instant-pot-chana-masalaTry this Instant Pot Chana Masala, a great way to prepare garbanzos and serve up a tasty meal in no time at all!

Instant Pot Chana Masala

I needed something quick and easy for dinner last night, so I thought I’d try making one of my favorite garbanzo dishes in my Instant Pot. Although you can cook pulses from their dry state in the Instant Pot with some success, I find it easy to just use the quick-soak method.

When I set the chana masala on the table, one of my teenage carnivores looked at it askance, but managed to withhold judgement until he tried it. Ten minutes later I had to issue a warning, “Hey, you guys, I haven’t taken photos of it yet for the blog, so make sure you leave some!”

Halfway through the meal two students dropped by and wondered what smelled so good. It would have been churlish to not offer them some, too. I had just enough left over to stage some photos for this post. The key to serving vegetarian food to meat eaters is making sure it’s tasty. It helps if they don’t mind trying new things, too.

This recipe has very little spice heat, so most of us ended up shaking some cayenne on top of it. It pairs wonderfully with brown basmati rice. Of course, I wished I had a second Instant Pot when I ended up having to make the rice in my rice cooker instead.

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Instant Pot Chana Masala

  • Author: Anita Ojeda
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 1x


Savory with just a hint of spicy, this Instant Pot Chana Masala recipe will be ready in a snap!



3 cups dry garbanzo beans
6 cups boiling water

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon
4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro


Prepare the dry garbanzos. You have two options, the fast method, or the slow method. Either one works. I usually forget that I need soaked garbanzos and end up using the fast method.

Slow method: Cover the dry garbanzos with double the amount of cold water and let soak for six hours (or overnight).

Fast method: Place dry garbanzos in a medium-sized bowl and pour six cups of boiling water over them. Cover the bowl with a plate to trap in the heat and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (about 20 minutes).

Touch the [Sauté] button on the Instant Pot and allow it to heat up while you chop the onion and crush the garlic.

Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot and allow it to heat for a minute before adding the spices. Stir well and allow them to fry for a minute or two.

Toss in the onions and garlic and stir a time or two while they fry for about three minutes. Chop the tomato while the onions and garlic fry.

Cancel the [Sauté] command. Drain the garbanzos and add them to the Instant Pot, along with the chopped tomato, lemon juice, salt, and 4 cups of water.

Lock the lid, select [Pressure Cook], and use the + or – buttons to select 25 minutes of cook time.

When the chana masala finishes cooking, allow the machine to switch to [Keep Warm] and stay there for 10 minutes before canceling the program and opening the vent to relieve pressure.

Use a potato masher to mash the garbanzos a bit. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve over brown basmati rice.

  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Chana Masala, Garbanzos, Curry, Pulses, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes


If you love Indian food, check out this Mung Bean Curry with Coconut Milk recipe! You’ll also find instructions for making brown basmati rice in your Instant Pot.


    1. I LOVE the Instant Pot! The cool thing is, I can make these huge recipes and then freeze the leftovers in smaller portions so that I have food for the next several months. Why cook daily when I can cook months ahead of time in one day?!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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