Kala chana or black chickpeas curry is an Indian curry. It is made with kala chana which is a very versatile and protein-rich ingredient used in Indian cooking. It is used to make salads, chaats, curries, and appetizers.
This is a very easy Instant Pot kala chana Punjabi curry recipe that can be served for lunch, dinner, or brunch. It can be made ahead of time and is a great dish for meal planning.
Ingredients to make black chana
The main ingredient for making Instant Pot kala chana curry in Punjabi style is kala chana or black chickpeas which is easily available in Indian grocery stores.
Kala chana, just like other beans can be cooked dry or by soaking for 8-10 hours. It is best to soak the black chickpeas as it reduces overall cooking time. It also helps clean them thoroughly and prevents bloating after eating.
For the tomato gravy, you will need tomatoes, onions, ginger-garlic paste, serrano peppers, and some whole and powdered Indian spices. You will need cumin seeds, anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, dry red whole chili, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, and turmeric Powder
Black chickpeas can be cooked in a slow cooker, cooktop, or an electric pressure cooker like an Instant Pot. Soaking the beans is always a good idea.
To soak kala chana, rinse them thoroughly with water and then soak them in a container by adding about 3 times the amount of water. In about 8-10 hours they will get well soaked and also increase in size.
For the gravy, blend the tomatoes, onions, and serrano peppers in a blender like Vitamix.
Now turn the Instant Pot saute mode on and select the normal setting. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add some oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds.
You can check if the oil is hot by just putting a few cumin seeds and they should crackle immediately else give the oil to heat for some more time.
Add all the whole spices like red chili, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and anise. This organic whole spices starter kit has most of the whole spices used in Indian curries.
Add the blended tomato-onion mixture followed by ginger garlic paste. Saute it for a few seconds using a spatula.
Now add all the dry spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, and salt. Give it a quick stir and continue to saute for a few minutes until the mixture is well cooked and starts oozing out oil. This can take 3-5 minutes.
Now add water and deglaze the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. Add the soaked kala chana (discard any water) and give it a good mix.
Pressure cook on high-pressure mode for 15 minutes with the release valve in the sealing position. Once done let the pressure release naturally.
This is a vegan and gluten-free black chickpeas curry recipe. You can make it more or less spicy by adjusting the quantity of serrano pepper, red chili powder, and garam masala.
If you forget to soak the kala chana, you can make this Instant Pot kala chana recipe without soaking it. You will have to pressure cook the kala chana curry for 45 minutes with the no-soak method.
Kala chana masala can be served for lunch, brunch, or dinner. It can be served with Indian bread like roti, poori, paratha, or basmati rice.
It is also made during the popular Indian festival of Navratri and it is served with poori and halwa.
While serving, you can add a few drops of lemon juice and chopped cilantro to enhance the flavor.
This kala chana curry is made in the 3 qt. Instant Pot. You can also use the 6 qt. Instant Pot for the same quantity or to make a larger batch for meal planning.
To make the tomato onion puree, I used the Vitamix 5200 high-speed blender. You can use any blender.
Like all beans, kala chana masala can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days in an air-tight container. When you are ready to eat, you can reheat it in the microwave, stovetop, or on saute mode in the Instant Pot.
Kala chana masala can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Let the curry cool down completely and then portion and freeze it in freezer-safe bags or freezer-safe containers.
When you plan to eat it, simply keep the container or bag in the fridge overnight and then reheat it before serving.
Other beans recipes you may like
- 15 bean soup
- Mexican black beans
- Chana Masala
- Rajma Masala
- Mixed Beans
- Instant Pot Indian recipes
- Kala chana chaat
- Phyllo chaat cups
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Instant Pot Kala Chana
- 1 cup Kala chana (soaked)
- 2 Tomatoes
- ¾ cup Onion
- 1 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Serrano pepper (optional)
- 1.5 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 Star anise
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Whole Red Chili
- 2 teaspoon Corriander powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
Soaking kala chana
- Soak kala chana for 8-10 hours in about 3 cups of water.
- Discard the water before cooking.
Blend tomato onion
- In a blender or Vitamix blend tomatoes, onion and serrano pepper.
Cook kala chana in instant pot
- Turn the instant pot on saute mode on normal setting
- Once hot, add oil.
- Once oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, red chili, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, star anise and saute for a few seconds.
- Add the blended tomato, onion and serrano peppers and ginger garlic paste and mix well.
- Add corriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt and garam masala.
- Continue to saute with a spatula for about 3-5 minutes or until it releases oil and is well cooked.
- Add water and deglaze the pot with the spatula and turn off saute mode.
- Add the soaked black chana and mix it well and lock the lid with valve in sealing position.
- Turn the Pressure mode (or manual) on high for 15 minutes.
- Once done, let the pressure release naturally.
You may also like these 20+ Indian instant pot kid-friendly vegetarian recipes.
You can use regular chickpeas as well. Here is the link to the recipe for exact timings in the instant pot - https://culinaryshades.com/chana-masala-in-instant-pot/