It is always super exciting when you try a recipe out and it comes out awesome! Especially when it is in the Instant Pot. This recipe is for an Indian dish called “Chana Masala” which is made from chickpeas. The chickpea has become famous in the west lately but in India it is a staple. This is mostly eaten in Northern India and this recipe, I believe, originated in Punjab.
This is my version of it, it won’t be authentic, that is for sure but it tastes good! When I tried this out in the Instant Pot, I will confess, I was nervous. If you are not familiar with the Instant Pot, check my post on it – Unboxing the Instant Pot
When it was done I had the most flavorful and softest chickpeas ever. It was not watery or flavorless. This recipe uses dry chickpeas, as I was using the Instant Pot I figured I might as well go all the way. You can use the canned version and do this on the stove if you don’t have an Instant Pot.
Preparation Time – 20 Minutes
Cook Time – 45 Minutes
Serves – 8
Dry Chana/Chickpeas – 3 Cups (These are to be soaked overnight or atleast for 4 hours in double the amount of water)
Tomatoes – 2 Large blended
Onions – 3 Small diced
Garlic – 8 Cloves crushed
Ginger – 2 inches crushed
Green Chili – 1 Chopped finely
Bay Leaf – 3
Black Cardamom – 4
Cloves – 6
Turmeric powder – 1 Teaspoon
Chilli powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
Coriander powder – 3 Teaspoon
Garam Masala – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
Water – 3 1/2 cups
Methi (Fenugreek) powder – 1 Teaspoon
Juice of Half a lemon
Salt as needed
Cilantro – 1 cup, chopped
Olive/vegetable oil – 4 Tablespoons
Choose the Saute option on the Instant pot and heat the oil. Add the bay leaves, black cardamom and cloves, saute till you smell the aroma. This won’t take long, possibly less than a minute.
Add the onions and saute till it wilts and then add garlic, ginger, green chilli and salt (I used about a teaspoon and half to start). Saute this for another two minutes or until it starts to slightly turn golden brown on the edges.
Add the powdered spices and mix with the onion mixture for a few seconds.
Pour the blended tomatoes into this mix and continue to saute till this sauce thickens.
This will take a while but the water content will be considerably reduced and it will look more like a paste and oil will start to separate. I tried to get a picture but the steam didn’t make it easy. Hope you can see what I mean.
Now add the drained Chana and the water. Mix well and add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Cancel the saute option on the Instant Pot and choose the ‘Pressure cook’ option and enter 25 minutes. Seal the pot and set the valve to ‘sealing’. Once it is done, let it sit for 10 minutes on natural release and then cancel the ‘keep warm’ option and force release the pressure by moving the valve to ‘venting’. Once that is done you can go ahead and open the pot.
Stir the Chana masala and add the methi powder and the lemon juice. Taste for salt. You can use a spoon and mash some of the chickpeas as you stir to give it a creamy texture. Add the cilantro.
You can serve this hot with basmati rice or chapatis and pair it with a cucumber raita (yoghurt salad). The sauteing process does take time but it is worth it. If you dump all the ingredients to try and save time, this dish will be a sore disappointment. The spices need time to release their flavors and this dish has to be build up to make the intense flavors in the sauce.
If you were to use the canned version of the chick peas, follow everything as the recipe states except only put enough water to cover the chickpeas. Cook it for about the same amount of time. I hope that this encourages you to add this healthy dish to your monthly rotation and also use your Instant Pot more. Happy Chana Masala Making!