Instant Pot Punjabi Chole Masala (Cholay Masala) / Instant Pot Chickpea Curry Recipe / Instant Pot Punjabi Chana Masala

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Instant Pot Punjabi Chole Masala (Cholay Masala) / Instant Pot Chickpea Curry Recipe/ Instant Pot Punjabi Chana Masala

Punjabi Chole/Cholay  Masala was one of my favorite food while I was growing up. Our Sunday breakfast would often be chole puri. I love the taste of the whole spices in the chole. 
With the instant pot making chole masala is a breeze. The instant pot has seriously made life so easy, especially in recipes like lentils, beans, and lamb that require pressure cookers.
Souring ingredients:
Other than the flavor of whole spices I also like the tangy flavor obtained by adding pomegranate powder and tamarind concentrate. Some people add amchur powder, or even lime juice to make the chole tangy. I personally like pomegranate powder, which has a distinct sweet-tart flavor. The tamarind concentrate also adds the dark color to the chole.
 After trying tamarind paste, tamarind concentrate, and tamarind pulp, I firmed up on tamarind concentrate. Tamarind concentrate is easy to use and is convenient. It is a thick dark paste sold in small plastic tubs in most Indian stores. I normally use this for the convenience aspect. Additionally, I like the way it tastes. I also use it in other dishes that require tamarind.
What sort of chickpea should I use?
I use the dried kabuli chickpea also know as garbanzo beans for this recipe. I soak the chickpea overnight, discard the water and pressure cook it first. Packaged dried chickpea and can be bought  in any local supermarket in the bean’s aisle. I buy mine from the Indian store. 
This recipe is very simple and the Punjabi Chole Masala tastes amazing. So here goes:
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4




  • Rinse and finely chop the onions and cilantro. Slit the Serrano pepper, and puree the tomatoes. 
  • Discard the water that was used to soak the chickpea overnight.


  • Select sauté on the instant pot.
  • Add oil to the pot.
  • When the oil is hot, add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, and black cardamoms.
  • Next add cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to splutter in about 30 seconds add onions. Keep stirring.
  • When the onions turn golden in about 2 to 4 minutes add the ginger garlic paste.
  • Then add the red chili powder and 1/4 cup water and stir.
  • In about 2 minutes when the chili powder gives out color add ground coriander, ground turmeric, ground cumin, and salt. Stir well.
  • Then add the pureed tomatoes and let them sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Then add the chickpea/ kabuli channa and the remaining water. Stir
  • Press cancel.
  • Secure the lid on the pot.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, use natural pressure release to depressurize. Add the tamarind concentrate, ground pomegranate powder, and garam masala. Stir well.
  • To reduce the gravy select sauté until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Keep stirring. 
  • Use the back of the spoon to crush some chickpea and thicken the gravy. Finally, add the dried fenugreek leaves, cilantro, and Serrano pepper. Cancel.
  • Transfer into a serving bowl.


  • Enjoy with roti, puri, or steamed rice.


  • If you like your food spicy you can eliminate the serrano pepper.
  • This recipe has been tried on the 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
  • The recipe is based on soaking the chickpea over-night. 
Keyword Chickpeas Curry, Instant Pot Channa Masala, Instant Pot Chole, Punjabi Chole, Punjabi Chole Masala