Punjabi Chole or Vegan Chana masala or is a very wholesome and a filling curry. Instant pot chana masala is quite a hit these days. Indian chickpea recipe can be made in a pressure cooker or slow cooker too.
You can pair it with any flat bread be it 'Poori','Naan','Bhatura' and or basmati rice if you are gluten free. You can make this delicious Indian chickpeas curry in many ways. Simple chana masala saves the day when there are guests coming home. You may also make chana saag as a variation where we mix spinach with chickpeas. More Iron, more protein! Yay!
- Prep for chickpeas
- How to make vegan chana masala in a pot ? (step by step pictures)
- How to cook vegan chana masala in pan/pot ?
- Whats a good cheap easy side dish to serve with chana masala besides rice and naan?
- Related recipes
- Vegan Chana Masala recipe
- How to make homemade chole masala spice ?
Channa is easy to make. Full of protein too. Chickpeas are so wonderful and versatile. They are a great source of protein. You can make a hummus, falafel,salad and even make a pickle out of it. Boiled chickpeas make a great chaat after adding chopped coriander, onions & tomatoes, dash of fresh lemon juice and green chutney.
You know how popular this Indian dish is ,by its presence everywhere. You will find they serve there own style chana masala at both street food stalls and even classy restaurants. Everyone says, they look forward to this.Most kids are glad to eat this at a party. Easy chana masala served with bhature/poori. Saves the day every time when you have kids around. You can even serve it with roti or basmati rice on a weekday. I love even having it with bread. We call it chola double.
Chola meaning chickpeas, double meaning bread. In olden days bread was called double, as it doubles up when heated in an oven. This is a very Sindhi way of eating it.
- pressure cooker or Instant pot
- grinder to prepare masala
- Dried chickpeas soaked overnight or canned
- Onions diced
- Tomato puree/diced tomatoes
- Ginger paste
- Green chilli
- Curry powder
- Red chilli powder
- Garam masala or chana masala powder
- Salt as per taste
- Oil ( coconut oil/ vegetable oil/ sunflower oil)
Prep for chickpeas
Soak chickpeas overnight or at least for 4 hours in water for 2 hours in hot water. They swell and double in the size post soaking.
If you are using a pressure cooker or instant pot - Then you can used soaked chickpeas directly.
If you are using a pot - Then cook the chickpeas first in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the chickpeas with 3-4 cups of water and bit of salt for 3-4 whistles or in a covered pot, until soft. If you want you can also use canned chickpeas for this curry.
How to make vegan chana masala in a pot ? (step by step pictures)
Follow the same steps for making this on stovetop pressure cooker or instant pot.
- In a pan or a pot, heat oil. Add cumin seeds. Add onion,ginger,chillies with some salt and saute on low/medium heat until dark brown
Cook until the onions turn brown(nicely brown/dark brown onions will give nice flavor and color), Add the tomato puree.
Continue cooking, add the spices.
Continue cooking until the masala has mixed well.Add the garam masala / chole masala powder.
Add soaked chole/chickpeas to the instant pot
Add water to the chickpeas, close the instant pot and cook on high for 30 minutes,once done, release the pressure after 20 minutes.
How to cook vegan chana masala in pan/pot ?
For this step, we suggest to use precooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas.
Cook an onion and tomato curry as above in a pan with curry powder and red chilli powder. Add the garam masala/chole masala powder
Add Add the chickpeas with water, Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
You can also make it vegetarian by adding some ghee or butter in the end. That is strictly optional. Some people even add some paneer or spinach to make chola paneer or palak chole.
You can also make this by cooking onions light brown ,adding tomatoes and just curry powder. In that case the end result is not that dark in color.
Indian food can be customized according to your taste. That is why there is everything here.You can make the curry with or without tamarind. You can also make it with/without tea mix. If you like more darker version, make some black tea and add it to make a kali gravy.
- You can also make it without onions and garlic. Just with some tomato paste. If you like it spicy, add more red chili powder or increase the green chillies in the recipe. If you like it milder, you may use Kashmiri red chilli powder or paprika. Adjust salt according to your taste. Adding a dash of lemon juice before you serve helps increase the taste.
- If you forgot to soak chana overnight, soak them for an hour or two in hot water. You can also try using canned chickpeas for this recipe.
- You can add dry mango powder if you want to make your curry a little more sour.
You can store the chana masala for 1-2 days in the refrigerator. It tastes even yummier the next day.
Whats a good cheap easy side dish to serve with chana masala besides rice and naan?
You can serve the curry with many other dishes as a chaat or Indian street food.
Vegan Chana Masala recipe
- pressure cooker
- pan for roasting spices
- grinder to prepare masala
- 1 cup dried chickpeas 1 cup yields 3 cups boiled chickpeas/ 2 cans of chickpeas
- 3-4 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 medium onions diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 cup tomato puree/ diced tomatoes
- ½ tablespoon curry powder can increase if you like it more spicy
- ½ tablespoon garam masala powder or chole masala,add more if you like it spicy
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder adjust as per taste, your paprika powder if you do not like it spicy
- Salt as per taste
- 2 cups water
Prep for chickpeas
- For pressure cooker or instant pot - Soak chickpeas overnight or at least for 4 hours in water for 2 hours in hot water. They swell and double in the size post soaking.
- For pan or pot - Pressure cook the chickpeas with water (3 times the quantity of chickpeas) and bit of salt for 3-4 whistles or in a covered pot, until soft.If you want you can also use canned chickpeas for this curry.
Vegan chana masala in instant pot
- In an instant pot, heat oil. Add cumin seeds. Add onion,ginger,chillies with some salt and saute on low/medium heat until dark brown
- Cook until the onions turn brown(nicely brown/dark brown onions will give nice flavor and color), Add the tomato puree.
- Continue cooking, add curry powder and red chilli powder.
- Continue cooking until the masala has mixed well.Add the chole masala/garam masala.
- Add soaked chole/chickpeas to the instant pot.
- Add water to the chickpeas, close the instant pot and cook on high for 30 minutes,once done, release the pressure after 20 minutes.
- Adjust the spice level by adding more garam/chole masala. If its more spicy,add boiled potato ,this will help reduce the spice level.
- Serve with Roti/Rice.
Chana masala recipe in pot/pan
- Cook an onion and tomato curry as above with curry powder and red chilli powder. Add the garam masala/chole masala powder.
- Add the chickpeas with 1.5 cups of water, Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
Press a chickpea and check if it is cooked well.In case you still feel it is a bit tough,pressure cook for 2-3 whistles more. You can make homemade chana masala powder ,follow our steps here for chole masala powder
atleast 2-4 hrs
If you press a chickpea, it should be soft and mushy.
How to make homemade chole masala spice ?
Some people use branded chole masala for the curry but this masala spice blend is very easy to make at home. Once you start making your own simple chana masala powder, you will not depend on a market one. Just make a big batch and store in your freezer. It stays for months. This saves the day when you serve chana masla at a party.
This is optional, only if you want to experiment with spices. You can make your own chole masala if you do not have garam masala at home. Below are the main ingredients.
- 1 cinnamon stick/dalchini
- 1 teaspoon black pepper/sabut kali mirch
- 1 tbsp. cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 teaspoon methi dana/fenugreek seeds
- ¼ cup tbsp coriander seeds/dhania
- 2-3 bay leaves/tej patta
- 1 to 2 dry red chillies/sookhi lal mirch
- 3-4 cloves/laung
- 4 small elaichi/choti elaichi
- 2 Black cardamom/badi elaichi
Just roast them and grind it. Store it in a zip lock in your freezer. It stays for months. Homemade ground spices give it an amazing flavor.