As with any recipe, you'll want to start with the basics — the ingredients. Quite a bit goes into this recipe, but we promise the flavors will be worth it. You'll need some oil (olive or avocado are good options), cumin seeds, mustard seeds, a diced onion, minced garlic, a diced Serrano pepper, grated ginger, coriander, garam masala, salt, turmeric, pepper, cayenne pepper, chickpeas, broth (vegetable broth if you want to keep it vegan), a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, lemon juice, cilantro, and some cooked rice for serving. 

Phew! We told you it was quite the list, but you should be able to easily source everything at your favorite grocery store. Also, depending on your feelings about spice, Hahn notes that you can leave out the serrano pepper if you'd like.

Start by sautéing the vegetables

Grab your trusty Instant Pot, situate it on the counter, and put it on the sauté setting. Then, add in the oil, along with the cumin and mustard seeds. Stir for 30 seconds, during which the Instant Pot will begin heating. Now, add in the diced onion, minced garlic, diced serrano pepper, and grated ginger. Sauté all of these ingredients for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. As the minutes go by, you'll notice your kitchen becoming more and more fragrant!

Add the chickpeas and spice it up

Now it's time to spice things up. In a small bowl, mix together the coriander, garam masala, salt, pepper, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Add the spices into the Instant Pot, and stir so they coat the veggies. Next, it's time to add the bulk of the curry. Add the chickpeas, broth, and tomatoes to the mix, then put the lid on the Instant Pot — make sure it's set to "sealing." Select pressure cook and set the timer for 8 minutes. Once that 8 minutes is up, don't take the lid off just yet. Instead, allow the pot to sit for another 15 minutes, then switch the nozzle to "venting," which will allow any excess pressure to release. 

Plate and serve the chana masala

Once you've released the pressure from the Instant Pot, remove the lid. Then, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Finally, you're ready to plate and serve this chana masala alongside some rice, and feel free to add more cilantro as garnish. "I tend to pair dishes like this with a big green salad," Hahn suggests. "It is also nice to have some naan or pita bread around for dipping." She also notes that you could use a different grain, like quinoa or farro, as a substitution for the rice. 

And, as for leftovers, you can store them for up to 5 days in the fridge. "This is a perfect weeknight meal or a great meal to have while watching football on a Sunday," Hahn says, and we couldn't agree more. The next time you want a hearty, fulfilling meal, keep this Instant Pot chana masala recipe in mind!

Instant Pot Chana Masala Recipe
5 from 55 ratings
Even those who are novice curry-makers can easily whip up this vegan-friendly Instant Pot chana masala recipe. It's ready in just 20 minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
curry with cilantro
Total time: 19 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups broth
  • 1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped + more for garnish
Optional Ingredients
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  1. Add the oil to the Instant Pot and select the sauté setting. When hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. Stir for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, pepper, and ginger. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. While that is cooking, prep the rest of the spices by adding them to a small bowl and mixing them together.
  4. Add the spices to the Instant Pot and stir for 30 seconds. Cancel the sauté setting.
  5. Now add the chickpeas, broth, and tomatoes to the pot. Seal the lid, and make sure the nozzle is set to "sealing." Select the pressure cook button and set the time to 8 minutes. When the timer goes off, let it sit 15 minutes, then switch the nozzle to "venting" to let any remaining pressure release out of the top of the lid.
  6. Open the lid and add the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve over rice (if desired) and top with more cilantro.
Calories per Serving 351
Total Fat 8.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 55.2 g
Dietary Fiber 16.1 g
Total Sugars 11.4 g
Sodium 869.0 mg
Protein 16.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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