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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 Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 6


  • Instant Pot




  • 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.


  • 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, 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 60 minutes. When cooking is complete, use natural pressure release to depressurize. Discard the bay leaf. Add in the mango powder. Saute for a few minutes until desired consistency is reached. Press cancel. Garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve over steamed rice.


  • 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.
Keyword Instant Pot Black Chickpea, Instant Pot Chickpea Curry, Instant Pot Chickpea easy, Instant pot Easy Kala Chana, Instant pot Indian Kala Chana, Instant pot Kaala Chana, Instant Pot Kala Chana, Kala Chana