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Comfort Foods, Gluten Free, Instant Pot, Main Dishes, Nut free, Oil free, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes, Winter Foods

Instant Pot Chana Masala (Easy, Oil-Free + Vegan/GF)

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This Instant Pot Chana Masala is super comforting and filled with Indian flavors simmered in a tomato based sauce. It’s super healthy and really easy to make using only your Instant Pot/pressure cooker. 

A closeup shot of a bowl of Instant Pot Chana Masala topped with chopped cilantro.

There’s just something about Indian cuisine. With flavors simmering in rich and savory-spiced sauces, plus the addition of delicious and hearty whole food ingredients, it’s no wonder it’s a common choice in many homes.

And this Instant Pot Chana Masala is no different. And the best part is- it requires only one pot- your Instant Pot!

Throw all the ingredients in, wait a bit, and you’ll have yourself a super comforting healthy meal that will last for days in the fridge and feed a crowd.

This chickpea curry is not only filled with incredible flavor, but it’s also amazingly oil-free, gluten-free, AND vegan.

What is Chana Masala?

Chana Masala (also known as channay, chole masala, chole or chholay) is typically a spicy curry-based Indian dish comprised of chickpeas simmered in a tomato/onion gravy.

This dish is wildly popular in Asian culture, and usually a great dish to introduce people to the world of Indian or Pakistani cooking.

But it may vary slightly from region to region and cook to cook. For example, in many traditional Chana Masala recipes, chickpeas are soaked in advance. But who has time for that? In this dish, you’ll be using canned chickpeas.

Since you’re using nothing but your Instant Pot/pressure cooker for this recipe, this Chana Masala is a very quick and simply delicious option for dinner.

An overhead shot of a bowl of Instant Pot Chana Masala with a side of rice and garlic sauce.

Tips for making this Chana Masala a success:

  • To ensure this dish doesn’t cause a “burn” error in the Instant Pot (which usually happens when there isn’t enough liquid), a good amount of liquid must be added. But note that it will thicken as it sits. To thicken more, you can also add nutritional yeast, which will soak up some of the sauce (and also give it bit of a cheesy flavor). 
  • Garlic sauce (what you would find in Mediterranean/Lebanese restaurants or even Trader Joe’s) goes amazingly well with this dish (mixed into the dish itself or on toasted naan bread). Yum!
  • Coconut rice also goes really well with this chana masala. To make in the Instant Pot, combine equal parts jasmine or basmati rice and coconut milk (light or full fat). Cook on the Manual setting on high pressure for 5 minutes, then let sit for 10 minutes before releasing pressure. 
A bowl of Chana Masala made in the Instant Pot.

How to make this Instant Pot Chana Masala:

This dish is super simple to make. To get started, to the Instant Pot, add 1/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth, garlic and onions. Set to Sauté and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Then turn the Instant Pot off. 

Add the remaining 2 2/3 cups vegetable broth, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, minced ginger, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Stir until combined thoroughly and set the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” for 8 minutes. 

Secure the cover and make sure it’s set to ‘Sealing’. Press Start. After the 8 minutes is done, let it sit for 10 minutes and then carefully release pressure manually by turning the Sealing knob.

Open the Instant Pot and add the salt, lemon juice, maple syrup and cilantro. Stir. 

Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving; this dish will thicken as it sits. Serve over rice and/or with naan bread. 

A closeup of a bowl of Instant Pot Chana Masala with chickpeas in a tomato based sauce.

This recipe makes 8 cups total or 8 (1-cup) servings. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days. 

Helpful Tools:

  • Instant Pot– A 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot/pressure cooker will work well for this recipe.
  • Santoku Knife– this is a great all-purpose knife.
  • Zester– This is a great tool to use to mince the garlic cloves or ginger.
  • Lemon Squeezer– This tool works well for squeezing lemons and lime.

Love Indian food? Try one of these other amazing recipes!

If you make this Instant Pot Chana Masala recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. I just love to see my recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!

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Instant Pot Chana Masala (Oil-Free + Vegan/GF)

Instant Pot Chana Masala in a white bowl

This Instant Pot Chana Masala is super comforting and filled with Indian flavors simmered in a tomato based sauce. It’s super healthy and really easy to make using only your Instant Pot/pressure cooker. 

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2 2/3 cups unsalted vegetable broth, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (4-ounce) can mild green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (from can or fresh)- can also use 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon grond cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional

To Serve:

  • basmati/jasmine/brown rice
  • naan bread
  • garlic sauce
  • additional chopped cilantro
  • nutritional yeast
  • additional lemon juice

Instructions

  1. To the Instant Pot, add 1/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth, garlic and onions. Set to Sauté and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Turn the Instant Pot off.
  2. Add the remaining 2 2/3 cups vegetable broth, 2 cans drained chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, minced ginger, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Stir until combined thoroughly and set the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” for 8 minutes.
  4. Secure the cover on and make sure it’s set to ‘Sealing’. Press Start. Note: the time will start to elapse after the Instant Pot builds pressure.
  5. After the 8 minutes is up, let sit for 10 minutes and then release pressure manually by carefully turning the “Sealing” knob. Open the Instant Pot and add the salt, lemon juice, maple syrup and cilantro (if desired). Stir.
  6. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving; this dish will thicken as it sits. Serve over rice and/or with naan bread. 
  7. This recipe makes 8 cups total or 8 (1-cup) servings. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days. 

Notes

  • To ensure this dish doesn’t cause a “burn” error in the Instant Pot (which usually happens when there isn’t enough liquid), a good amount of liquid must be added. But note that it will thicken as it sits. To thicken more, you can also add nutritional yeast, which will soak up some of the sauce (and also give it bit of a cheesy flavor). 
  • Garlic sauce (what you would find in Mediterranean/Lebanese restaurants or even Trader Joe’s) goes amazingly well with this dish (mixed into the dish itself or on toasted naan bread). Yum!
  • Coconut rice also goes really well with this chana masala. To make in the Instant Pot, combine equal parts jasmine or basmati rice and coconut milk (light or full fat). Cook on the Manual setting on high pressure for 5 minutes, then let sit for 10 minutes before releasing pressure. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 145
  • Sugar: 5.6
  • Sodium: 568.4
  • Fat: 2.4
  • Carbohydrates: 24.8
  • Protein: 7
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: instant pot chana masala, chana masala instant pot, pressure cooker chana masala

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

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