Chana Masala Instant Pot – Recipes From A Pantry

Barbara F. Watson

Chana Masala Instant Pot is a flavorful and satisfying meatless Indian dish. Making chana masala in Instant Pot is so easy and is a perfect recipe for busy weeknight dinners.

Suitable for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

Post may contain affiliate links. For more information, check my disclosure

top down view of the completed chana masala instant pot recipe

If you are looking for a meatless meal that is filling and flavorful, making Chana Masala Instant Pot is a delicious option. Hearty chickpeas are cooked in a rich onion and tomato gravy and can be served with aromatic rice and naan bread for a complete meal.

Instant pot Indian recipes like tikka masala or this chana masala are quick and straightforward to make and are a great way to spice up your weeknight dinner plans. Pressure cooking allows all the ingredients to meld together beautifully. 

Chana Masala Instant Pot is such a flavorful and fuss-free meal, just like this Instant Pot Chicken Curry and my Instant Pot Pumpkin and Plantain Curry.

a white mug filled with a serving of the finished chana masala instant pot recipe

Chana Masala means “spiced chickpeas,” and a blend of Garam masala, ground cumin, and ground coriander will give this dish a lovely flavor. Although not 100 percent authentic, these spices are much more common and you probably have them on hand. If you have a chana masala spice blend, feel free to use it in this instant pot chana masala recipe.

Why Make This Recipe

  • Restaurant-Style Chana Masala – Get the same great flavor you’d find in a restaurant but save time and money by making Instant Pot Chana Masala at home.  
  • It’s Fast – Save time by using canned chickpeas and make this recipe in about 30 minutes.  
  • It’s Meatless – Meatless meals are great for us, and this meatless masala curry is filling and flavorful.  
two servings of chana masala instant pot on a table

Ingredient Notes

  • Olive Oil – Or use your favorite light, neutral oil to prevent everything from sticking.  
  • Aromatics – Chopped onions, fresh garlic cloves, and grated ginger are classic earthy flavors that add depth to this dish.
  • Water – Substitute vegetable stock if preferred. 
  • Seasonings – Garam masala, ground cumin, and ground coriander aren’t completely authentic, but make this a super easy recipe with ingredients you already have on hand. You can substitute these ingredients with chana masala spice blends. 
  • Chickpeas – Canned chickpeas should be drained and rinsed. 
  • Diced Tomatoes – Tomatoes add a nice flavor and canned tomatoes are convenient, but you can use fresh tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes should equal 1 ½ cups. You can also substitute fire-roasted canned tomatoes. 
the ingredients needed for making chana masala instant pot

Ready to make this Chana Masala in Instant Pot? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…

How To Make Instant Pot Chana Masala

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Add oil to the Instant pot insert and heat using the sauté function. Add chopped onions and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute, stirring to prevent burning. 
  3. Immediately deglaze the pan with water and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the insert with a wooden spoon. 
  4. Add the garam masala, cumin, and coriander to the onion mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Add chickpeas and diced tomatoes, stirring to combine with the aromatics. 
  6. Cover, seal, and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes, followed by a quick pressure release.  
image collage showing the steps for making chana masala instant pot

Expert Tips 

  • Use ghee instead of olive oil for a nutty flavor. 
  • Prep all of your ingredients before you begin sautéing the aromatics because this vegan Chana masala recipe in Instant Pot moves quickly. 
  • Deglaze the Instant Pot insert well and scrape with a wooded spoon to prevent a burn error while cooking at pressure. 
  • For authentic chana masala, use a chana masala spice blend
  • Recipe times do not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to temperature. 
  • For a thicker curry, mash some of the chickpeas with a potato masher. 
  • Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving for a bright flavor. 
  • Serve with rice or naan bread. 
top down view of the chana masala instant pot recipe served in white mugs

Delicious Variations

  • Make It Spicy – Add green chilis and cayenne powder for heat. 
  • Add More Flavor – To boost the flavor even more, add cumin seeds, red chili powder, and amchur powder, or add chana masala powder blend or your favorite Indian spices. Sprinkle the finished chana masala with dried mango powder. 
  • Use Ghee – If you do not need to make this vegan, opt for Ghee when sauteing the onion and other aromatics. It gives this dish a wonderful flavor. 

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – If using dried beans, you will need to soak them for a minimum of 4 hours. 
  • Store – Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • Freeze – Freeze chana masala in a freezer-safe container or food storage bag for up to a month. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it in a skillet. 
close up view of the chana masala instant pot served with rice

FAQs

Is Chana Masala Made With Canned Chickpeas?

This chana masala recipe Instant Pot is quick and simple because it uses canned chickpeas. To make this with dried chickpeas, you would need to soak chickpeas for at least 4 hours. You can soak dried chickpeas overnight.

Follow the recipe as written, add soaked chickpeas instead of canned and increase the cooking time to 35 minutes at high pressure, followed by a 20-minute natural pressure release. You will need to cook chickpeas until they are tender. If using unsoaked chickpeas, increase the time at pressure to 60 minutes. 

Can I Make Chana Masala On Stovetop?

Yes. To make this on the stovetop, you will want to bring it to a simmer once you’ve added the chickpeas and cook for about 40 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender.

Are Chickpeas and Garbanzo Beans The Same?

Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same things. The two names are interchangeable, and one may be more common depending on where you live.  

the completed instant pot chana masala recipe

More Recipes You May Like

Serving Suggestions

Instant pot quick start guide image

Weight Watchers Points

There are 2 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my Instant Pot Chana Masala recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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top down view of the completed chana masala instant pot recipe

Print Recipe

Chana Masala Instant Pot

Restaurant-style chana masala made at home.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time30 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 4

Calories: 297kcal

Instructions

  • Add oil to the Instant pot insert and heat using the sauté function. Add chopped onions and cook for several minutes until tender and translucent.

  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute, stirring to prevent burning.

  • Immediately deglaze the Instant Pot insert with water and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the insert with a wooden spoon.

  • Add the cumin, coriander and garam masala to the onion mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and chickpeas, stirring to combine with the aromatics.

  • Place the lid on, turn valve to sealing, and set to cook at manual pressure / high pressure for 15 minutes.

  • When done, perform a quick pressure release. Serve the chana masala with rice and fresh cilantro.

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Notes

  • Use ghee instead of olive oil for a nutty flavor. 
  • Prep all of your ingredients before you begin sauteing the aromatics because this vegan Chana masala recipe in instant pot moves quickly. 
  • Deglaze the pan well and scrape with a wooded spoon to prevent a burn error while cooking at pressure. 
  • For authentic chana masala, use a chana masala spice blend. 
  • Recipe times do not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to temperature. 
  • For a thicker curry, mash some of the chickpeas with a potato masher. 
  • Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving for a bright flavor. 
  • Serve with rice or naan bread.
  • Storage – leftovers can be kept in an airtight container inside the fridge for 3 days.
  • There are 2 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 781mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 4mg

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