Instant Pot Kala Chana – Indian Brown Chickpea Curry

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This easy delicious Instant Pot Kala Chana – Indian Brown Chickpea Curry  is easy to make and packed with flavor! And it is made in an Instant Pot of course.

Tomatoes and mango powder are a critical part of the tangy, and savory recipe, so please don’t eliminate them– if you do, your chickpea curry will taste a little blah.

The Serrano pepper is totally optional. If spicy isn’t your thing, you can eliminate the Serrano pepper.

What is Kala Chana?

Chickpeas commonly found in the US, are known as garbanzo beans, Kabuli chana or white chana. Bengal gram also known as Kala chana have the same shape as the garbanzo bean but are smaller, and are brownish black in color. They have a nutty, buttery taste and have a thick skin. It doesn’t break down quickly. It takes longer to cook as compared to its white counterpart. Even when fully cooked, it will never be as soft as other lentils or beans. Please keep that in mind while cooking it. You may think it is hard and undone, however, it is delicious.

Where can I find brown chickpea?

In Indian grocery stores in the beans aisle or on Amazon.

How do I make Instant Pot Kala Chana – Indian Brown Chickpea Curry?

Rinse the dried brown chickpea well. Soak them in 2.5 cups water overnight.

When ready to cook, discard the water that was used to soak the chickpeas. Select sauté on the instant pot. Add oil to the pot. When the oil is hot, add bay leaf and cumin seeds.

When the cumin seeds begin to splutter in about 30 seconds add asafoetida.

Add onions. Keep stirring. Then add the ginger garlic paste.

When the onions turn golden in about 2 to 4 minutes add kashmiri chili powder and 1/4 cup water. Stir.

Then add ground turmeric, ground coriander, mango powder, and ground cumin. Stir.

Add tomato puree, and salt. Give it a good stir. Let the tomatoes saute for about 2 minutes. Keep stirring. Then add 1 and 1/4 cup water and stir.

Then add chickpeas, and garam masala. Give it a good stir. You can add the Serrano pepper at this point. This is totally optional.

Press cancel. Secure the lid on the pot. Select manual and cook at high pressure for 50 minutes. When cooking is complete, use natural pressure release to depressurize. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve over steamed rice.

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Here are some other fun recipes for you to try.

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Tried this recipe yet? Give us a rating, comment below in the reply section and let us know what you think.

Instant Pot Kala Chana – Indian Brown Chickpea Curry

This recipe is very easy to make. It is delicious and was my favorite food while I was growing up.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Instant Pot Black Chickpea, Instant Pot Chickpea easy, Instant pot Easy Kala Chana, Instant pot Indian Kala Chana, Instant Pot Kala Chana, Kala Chana
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

Instructions

Prep

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

Cook

  • When ready to cook, Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal. Add oil to the pot. When the oil is hot, add bay leaf and cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to splutter in about 30 seconds add asafoetida.
  • Add onions. Keep stirring. Then add the ginger garlic paste.
  • When the onions turn golden in about 2 to 4 minutes add kashmiri chili powder and 1/4 cup water. Stir.
  • Then add ground turmeric, ground coriander, mango powder, and ground cumin. Stir.
  • Add tomato puree, and salt. Give it a good stir. Let the tomatoes saute for about 2 minutes. Keep stirring. Then add 1 and 1/4 cup water and stir.
  • Add the brown chickpea, and garam masala. Give it a good stir. You can add the slit Serrano pepper (optional) at this point.
  • Press cancel. Secure the lid on the pot. Select manual and cook at high pressure for 50 minutes. When cooking is complete, use natural pressure release to depressurize. Discard the bay leaf. Garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve over steamed rice.

Notes

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, in terms of spice levels, I would place this dish at a 4 with the Serrano pepper. You can eliminate the Serrano peppers if you cant tolerate heat.
  • Without the Serrano peppers I would place this recipe at a level 2. Kashmiri chili powder imparts red color to the dish and is not very spicy.
  • Kala chana tends to be hard even when pressure cooked as compared to garbanzo beans, or other lentils. 
  • Tip: Add a pinch of baking soda to soften the chana while pressure cooking. Sometimes if the chana is old it takes a long time to cook and baking soda helps soften it.
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