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Instant Pot Chana Masala | Punjabi Chole

This instant pot chana masala or Punjabi Chole is a delightful Indian curry that goes really well with basmati rice. This is a wonderful curry.
Course Main Course | Curry
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Instant pot chana masala, Instant pot chole, Instant pot Punjabi chole
recipe Instant Pot Recipes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Pressure Release Time + Saute 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 144kcal


  • 1 cup chickpeas raw
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil or any vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. chole masala spice mix
  • 1 tsp. cayenne or chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. dry mango powder or amchur optional Use 1 tsp. lemon juice in its place
  • 1 onion chopped or minced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger chopped or minced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic chopped or minced
  • ½ cup tomato puree or paste about 125 ml. or about 4 oz.

Whole spices


  • Wash and soak 1 cup chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight or for 8 hours. After soaking, they will double in size. Drain and set aside for cooking.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Plug in the Instant Pot and choose Sauté mode. When the pan gets hot, add 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tsp. cumin seeds and 1 bay leaf. Allow to sputter for about 30 seconds.
  • Add one large finely chopped onion or minced onion along with 2 tbsp. minced ginger and garlic or ginger garlic paste and sauté on hight for about 6-8 minutes till browned and the raw smell goes away.
  • Now add ½ cup tomato paste or thick tomato puree. Sauté for another 3 minutes till it looks cooked and thick.
  • Add 2 tbsp. chole masala spice mix, 1 tsp. cayenne or Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika, ground coriander and ground cumin along with salt.
  • Add drained chickpeas along with whole spices and tea leaves in a mesh container.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water. Close instant pot lid and set Pressure cook mode on high for 35 minutes. After cooking, let the pressure release naturally. This takes about 22-25 minutes.
  • Open the instant pot and remove the mesh container. Taste and season for salt and spices. Also add 1 tsp. dried mango powder or amchur at the end and mix well. Or use lemon juice in its place.
  • If you want a thicker curry, just mash some chickpeas in the curry with the back of a ladle. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Your Instant Pot chana masala is ready to serve. Enjoy with boiled basmati rice and chopped onion and lemon slices on the side.

Manual Pressure Cooker

  • Traditional Indian pressure cooker is the manual pressure cooker. Follow the same instructions except you will need about 6-7 whistles for the chole to cook in this pressure cooker.
  • Rest all the instructions remain the same.

Stove top

  • You can easily cook this recipe on stove top especially if you are using canned chickpeas. Just drain the chickpeas and set aside.
  • Follow the recipe as given for instant pot. Only there is no need for pressure cooking. Just cook covered on low flame for 8-10 minutes to assimilate the spices in the chickpeas.


1. Chickpeas must be boiled so that they are well cooked but not mushy. They must retain their shape.
2. I love dark coloured chole curry hence I add some tea leaves in a mesh container that I remove later. You can totally skip this. Some people also use dried amla for the same effect. In which case you have to use very little tomato paste.
3. Whole spices add a fragrance to the curry, but I put them in wire mesh container so that they can picked out after cooking.
4. Onion, ginger, garlic and tomato form the basic base for this curry. The flavour comes from chole masala. It is different from garam masala. But if you really don’t have it at hand, use garam masala.
5. Adjust the heat as per your taste. I like spicy.
These chole or chickpea curry taste even better after storing. This is wonderful if you make a large batch. Refrigerate for 2 days in the fridge and have leftovers. You can freeze them too.
6. Serve hot with sliced onion and lemon wedges. It is delicious.
7. If using canned chickpeas, just follow the same recipe, only there is no need for pressure cooking. Just cover and cook on low sauté setting for about 8 minutes to assimilate all spices.


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 4mg