Chana Masala is a classic. And now, my recipe from page 85 of my updated first book, The Indian Slow Cooker, has been perfected for the Instant Pot. I've given you ingredients and instructions for 1 cup of chickpeas. I'm excited I got to this in the midst of a nutty high-energy dog, 2 teens going stir crazy at home, and 3 sets of contractors in and out of my home on any given day. Sigh. To get a head start, purchase or make my Chana Masala blend. It's a classic spice made slightly tart with dried pomegranate seeds and green mango powder. The instructions on how to make your own are in my books. You can also use any brand you have on hand. The key to Chana Masala? It has tart ingredients like dried mango powder and dried pomegranate seeds. If you don't have it, but still want to make this recipe? No problem. Add an extra teaspoon of garam masala and/or also add a teaspoon or two of dried mango powder (Amchur powder).
Instant Pot Chana Masala - Curried Chickpeas
Pressure Cooker Size: 3Q or larger
Warm-Up: 10 minutes. Cook: 30 minutes. Cool Down: 10 minutes natural release, then manual release
TOTAL: 50 minutes plus manual release time
Makes: 3 1/4 cups
1 cup kabuli chana (dried white chickpeas), picked over and washed
2 teaspoons oil or ghee
1 pinch hing (asafoetida) (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons chopped yellow or red onion
1 tablespoon grated or minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, ground or minced
1/2 - 3 Thai, Serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and minced
1 small tomato, ground in food processor
2 teaspoons unsalted tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons chana masala
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Soak chickpeas in boiling water for at least 1 hour. Drain and discard the water. Set aside.
Place the inner cooking pot in your Instant Pot. Select the SAUTE setting and adjust to MORE. When the indicator flashes HOT, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add hing and cumin. Mix well and cook for 40 seconds until the seeds are reddish-brown. Because the oil pools to the sides, push spices into the oil along the border of the inner pot so they can cook fully.
Add turmeric. Cook for 30 seconds.
Carefully add the onion. The moisture can cause the oil to splatter. Mix well. Cook for 1 minute. If it starts to dry out, add 1 tablespoon of water.
Add ginger and garlic. Cook for 1 minute, mixing well.
Add fresh chiles, tomato, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add garam masala, coriander powder, red chile, chana masala, salt, soaked and drained chickpeas, and water. Stir.
Lock the lid into place. Make sure that the pressure release valve is in place and set to the sealing position (upwards). Press the PRESSURE COOK button until the panel indicates MORE and adjust the time to pressure cook for 30 minutes.
Once the cooking is completed, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, manually quick-release the remaining pressure.
Add cilantro. Serve over basmati rice. If you want to thicken this up, break down a few of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon or blend a bit with an immersion blender.