Easy Chana Masala (Instant Pot/Non Instant Pot Instructions)

Hot stews season: I am here for you.

I love a good curry recipe and, from looking at my previous recipes, are you really all that surprised? There is nothing better than a warm potta goodness. Especially with the holidays being over and everything, now is the time to break out and find some delicious, nourishing bowls to get us jumpstarted into 2019.

So let us get started, shall me?

My look on healthy eating is pretty simple. Eat whole foods, lots of color, nothing processed…plus be sure to get in some dark chocolate for your sanity. I am not one to cut out whole food groups, ditch the butter or cheese, or even stop eating desserts. No, none of that here, BUT I can add in more veggies, fruits and whole grains, and ditch the added sugar.

It’s a pretty simple way of healthy eating, but it’s one I can fully get behind. My recipes coming up this January will reflect my take on healthy eating, so you can expect plenty of whole grain breakfasts, colorful dinners, and no sugar added desserts. And we are getting started with one of my favorite things: chana masala. If you make any added healthy eating resolutions this year, please cook with more spice.

I have two sets of instructions here. If you want to make healthy eating easy, I cannot recommend the Instant Pot enough. It makes cooking so freaking easy! So go forth and pour your soul (food) out!

Yields 4-6

Easy Chana Masala (Instant Pot/Non Instant Pot Instructions)

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced (or 1/2 jalapeño or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (or 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (can substitute 1 teaspoon curry powder)
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced (fire roasted) tomatoes (or 1 ½ cups)
  • 3.5 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (from roughly 2 15-oz cans)
  • 1 ¼ cups filtered water
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from one lime)
  • chopped cilantro, to serve


for instant pot

Set the Instant Pot to “sauté” mode at “normal” and add the oil or ghee. Add sliced onions and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the hot pepper, garlic, ginger, cumin seed, mustard seed (if using), coriander, turmeric, and garam masala (or curry powder). Stir to combine. Keep stirring and cooking the onion and spice mixture for 4-5 minutes, or until spices appear slightly darkened and are quite fragrant.

Add canned tomatoes to the pot and give it a good stir. Let mixture come to a boil. Add the chickpeas, water, salt, and pepper and stir one more time. Cancel the sauté function.

Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and ensure that the valve is in the “sealing” position. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on manual mode (at “normal” temperature) for 6 minutes. Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and stir the chana masala. If you’d like it to be thicker (which you might), set the machine to “sauté” mode and simmer until it is reduced to your liking. Adjust the instant pot chana masala for seasoning and serve immediately with chopped cilantro.

for stove top

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, and season with salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent.

Add the hot pepper, garlic, ginger, cumin seed, mustard seed (if using), coriander, turmeric, and garam masala (or curry powder). Add a little more oil at this point if the pan is looking dry. Cook until fragrant, around 30 seconds to a minute. Next add diced tomatoes and chickpeas and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If the mixture looks a little too thick, add around 1/2 cup water. You’re looking for a semi-thick soup consistency at this point, as it will cook down into more of a stew.

Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.

When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with cilantro. EAT



881 cal


28 g


123 g


40 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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