Authentic Punjabi style chana masala recipe to be enjoyed with some rice or naan!

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This vegan chole masala recipe is one Indian curry dish that you have to try at least once. Enjoy this authentic instant pot chana masala recipe with jeera rice, butter naan, or as is with some lemon juice squeezed on top. And the best part? It’s made with a homemade chana masala spice blend!

Healthy instant pot chana masala made with a homemade masala blend. Flavorful and a healthy, plant-based vegan curry dish.
This vegan chole masala recipe is one Indian curry dish that you have to try at least once. Enjoy this authentic instant pot chana masala recipe with jeera rice, butter naan, or as is with some lemon juice squeezed on top. And the best part? It's made with a homemade chana masala spice blend!

WHAT IS PUNJABI CHOLE OR CHANA MASALA

“Chole” or “chana” is a Punjabi/Hindi word for “chickpeas” and “masala” is a word for “spices”. So essentially, chole masala means curried chickpeas or chickpea curry. And how do you say it when you enter an Indian restaurant and the first thing you want to order off the menu is your favorite chana masala with some piping hot naan? – Cho-lay.

The key to making an authentic Punjabi Chana Masala is the blend of homemade spices. In this recipe, I have used my homemade chana masala blend. It’s easy and all the ingredients for making the home blend chana masala are readily available in almost all the grocery stores. The blend is aromatic, tangy, spicy, and a bit smokey. And that’s exactly what adds depth to this Chickpea Curry recipe.

Chana masala is perhaps the quintessential Punjabi vegetarian dish and it is a popular restaurant food the world over. In north India, you’d just as easily find chana masala being served at a roadside eatery, as you’d find it at an upscale restaurant or in a home kitchen.

So essentially, Chana masala (or chana masala, chole masala, or chholay, depending on where you’re from)— boiled chickpeas cooked in a spicy and tangy tomato-ginger-garlic-ginger curry and served with some buttered naan is one of the tastiest dishes you could have ever had!

WHAT TO LOVE ABOUT THIS CHICKPEA CURRY RECIPE

It usually takes several hours to prepare authentic Punjabi Chole, but with my instant pot recipe, you can have delicious masala-coated chickpeas on your plate in no time.

Homemade chana masala spice blend that’s so easy to blend.

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans or Chola or chole are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Chickpeas may offer a variety of health benefits, such as aiding weight management, improving digestion, and reducing your risk of disease.

Chana is high in protein and makes an excellent replacement for meat in many vegetarian and vegan dishes.

A healthy protein-rich vegan and gluten-free chickpea recipe.

This delicious one-pot chana masala recipe comes together in under 60 minutes. It is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free.

Enjoy this authentic Punjabi chickpea curry dish with some rice or naan!
Enjoy this authentic Punjabi chickpea curry dish with some rice or naan!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE CHANA MASALA

  • Olive oil. I have used olive oil but any flavorless vegetable oil is fine.
  • Dry bay leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Cloves, and Baking soda: You will need these to boil the chana with.

Adding baking soda to the onions helps them break down and caramelize faster.

  • Onion, Ginger Garlic paste: I made my own onion ginger and garlic paste by adding them to a blender.
  • Tomatoes. Try and use fresh, organic tomatoes for the best taste.
  • Ground coriander, Ground cumin, Red Chili Powder, Fenugreek Leaves, Asafetida Powder, Garam Masala Powder, Chaat Powder, Black Salt, Turmeric: You would need a 1 TSP of each to make your blend of Chana masala powder. You can also use Amchoor Powder instead of Chaat Masala.
  • Chickpeas: I have used dried chickpeas in this recipe since I’m using an instant pot. However, dry chickpeas need to be soaked overnight.

Pre-soaking the chole will reduce the cooking time. This reduced cooking time can mean less loss of water-soluble nutrients due to less time of exposure to heat and water. This is the reason, I prefer overnight soaking over quick soaking.

  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro
  • Turmeric
Healthy instant pot choley masala made with a homemade masala blend. Enjoy this delicious, plant-based vegan curry dish with some rice or naan!

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE CHICKPEA MASALA

STEP 1 – SOAK THE DRIED CHICKPEA OVERNIGHT

  • Soak 2 cups of dried/raw white chickpeas (400g) overnight with 5 cups of water.

STEP 2 – MAKE HOMEMADE CHANA MASALA POWDER

In a bowl, mix the following ingredients and keep them aside. These ingredients are all available in the grocery store.

  • 1 TSP turmeric
  • 1 TSP Black salt/Rock Salt
  • 1 TSP chili powder
  • 1 TSP dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 TSP Chaat Powder/Amachoor Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Hing
  • 1 TSP Coriander Powder
  • 1 TSP Jeera or cumin Powder
  • 1 TSP Garam Masala Powder

STEP 3 – BOIL THE SOAKED CHOLE

  • Wash the soaked chole a couple times and add to the Instant pot.
  • Add a pinch of baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 bay leaf, 1 inch cinnamon and a few cloves.
  • Add 4 cups of water. Change the instant pot setting to beans option and cook for 50 minutes with a vent in sealing position. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.

Stove-top pressure cooker: cook on high heat for 2 whistles, then lower heat to medium and cook for additional 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

STEP 4 – CHECK IF THE CHICKPEAS ARE SOFT ENOUGH

  • Take a few between your fingers and smush them. If you can do that easily that means they are ready.

STEP 5 – PREPARE THE WET MASALA BASE FOR CHANA MASALA

  • Blend two medium-sized tomatoes, 1 medium-sized onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 inch ginger in a blender with a couple of spoons of water.
  • In a non-stick pan, heat about 5 TBSP oil. Once the oil is hot, add the tomato-onion-garlic-ginger puree and cook on medium to low heat till the oil separates. This will take about 30 minutes.
  • Add the homemade chole masala to the pan and mix well.
  • Cook on low heat for 5 more minutes.

STEP 6- ADD THE MASALA TO BOILED CHOLE IN INSTANT POT

  • Take out the bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves from the instant pot.
  • Add the prepared Chana masala into the instant pot and give it a good stir. Change the instant pot setting to manual mode for 35 minutes without the vent in sealing position.

STEP 7 – HOT GARLIC CHILI OIL SEASONING (OPTIONAL)

In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add thinly sliced garlic pieces and sliced fresh red chilies. Cook the garlic and chilies in hot oil for couple seconds.

Pour the hot garlic and chili oil on the chana masala. garnish with chopped cilantro.

HOW DO YOU ENJOY PUNJABI CHANA MASALA?

  • Serve the Punjabi Chana masala with naan
  • Serve with Basmati rice
  • Serve with piping hot pooris
  • Serve in a bowl, with some red onion and some lemon juice.
  • If you have leftover soaked and boiled garbanzo beans, make a healthy salad with chicken.
Healthy instant pot chana masala made with a homemade masala blend. Enjoy this delicious, plant-based vegan curry dish with some rice or naan!

TIPS TO MAKE A NO-FAIL INSTANT POT CHICKPEA MASALA

Fresh Ingredients: Nothing like using fresh organic ingredients. It may involve a bit of work, but the outcome will be worth it. Starting from fresh tomatoes to making your onion-ginger-garlic paste to blending your own chole masala spice blend, homemade stuff makes a big difference. You can always sub for canned products, but canned stuff will not give you the authentic Indian restaurant chole masala taste.

Dried Chickpea: Again, dried chickpea is the best. You can use the canned ones if you are in a rush, but if you have time, I would recommend the dried chickpeas.

Slow cook the tomato-onion-ginger-garlic paste: Slow cook this best till the paste leaves the sides of your pan. This makes the chole taste creamy.

Don’t skip the kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) and Amchoor/Chaat Masala: These two impart a wonderful aroma to the dish.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Chana Masala same as chole masala?

Yup! Chana masala, also known as Chana masala, or chole masala is a delicious Indian curry made with chickpeas, cooked in an onion-tomato base, and seasoned with spices. Spices differ from region to region throughout India.

Can I make chole without soaking? What if I forget?

Well, you need to pre-soak the beans before you boil them. If you forgot to soak them the night before, you can always do a quick soak. You can easily do a quick soak by covering the dried chickpeas with an inch of water and pressure cooking them for 10 minutes with a natural release. Then dump out the water, rinse the chickpeas well and follow the chana masala directions from there.

Soaking legumes helps them to be more easily digested.

How many hours do I need to soak the chole?

I soaked 2 cups of dried chole in 5 cups of water overnight. If you are going for a quick soak, then you need at least 3 hours.

Can I use canned chickpeas?

I have used canned chickpeas for making chickpea masala before. Yes, you can use canned beans, however, you would need to adjust the amount of water in the recipe as canned chickpeas won’t soak up much water. I have used good quality organic canned garbanzo beans to make a yummy grilled chicken and garbanzo beans summer salad.

Do I need to add a black tea bag while boiling the beans?

No, you don’t have to. I didn’t do that in this recipe. But yes, the authentic Amritsari Chole recipe calls for a teabag to make the chole change color while boiling.

How long to cook the onion-tomato-ginger-garlic mixture?

The onion-tomato-ginger-garlic mixture needs to be slow cooked and reduced to a very thick paste – you will know when that leaves the sides of the pan. This results in a creaminess (without cream).

Can I add some meat to this Chana masala curry dish?

Yes, you can. You can sauté some minced turkey or chicken separately and mix it with the chole masala. Or, you can also add bone-in chicken thighs. After cooking for 30 minutes, remove the chicken, take the meat off the bones and shred it, then added it back to the rest.

Healthy instant pot chana masala made with a homemade masala blend. Enjoy this delicious, plant-based vegan curry dish with some rice or naan!

*If you ever try this recipe don’t forget to share your photos with me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter or tag me on Instagram @myyellowapron using the hashtag #myyellowapron and stay connected* I would love to see your creations from my space!!

Authentic Punjabi style chana masala recipe to be enjoyed with some rice or naan!

Chole Masala, Chana Masala Recipe (Instant Pot)

MyYellowApron
This vegan chole masala recipe is one of the must-have Indian curry dishes that you have to try at least once. Made in an authentic Punjabi style and an instant pot, enjoy this chana masala recipe with jeera rice, butter naan, or as is with some lemon juice squeezed on top.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Non-stick Pan
  • Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

FOR DRY CHANA MASALA BLEND

  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Black Salt/Rock Salt
  • 1 Tsp Chili powder
  • 1 Tsp Dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 Tsp Chaat Powder/Amachoor Powder
  • 1 Tsp Hing or asfoteida
  • 1 Tsp Coriander or Dhania Powder
  • 1 Tsp Jeera or cumin Powder

FOR BOILING THE SOAKED CHANA

  • Add a pinch of baking soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon
  • A Few Cloves.
  • 4 Cups Water 4

FOR THE WET MASALA BASE

  • 2 Med Tomatoes
  • 1 Med Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Inch Ginger
  • 5 Tbsp Oil

FOR SOAKING THE DRY GARBANZO BEANS

  • 2 Cups Dry Garbanzo beans 400g
  • 5 Cups Water

FOR SEASONING CHANA MASALA (OPTIONAL)

  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic thinly cut into slices
  • 2 Red chilies

Instructions
 

SOAK THE CHANA OVERNIGHT

  • Soak dried/raw white chickpeas overnight with 5 cups of water.

BOIL THE GARBANZO BEANS

  • Wash the soaked chole a couple of times and add to the Instant Pot. Add a pinch of baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 bay leaf, 1-inch cinnamon, and a few cloves. Add 4 cups of water.
  • Change the instant pot setting to the beans option and cook for 50 minutes with a vent in a sealing position. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Take a few between your fingers and smush them. If you can do that easily that means they are ready.
  • Stove-top pressure cooker: cook on high heat for 2 whistles, then lower heat to medium and cook for additional 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

PREPARE THE HOMEMADE CHANA MASALA BLEND

  • In a bowl, mix 1 TSP turmeric, 1 TSP Black salt/Rock Salt, 1 TSP chili powder, 1 TSP dried fenugreek leaves, 1 TSP Chaat Powder/Amachoor Powder, 1/2 TSP Hing, 1 TSP Coriander Powder, 1 TSP Jeera or cumin Powder

PREPARE THE WET MASALA

  • Blend two medium-sized tomatoes, 1 medium-sized onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 inch ginger in a blender with a couple of spoons of water.
  • In a non-stick pan, heat about 5 TBSP oil. Once the oil is hot, add the tomato-onion-garlic-ginger puree and cook on medium to low heat till the oil separates. This will take about 30 minutes.
  • Add the homemade chole masala to the pan and mix well.
  • Cook on low heat for 5 more minutes.

MAKE THE CHANA MASALA

  • Take out the bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves from the instant pot.
  • Add the prepared Chana masala into the instant pot and give it a good stir. Add water if needed.
  • Change the instant pot setting to manual mode for 35 minutes without the vent in sealing position.

SEASON CHANA MASALA (OPTIONAL)

  • In a non-stick pan, heat oil. Once the oil is hot enough, add the sliced garlic and fresh chilies. Let the garlic and chilies cook for few seconds.
  • Add this hot seasoning to the prepared chana masala. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and enjoy!
Keyword chana masala, choley masala recipe, Punjabi chana masala, Vegan Chana Masala
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Healthy instant pot chana masala made with a homemade masala blend. Enjoy this delicious, plant-based vegan curry dish with some rice or naan!

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35 Comments

  1. Pingback: Chole Masala | Chana Masala Recipe (Instant Pot) – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle
  2. This looks delicious! I need to get some dried chickpeas but failing that is it possible to make this with tinned chickpeas or does it not come out as good?

  3. I love Chloe Masala. I went so long without making it myself thinking it would be difficult, but it really is easer than recipes make it seem!

  4. Just looking at this is making my mouth water. I love how complex the flavors are without being an overly complicated recipe.

  5. Channa masala is my families favorite dish and I make it often, but slightly different in seasoning. I never knew you can add fenugreek to the channa masala, I will try adding it next time I make. I also like the sound of the garlic tempering it must add great flavour.

  6. This Chana Masala recipe was so easy to make, and full of great flavor!

  7. I would love to try this! I will have to look for some of those seasonings, though, since I know I haven’t seen them at my go-to grocery store. Time to make a trip to the specialty stores!

  8. you were right about this curry. I made it twice this week and i’m still cravin it

  9. I love a good curry and even better an instant pot one! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Pingback: Chole Masala | Chana Masala Recipe (Instant Pot) — My Yellow Apron | My Meals are on Wheels
  11. I like that its vegan- it will go over well in my house. And I love most anything made with chickpeas.

  12. Chole is my favourite veg menu. You can say I am die hard fan of chole. Your recipe seems to be amazing and the pics are so tempting that I am gonna make chole tomorrow.

  13. It looks and sounds delicious. I am always looking for new recipes to try out and I think this is something that the whole family will enjoy.

  14. I’ve never tried a curry like this before, but it looks nice. The sound of a tangy tomato, ginger and garlic based curry sounds great x

  15. Worth every bit of effort. This is such an amazing and comforting meal..the flavors and spices come together beautifully!

  16. Wow! This dish is really beautiful. For a moment there, I thought I was looking at well-done beef. If only I can find chickpeas at my store here, I’d definitely make myself this dish.

  17. Wow! That looks absolutely delicious and tasty! I would really love to try this recipe!

  18. This chickpea curry looks so delicious, I can see myself eating it with bread for breakfast or rice for lunch

  19. I love your version of Chana Masala. Indeed it looks authentic and I hope I will be able to make it successfully. This stew-like curry is extremely flavorful.

  20. This sounds so tasty. We have had chana masala before, but haven’t made it, and the instant pot makes it so convenient.

  21. This sounds so easy and looks delicious recipe to make. I am sure everyone will love this. Thank you!

  22. This is interesting, it looks yummy recipe and would love to give it a try. I will try to cook it. Surely it will be as tastte as it looks.

  23. 5 stars
    This is a very in depth recipe and your explanation is very helpful in understanding this fabulous curry recipe. I am always amazed by the number of spices used in a curry, that’s why it’s so flavorful and delicious.

  24. 5 stars
    I love this recipe, and it is great that it is done in the instant pot. Fantastic flavours!

  25. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a Chana Masala recipe and love that I can use my Insta Pot for this one! Thanks for sharing.

  26. 5 stars
    Wow, this dish is absolutely incredible, and obsessed that we can make this in an IP so it’s so much more hands off AND faster.

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