INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA - The First Messpin it!INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA - The First Messpin it!INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA - The First Messpin it!INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA - The First Messpin it!
Hey, are you one of those people that grabbed an Instant Pot during a Black Friday/Boxing Day sale and then… just kinda forgot about it? I might be a couple years late to this home cooking phenomenon, but I absolutely love my Instant Pot. It’s a dream for making extra flavourful broths (the foundation of so many plant-based foods), beans without soaking, brown rice and steel cut oats in a flash, creamy dals, risotto, and just general hands-off cooking. Once the holidays get going in their full swing, I think we could all use some nourishing, pantry-friendly (and obviously vegan) recipes that can be cooking away without the need for intervention or constant babysitting. Not exactly a newsflash, but I love that this machine gets things done so that I can focus on other things like snuggling my dogs or maybe folding laundry ;)

I find that the Instant Pot really shines with stews, dal, and other slightly soupy things. The sealed nature of pressure cooking makes for some seriously robust flavour. I freaking LOVE salt and my palette tends to veer over to salty tastes a little further than most. I find myself adding much less to concoctions that I’m cooking up in the Instant Pot, which probably isn’t a bad thing given my penchant for frequent chip consumption. With this chana masala, you get perfectly seasoned and evenly sauced chickpeas that are spicy, meaty, and perfect with a bit of flatbread or a scoop of rice. It’s exactly the right thing for busy, wintery evenings.

So yes. Even though most of my readers are Americans celebrating all things pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash etc. this week, I’m posting a homemade version of my favourite takeout. My logic here is that most of you will want something healthy and super easy once the feasts are over, so just tuck this one in your back pocket for next week when the holiday frenzy kicks in. For everyone else, this is just another amazing thing to make in your Instant Pot, whether well-used or collecting dust in a dark cabinet.

Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in more Instant Pot recipes, or frankly any other types of recipes–you all know that I’m pretty chill :) Wishing my American friends a warm and cheerful holiday week with family and friends! Love to you all.

INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA - The First Messpin it!INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA - The First Messpin it!INSTANT POT CHANA MASALA - The First Messpin it!

Print the recipe here!
NOTES: I like to sauté the onions and spices in oil to really get all of the flavour out of them. If you are avoiding oil, you can “sauté” this portion in water until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. You’ll have to keep adding water to the pot as you cook.
-No surprise here, but I like to use Muir Glen’s fire-roasted tomatoes for this recipe.
-I bet you could do this one in the slow cooker! My hunch is to put all of the ingredients into the insert (minus the coconut oil), give it a stir, and set to HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.
-My stovetop chana masala with lots of options for modifications is right HERE.

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
1 hot pepper, minced (I used a Hungarian Wax pepper, but use what you like)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 strip of lemon peel, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 14.5-oz can crushed tomatoes (or 1 ½ cups)
3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (from roughly 2 15-oz cans)
1 ¼ cups filtered water
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Set the Instant Pot to “sauté” mode at “normal” and add the oil to the pot. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. To the pot, add the hot pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon peel, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and 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 the crushed tomatoes to the pot and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Let this 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). Set the timer for 6 minutes. Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally.

Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and stir the chana masala. If you’d like it to be thicker, 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, rice, flatbread etc.

  • Louisa21/11/2018 - 5:14 am

    Where do I add the chickpeas?ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/11/2018 - 6:37 am

      After the tomatoes start to simmer, along with the water, salt and pepper :D

  • Louisa21/11/2018 - 5:16 am

    And I’m definitely interested in lots more insta pot recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Julia Graham21/11/2018 - 8:25 am

    More IP recipes please! Thanks for this one;)ReplyCancel

  • Maria Pereira21/11/2018 - 9:34 am

    Hi, instant pot is the same as pressure cooker? I have one of those but it’s not electric, it goes in the stove. It’s great to cook octopuss and beans, very fast :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/11/2018 - 9:36 am

      Yes, the Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker! So great for beans ;)

  • Peggy Dold21/11/2018 - 10:27 am

    More IP recipes please!ReplyCancel

  • FRANCENE KELLY21/11/2018 - 10:28 am

    I love your way with food! Colorful, nutritious, vegan and indulgent all at the same time. Simply stunning. And you are a brilliant photographer and food stylist. May I ask what is the make of that gorgeous blue spotted plate? I need that beauty in my kitchen!ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/11/2018 - 11:45 am

      Hi Francene,
      Thank you so much for your kind compliments. My plate is from Ikea and I got it a couple years ago. I’m not sure if they still sell them.

  • Kevin Garland21/11/2018 - 10:54 am

    Yes yes, please send more instant pot recipes. I’m entertaining a family of vegans over the holidays, and being able to make a meal in the morning and leave it for themday while we play is just so helpful. Absolutely love your blog and the cookbook.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy21/11/2018 - 10:59 am

    Yes, please, more Instapot recipes. So far I have had some difficulties the last 2 times I tried using it. So I would appreciate more of your recipes since they work!ReplyCancel

  • Beverley Haun & John Moss21/11/2018 - 11:23 am

    Yes, we would love more Instant pot recipes, our go to winter comfort machine for post X-country ski days.ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2018 - 8:11 am

      Instant Pot cozy-ness après ski? That sounds like a DREAM! :)

  • Christine21/11/2018 - 12:03 pm

    This looks yummy thank you! And yes I’m one of those people that bought an IP a couple years ago.. it sits on a shelf most of the time collecting dust instead of making meals, so please share more recipes! Always nice to have veg recipes because most IP stuff came out for non-veg things. Thank you! So many of your recipes are on a heavy rotation in my house!ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2018 - 8:12 am

      Heidi at 101 Cookbooks has TONS of great veg Instant Pot recipes if you’re looking for inspiration in the meantime :)

  • Shilpa21/11/2018 - 12:15 pm

    Hey Laura! This is perfect for this kind of weather and yes to more insta pot recipes! Just wondering how you would make the Chana in an insta pot with dried chickpeas?ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/11/2018 - 1:00 pm

      Hi Shilpa! I haven’t made this recipe with dried chickpeas, but from some Googling, here’s roughly the strategy I would use:
      -soak 1 cup dried chickpeas the night before making this recipe (add them at the same point stated in the recipe)
      -Increase the amount of water to 2 1/4 cups
      -Increase pressure cooking time to 30 minutes

      I can’t guarantee results here unfortunately, but if I was attempting the recipe with dried chickpeas, this is the direction I would go in. Let me know how it goes if you try!

  • Kathleen21/11/2018 - 1:26 pm

    You can cook (brown) rice at the same time using a trivet and another container. Also, I cook dried chick peas without soaking them all the time. The ratio of bean to water is in the booklet.ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2018 - 8:00 am

      I haven’t used the trivet to cook grains separately yet, but I need to buck up and just do it! Thanks for the reminder :)

  • Aleisha21/11/2018 - 2:14 pm

    Yes, please, please, please more Instant Pot recipes. It is so difficult to find delicious vegan recipes for the Instant Pot and slow cooker so it would be wonderful if you post some more. I can’t wait to try this one!!!ReplyCancel

  • Renée21/11/2018 - 7:04 pm

    I am resisting buying another piece of equipment cause, well, my kitchen is small and I prefer to do with less stuff overall. But that looks wonderful so I will compare the ingredients from this recipe and those from your stovetop one and go from there.
    BTW On my stovetop is currently simmering your chili from the book, one of our favourites!
    Cheers ‍ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2018 - 8:08 am

      I totally get that re: amassing kitchen equipment. Frankly, my kitchen is too small to have an Instant Pot and I have to haul it up from the basement every time I use it. My stovetop chana masala is quite similar! If you replace the chopped yellow tomatoes with canned crushed fire-roasted ones, you’re pretty much there ;) So glad you’re enjoying the chili from the cookbook too.

  • Christina21/11/2018 - 11:20 pm

    Yes please, more IP recipes! I agree that it makes cooking healthy foods even easier. This looks great and it will make a tasty side dish for left-over turkey this weekend.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica22/11/2018 - 12:55 am

    Chana masala is my fav!! I have a ‘lightly’ used instant pot I bought when my slow cooker broke, so def interested in more instant pot recipes too :)ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia22/11/2018 - 12:00 pm

    What size instant pot do you use? We’re looking at getting one, but aren’t sure if we should get the 6 quart or 8 quart one. Also, your recipes are delish!ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2018 - 8:23 pm

      Thanks so much, Cynthia! We have a 6 quart and it makes more than enough food for two of us, but is also perfect for when we’re entertaining 10+. It’s a good size for batch cooking too!

  • […] For your brand-spankin’ new Instant Pot. […]ReplyCancel

  • Jessica24/11/2018 - 12:49 am

    You hot us at stew, dahl and steel cut oats. Now that I’ve bought an Instant Pot, I would love to see more recipes, please! :)ReplyCancel

  • Baillie24/11/2018 - 10:04 am

    Another vote for more instant pot recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha Blank25/11/2018 - 9:08 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe using an Instant Pot! I AM one of those people that bough an instant pot on Black Friday and I am very eager to use it to make nutritious, vegan meals. I find most of the recipes out there have meat in them, so more vegan recipes on your blog for Instant Pot would be so helpful!

    Thanks Laura, always love what you share!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie26/11/2018 - 9:00 am

    Yes more IP recipes please!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Little Plastic Footprint26/11/2018 - 11:23 am

    This looks really good! I’ve made this before but never in an instant pot so will give this a try. I’ve also replaced the chickpeas with a mixed bean blend and had kind of a bean chilli / curry hybrid which was surprisingly good! Thanks for the share.ReplyCancel

  • Katie26/11/2018 - 7:19 pm

    Would love more Instant Pot recipes! I love that thing, and it makes the BEST rice.

    p.s. love your site :)ReplyCancel

  • Laren Cyphers27/11/2018 - 7:23 pm

    I would love more IP recipes from you, Laura! I’m trying your steel cut oats instagram recipe tonight. Love your recipes and you!ReplyCancel

  • Denise28/11/2018 - 10:12 am

    I would love to see some more IP recipes from you please. I have a couple of recipes in rotation, but I’ve also found that onions can take on a metallic flavor, and I’m hoping your recipes can get me beyond that. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Beth28/11/2018 - 12:19 pm

    I would love more instant pot recipes !!!ReplyCancel

  • Sherisa30/11/2018 - 8:31 pm

    Yes, more instant pot recipes please!!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Price01/12/2018 - 5:08 pm

    I am trying this tomorrow. I would like both more instapot and slow cooker recipes! ThanksReplyCancel

  • ALICIA CANNELL04/12/2018 - 6:41 am

    More Instant Pot recipes please!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie29/12/2018 - 3:55 pm

    More Instant Pot recipes please!!ReplyCancel

  • […] steel cut oats…any plant based staple you can think of. I love using my Instant Pot to make chana masala, lentil soup, buckwheat porridge, vegan chili, (chickpea) miso risotto, rice pudding, and loads of […]ReplyCancel

  • […] steel cut oats…any plant based staple you can think of. I love using my Instant Pot to make chana masala, lentil soup, buckwheat porridge, vegan chili, (chickpea) miso risotto, rice pudding, and loads of […]ReplyCancel

  • Amy Carson05/02/2019 - 5:56 pm

    I got the burn message before it got to pressure. Any ideas?ReplyCancel

    • Laura05/02/2019 - 6:26 pm

      Honestly not sure! This has never happened to me and I haven’t received that feedback from anyone else with this recipe. What size is your Instant Pot? Was there any liquid left in the pot when you opened it back up?

  • Ian Hobbs13/07/2020 - 7:45 am

    I notice the picture shows tinned chickpeas. I wonder why not Dried Pulses they are so much better and easy to prepare and cheaper to buy. My method is to put them into soak just before I go to bed then by morning they are ready to prepare. First a pot of fresh water add the drained pulse (whichever you use) bring to the boil and boil for 15 minutes to remove the Tanins. Drain and rinse then add to a small Slow cooker with a pint of salt free (salt in the stock will keep the pulses hard when cooking) stock then cook on medium for at least 2 1/2 hours.Regards IanReplyCancel

  • Morgan P21/07/2020 - 10:43 am

    What type of coconut oil do you use for this recipe…refined or unrefined? Are you trying to give it some coconut flavor, or no? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/07/2020 - 11:58 am

      You can honestly do either! I used refined because I wasn’t aiming for a strong coconut scent.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *