Chana Masala – Punjabi Chole – Chickpea Curry – InstantPot

Chana Masala-Punjabi Chole is one of the most popular and iconic Indian curry recipe. Wholesome and nutritional powerhouse, this Chickpea Curry is vegan, gluten free and soy free . This rustic, earthy curry packs in superb varied flavors that are sure to entice your palate. Instantpot and stove top presure cooker instructions are included.

Punjabi Chole and its fan following spans across all walks of life. They are served in road side stalls in India (called Dhaba) to elegant and posh Indian wedding menus. Indian dinner scene is incomplete without Chole.

Chana Masala is authentic traditional dinner recipe. Just like any heirloom recipes, the treasure is passed on from generations to generations. Every family has it’s peculiarity and pride in making such dishes. This recipe is an adjusted version of my family favorite.

Punjabi Chole served in copper container with serving sppon inside

THE RECIPE CARD IS LOCATED TOWARDS THE END. Amazon affiliate link disclosure is below as well. If you are looking to spice things up around your dinner time, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest and like our FACEBOOK page. We love creating delicious , plant based recipes from around the world. DO JOIN US !!

WHAT IS CHANA MASALA-PUNJABI CHOLE?

Chana Masala is popular Indian curry originated in Northern Parts of India. Chana or chole means Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans. There are several different styles to make this curry. Some make it dry stir-fry like curry, some prefer it liquid curry( gravy)

HOW TO MAKE RESTURANT QUALITY CHOLE AT HOME?

You can easily make Chole using electric pressure cooker like InstantPot. You can make it on stove top as well. You simmer soaked chickpeas in onion, tomato gravy, along with aromatic spices and herbs. Authentic recipes are darker brown in color. To get the color, a black tea bag ( or two) is used cooking. The tea bag gives it nice rustic color. Don’t worry it does NOT change the taste of the curry at all.

Chana Masala -Punjabi CHole-Indian Chickpea Curry in copper serving bowl

HOW TO MAKE THIS CURRY IN THE HURRY?

Work smarter not harder my friends !! Seriously though, here are my few tips to make this Indian Chickpea Curry in a hurry.

  • If you forget to soak chickpeas, use canned chickpeas. Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas before using. Cooking time gets reduced to 10 minutes.

  • Use store brought Chole Masala. I prefer to use Everest Brand Chole Masala. Adding a amazon affiliate link to buy it here. They are not sponsoring this post. I just love the taste of this brand.

  • Use Marinara Sauce. Instead of cutting and sautéing onion, tomato and ginger garlic in oil, use marinara sauce. It gives deep red color with tangy taste.
SHORTCUT OR SMART HACK TO MAKE QUICK BHATURE TO SERVE ALONG CHOLE 🙂

Chole are often served with Bhature. Bhature is fluffy thick Indian bread that is deep fried. Traditional method as always is very tedious and time consuming. My impromptu method to satisfy cravings includes this: Use small size Mexican tortillas and deep fry them oil. ( I know purists are hating me now) But this trick works like a charm. One of my most popular dinner menu includes Chole Bhature and I can’t tell you how popular and nostalgic and delicious it is.

Chole and Bhature on black plate with lemon wedges and onion and chili

This recipe makes it as curry ( gravy ) which can be served as a healthy side dish along with all types of rice, roti, naan, paratha, couscous, quinoa or even on a bed of salad.

CAN I USE CHOLE MASALA AS WEEKLY MEAL PREP?

You absolutely can !! You can double or triple this recipe and use the leftovers for multiple lunches. Cooking time will remain the same, even if you double the quantity. I often like to make multiple dishes at once using INSTANTPOT pot in pot method. The trick is make the dishes that have same cook time. For this recipe, since the actual cook time over 20 minutes, brown rice will cook along perfectly. Here’s how I pack Chole with brown rice for lunch.

Chole with brown rice in two lunch containers with lemon wedges

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE USED IN MAKING CHANA MASALA -PUNJABI CHOLE?

The exact measurements and details are in recipe card. Here’s the ingredients with little more details.

  • Chickpeas or garbanzo beans or chole are the main ingredient. You rinse and soak them in water for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight for perfectly melt in mouth texture.

  • The onion, garlic, ginger and tomato are sautéd in oil to make a base gravy.

  • I like to use San Marzano Tomato Paste to add extra red color and tangy sweet taste. These tomatoes tend to be sweeter and less acidic.

  • Dried fenugreek leaves or Kasoori Methi adds authentic Indian flavor to this scrumptious curry. If you don’t have it readily available, simply skip it. Adding Amazon link to buy it in case you want to buy it.

  • Dry Mango Powder ( amchur) adds a wonderful tangy taste to the chole. If you don’t have dry mango powder or amchur, substitute it with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

  • Chole Masala– Chole Masala powder is blend of several herbs and spices. Cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, mint leaves, black and green cardamom, mace, cassia leaf and few other herbs are blended together. It brings amazing flavors and unique taste to this recipe. Adding Amazon link to my favorite Chole Masala in case you want to buy it.

Chana Masala Ingredients and spices on black platter

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE CHANA MASALA-CHOLE RECIPE:

Rinse the chickpeas/garbanzo beans/ chole in cold water for couple minutes. Soak them in water for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight for perfectly melt in mouth texture. Beans also double the size once soaked. When ready to cook, drain them in colander.

Close up shot of un-soaked and soaked chickpeas

Heat the oil in the pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, minced ginger and garlic. When the cumin seeds and ginger and garlic turn slight brown, add onions and sauté for few minutes.

Add tomato, paste and all other spices. Continue to sauté for few more minutes. You should sense the aroma. The oil will start to separate on the sides. ( this step helps bring out all intense flavors)

Add soaked chickpeas, teabag and water for cooking. Stir well. Make sure to scrap through the bottom so nothing is stuck there. (de-glaze).

Pressure cook on high for setting. When they are cooked, Carefully remove and discard the tea bag, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Stir well. Using the back of ladle or spatula mash some of the chickpeas for thicker gravy. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm. 

Process shot collage for how to make Chole in InstantPot

Do you like Indian Food? We have compiled some delicious and easy to prepare Indian InstantPot Recipes on our website. Do check it out. Some more easy Indian meal ideas you might want to try

If you make this Chana Masala-Punjabi Chole recipe, do let us know how you like it by star rating it and leaving a comment below. We would love to hear your feedback !! Use the PIN button to pin the recipe.

Chana Masala -Punjabi CHole-Indian Chickpea Curry in copper serving bowl

Chana Masala-Punjabi Chole-Chickpea Curry-InstantPot

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Chana Masala or Punjabi Chole is treasured Indian Chickpea Curry. This restaurant quality curry is gluten free and vegan. It can be made in the presure cooker like Instant Pot or stovetop. Suggested serving with short cut Bhature.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry Chickpeas soaked overnight in 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 medium Onion finely diced
  • 2 small Tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 2 cups Water for cooking
  • 1 black teabag for color
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • Spices and Herbs
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Chole Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp Dry Fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tsp Dry Mango powder ( substitute 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Wash the chickpeas in cold water. Soak chickpeas in 4 cups of water for at least for 4+ hours , or preferably over night. Drain them and discard the water just before cooking.

InstantPot Instructions:

Start instant pot in SAUTE mode. Add oil, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, minced ginger and garlic. 

When the cummin seeds and ginger and garlic turn slight brown, add onions and sauté for few minutes. Add tomato, paste and all other spices. Continue to saute for few more minutes. You should sense the aroma. The oil will start to separate on the sides. ( this step helps bring out all intense flavors)

Add soaked chickpeas, teabag and water for cooking. Stir well. Make sure to scrap through the bottom so nothing is stuck there. (de-glaze) Cancel Saute.

Close the InstantPot lid . Select MANUAL high pressure mode for 30 minutes with vent in sealing position. Alternatively, you can choose BEAN mode too.

When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Release the leftovers pressure manually. Open the instant pot lid. Carefully remove and discard the tea bag, bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

Stir well. Using the back of ladle or spatula mash some of the chickpeas. If the curry looks too thin or watery, turn the instant pot setting to sauté mode and let it boil for 2 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro. For added flavor, crush some dry fenugreek leaves on your palm and sprinkle them over. Chole Masala is ready to be devoured. Serve warm.

For Pot in Pot cooking: Brown Rice

Prepare the curry mixture in main insert. Place the tall trivet in the middle of main insert. Combine water and brown rice in a InstantPot safe stackable container. Place the container on top of the trivet. Close the lid.

After it's done cooking, use tongs or oven mitts to carefully lift the bowl of brown rice. Then take out the trivet. Handle with extreme caution since it will be steaming hot.

For Stovetop Pressure Cooker Chana Masala

Heat oil in the pressure cooker on medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, ginger and garlic. When the ginger and garlic turn golden brown, add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add tomato, paste and all other spices. Mix well and continue to saute til you sense the aroma and oil starts to separate on the side. 

Drain the soaking water from chickpeas. Add chickpeas and water for cooking. Mix well. Close the lid.

Pressure cook on medium high heat til you hear 6-7 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid.

Use a hand masher or the back of your spatula to mash the chole a bit. Add extra dried fenugreek leaves crushed in your palm for extra kick of flavors.

Garnish with cilantro. Chole Masala is ready to be served

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 13g

Did you make this recipe?

Join us on Instagram @Profusioncurry. Share your photos and tag us with #profusioncurry. Use the social share buttons below to share this recipe across Facebook, Pinterest and Yummly. Thanks a bunch.

Sharing is caring!

4 thoughts on “Chana Masala – Punjabi Chole – Chickpea Curry – InstantPot”

  1. Thank you for sharing this easy yummy recipe.
    Me and my entire family loved the chana masala with Puri.
    This recipe is a keep

    Reply
    • Yes it can be made in the slow cooker. After you put in everything with seasoning set it up for 4 hours on normal. Also check to make sure it has enough water midway through. You can also do this on regular heavy bottom pan. Cook it covered on medium heat for at least 45 minutes. In both instances you will want to cook the well soaked beans.

      Reply

Leave a Comment