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Chole Chana

Instant Pot Chole Chana

If you have an Instant Pot you probably fall into one of two camps.  You love it, and exchange stories of how you can make dishes in just minutes or you’re overwhelmed by learning how to use it and have stuffed it in the back of your already overflowing pantry.  Lisa and I are in the latter camp, we both left our IP’s boxed and unused for several months.  This all changed after I went to our parents house for dinner one night.  My mom’s chole is always amazing but dare I say it tasted even better in the IP. 

Soaking the chickpeas in water overnight reduces IP cook time by half and makes sure the chickpeas are nice and soft.  A few things to keep in mind, this is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, so leftovers are welcomed.  It is also a great dish for entertaining, you can make it the night before your dinner party and then heat on the stovetop before serving alongside basmati rice and naan or parathas. 

As (former) loyal fans of Trader Joe’s frozen chana masala, we can honestly say we no longer need to buy it (#noshade).  We’re trying to demystify Indian cooking and show you that it is not only possible to make your restaurant favorites at home, it’s easy and delicious!  We hope you enjoy this as much as we do – and stay tuned for more instant pot cooking with our mom! 

Serving Size: Makes 6 servings



  1. Soak your chickpeas in water overnight, add enough water to fully cover the chickpeas
  2. In a blender puree the fresh tomato and the contents of the diced tomato can to create a sauce and have all your ingredients chopped and spices measured – once the IP is on it heats up fast
  3. Turn instant pot to sauté mode and add butter, olive oil, onions, garlic and serrano peppers and cook until onions are browned – about 3 minutes
  4. Add in garam masala, cumin, chana masala, salt, ginger and cook for 1 minute – stir well, the ginger will start to stick to the pot slightly
  5. Add in the tomato sauce and stir well and let the mixture cook for 4 minutes – keep a lid nearby the mixture may splatter a bit
  6. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the IP along with 1 + 1/4 cups of water
  7. Change the instant pot setting to pressure cook for 30 minutes with the vent in sealing position
  8. When the instant pot finishes, let the pressure release naturally – if the pin does not drop in 20 minutes you can release the pressure manually and open the instant pot
  9. Turn the pot to sauté mode and add in fresh lime juice and cilantro and adjust salt if needed – let the chana cook for about 10 mins (tip: if the sauce is too thin let it cook a little longer on sauté until it reaches your desired thickness or if you’re serving it later boil the chana on the stove top to heat them and it will thicken the sauce also)
  10. Serve with basmati rice, naan or paratha
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