This is one of the most classic Indian vegetarian dishes you'll find at an Indian restaurant. Unfortunately for me, this dish took me quite a few tries to get right! I always thought Chana Masala is so simple! I mean its just chickpeas in a tomato and onion sauce right?!? But no, its actually a bit more complicated than that!
Every time I tried to make this recipe at home I failed. The dish would always be edible but just lack that particular flavor explosion you find from your favorite Indian restaurant. Turns out, I was being too simple with my recipes. There's a few specific ingredients that you really need in order to Chana Masala to taste truly restaurant style.
I had all of the main ingredients: chickpeas, onions, tomatoes and most of the spices. But the items I was always missing was the whole spices that you flavor the cooking oil with in the beginning, like cinnamon, bay leaves, and the finishing seasonings: pinch of amchur (dry mango powder), Kasoori methi and fresh cilantro. Do not skimp out on these items if you are looking for that authentic tasting restaurant style chana masala!
The really great part about this recipe is that even though its a lot of exotic ingredients, the recipe comes together in no time thanks to your Instant Pot!
The first step is just to soak the dried chickpeas. You can do this overnight or just the morning of. At least 4 hours of soaking is ideal for chickpeas. If you forget to soak the chickpeas you can just increase the amount of pressure cook time in the Instant Pot.
While the Instant Pot is on Saute mode, flavor the cooking oil with aromatic seasonings. Then just add in the rest of your ingredients, take care to keep the finishing seasonings to the side at this point. Set your Instant Pot do its thing. When you're ready to eat, just add the finishing seasonings and serve!
For other great Indian Instant Pot recipes check out:
Restaurant Style Instant Pot Chana Masala
- Instant Pot
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5-7 whole peppercorns
- 1 cup dried chick peas
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 14 oz can diced tomato undrained
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon chole masala seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon amchur (dry mango) powder
- 1 tablespoon Kasoori methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
Soak dried chickpeas
- Soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in about 3 cups of water for at least 4 hours
Make Chana Masala
- Set Instant Pot to Saute on high.
- Add cooking oil to Instant Pot. Once the oil has warmed, add all of the tempering spices to the oil.
- Allow these spices to cook and flavor the oil for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the diced onions, cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chole masala seasoning and salt.
- Drain chickpeas and add to the Instant Pot.
- Add 2 cups of water.
- Set Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 25 minutes. Allow to natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to vent before opening.
- Add the finishing seasonings and serve warm with basmati rice!