Chana Masala

Chana Masala image

This is a no oil version of the Indian classic Chana masala.


  • 1 cup dry garbanzo beans (chickpeas) can substitute canned if needed
  • 1.5 cups water plus more for soaking garbanzos
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds whole
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 tsp ginger grated, or use ginger paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp Spanish paprika to taste or other chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 8 oz
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala


  1. Soak the garbanzos in 6 cups warm water for 4 hours or overnight. You can skip this step, but you will need about 10 minutes more time to cook, plus an extra cup of water.
  2. Use the saute setting on your instant pot and add a bit of water (or oil if not going oil-free). Put in the coriander seeds and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Then add onion and cook until translucent. You may need to add a bit of water to keep from burning.
  4. Add the ginger, and garlic and saute for about 1 more minute. Don’t burn the garlic!
  5. Add the coriander, paprika, turmeric, and garbanzos with 1.5 cups water. Stir well.
  6. Cancel the saute setting on the instant pot and set the manual time for 35 minutes.
  7. Use natural release and stir in tomatoes and garam masala. You can top with cilantro or nothing at all.


This is mild. I would add cayenne or other hot chili powder if you like it spicy. I usually make this for a big crowd and triple or quadruple the recipe. It keeps well (not really, it’s usually gone in a day or two at the most :)

If you use canned garbanzos, drain them (save the aquafaba if desired). They will probably have a different texture, but they will still be good.

I don’t use salt, but you can. Also, if going no salt, get no salt tomatoes etc.

Recent Posts