This Instant Pot Chana Masala Recipe is the lip-smackingly delicious recipe for infamous Delhi Style PUNJABI CHHOLE. Detailed recipe is given to cook these in Instant Pot or Traditional Pressure Cooker. A small video clip is also attached for better understanding. Read the complete post for many tips and tricks to cook Indian Restaurant Style Chickpeas Curry at home. It is best enjoyed with warm Naan or Rice. The best part is that it is completely VEGAN and GLUTENFREE.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time1 hr 5 mins

Total Time1 hr 15 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: chana masala, indian restaurant style chana masala, instant pot chana masala, instant pot chickpeas curry, instant pot indian glutenfree recipes, instant pot indian recipes, instant pot indian vegan recipes, instant pot indian vegetarian recipes, instant pot punjabi chhole

Servings: 6 people


  • 2 cups Chickpeas
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1-2 Thai Green chili skip it if you want mild curry
  • 1 large piece Ginger
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree (not paste) or chopped canned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro / Coriander leaves chopped fine
  • 4 cups Water


  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil or Ghee
  • 1 Bay leaf dry
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 1 small piece Cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1&1/2 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Amchur/Dry Mango powder/ Khatai optional
  • 1 tbsp Anar Dana powder / Dry pomegranate seeds powder optional
  • 1 tbsp or to taste Salt


Soaking the Chickpeas

  • Soaking the chickpeas is a very important step. Wash the chickpeas under cold water and soak them in 4 cups of water overnight or at least 6 hours. After soaking, they become tender to use and double in size. When ready to use, drain the water and set aside to be used.


  • Take a food processor or blender, add coarsely chopped onion, ginger and green chili to it. Make a coarse paste or chop it very fine. Set aside.


  • Place the inner pot inside the Instant Pot and plug it in. Press SAUTE and set it to 30 minutes. Add oil to it when the screen displays HOT. After 2 seconds, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom and cumin seeds to the pot. Saute for few seconds and then add Onion ginger green chili coarse paste. Now Saute again for few seconds. Cover with a glass lid and let onions cook till slightly brown. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning. It takes about 7-8 minutes in this process.
  • Remove the lid and add Tomato Puree to the pot. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala and salt to the onion tomato paste. Give it a good stir. Close again with a lid and let cook for 5 minutes.
  • Now take the lid off and add soaked and drained CHICKPEAS to the paste. Give a good stir and add 4 cups of water. Stir again. Check the salt by tasting and adjust accordingly.
  • Close the LID OF THE INSTANT POT and set the floating valve to SEALING. Cancel the SAUTE MODE now.


  • Set the MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK MODE on HIGH and set the timer for 45 minutes. This will give you super soft chickpeas/chhole which I like. If you do not want super soft chickpeas, then set the timer for 35 minutes. 
  • Once the timer goes off, follow NPR (natural pressure release) and when the safety pin drops down, carefully open the lid and unplug the Instant Pot. If you are using Mango powder and Pomegranate seeds powder, then add now + cilnatro leaves. If you are not using the optional spices, then just add cilantro leaves. Stir.
  • Check for salt and spice level. If needed, add more salt and garam masala for the required heat. You may squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top.
  • Serve it warm with Naan and Rice.


  • Follow the steps similarly for sauteing in pressure cooker as mentioned above. For pressure cooking, set the weight and after the first whistle blows off or the first steam escapes, lower the heat and simmer for 35 minutes. Switch off the heat. Open when the pressure is released naturally. Add mango powder and pomegranate powder plus herbs. Stir and close again to let sit for 10 minutes to marinate well. 


  • In case you plan to skip the long list of spices mentioned under ingredients, then use just 1 tbsp CURRY POWDER. Taste it and if needed, add 1/2 tsp more at a time till you find your level of heat. If using CHANA MASALA, then start with 1/2 tbsp and increase the level as needed. In this way, you do not have to use any mentioned spices including whole and dry. Add the spice mix after the tomatoes are added. Add salt as mentioned.

No Onion No Garlic Chana Masala in Instant Pot or Stove Top

  • For this recipe, You need to skip onions from the ingredients. Add 1/2 cup of Chana Dal (split gram) to the ingredients list instead. 
  • Soak the chana dal with Chana or Chhole for a minimum of 6 hrs or overnight. Drain the water when ready to use and set aside.
  • When ready to make Chana Masala, press saute mode (high) to 15 minutes.  When the screen says HOT, add oil in the inner pot of the IP and add all the whole spices as instructed above – cumin seeds, bay leaf, black cardamom, cinnamon stick. Saute for few seconds. 
  • Now add chopped tomatoes, ginger and green chili and tomato paste. Add powdered spices now like turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Mix all. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes on saute mode till tomatoes look cooked. Now switch off the saute mode.
  • Add soaked chana/chhole and chana dal to the pot. Add 4 cups water. Press PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL MODE and set at HIGH/MORE for 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off and safety valve drops down, open the lid carefully. Add Amchur powder and Anardana powder. Give a good stir. COver with lid again and let stand for 10-15 minutes on warm. Serve it warm when ready to eat.


How to cook INDIAN CUISINE with EASE?

I have come across many people who love Indian Cuisine but when it comes to cooking Indian Recipes, they get intimidated.

I am going to break it down into some simple and easy tips and tricks for all the people who want to get started to cooking INDIAN at home.

Take Baby steps and then become a pro. It is not that hard. If you cook Pasta Sauce at home then it is as easy as that.

How to cut down the long list of spices and still cook authentic Indian Food

The best way is to skip that long list of SPICES and rather buy a starter pack of READY MADE INDIAN SPICE BLENDS. You can either buy it from the Indian Grocery Store of your town or Order from AMAZON.COM.

You can buy INDIAN CURRY BLEND or the specific Spice Blend like CHANA MASALA in this case. Do not go for Hot blends or Madras or Vindaloo blends since these are spicy.

Go low on heat to begin with. MDH and SHAAN are 2 great brands to shop from if you are going to Indian Store. For a serving of 4 people, stat with 1 tsp to begin with. Add 1/4 tsp more at a time, if needed.

How to control the HEAT OF THE CURRY, if it gets spicy by mistake

It is super simple and easy. You can add either or combination of these to reduce the heat in Indian Curry.

The heat can be reduced by adding either some Sugar or Honey OR Heavy cream OR Coconut Milk OR MILK. Start by adding a little at a time and adjust accordingly. I sometimes add boiled potatoes to bring the heat down.