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Chana Masala - Whole food plant based no oil

Chana Masala

Jon Griffin
This is a no oil version of the Indian classic Chana masala.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Soaking Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Whole Food Plant Based No Oil
Servings 4 people
Calories 133 kcal


  • Instant Pot or Similar


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Then add onion and cook until translucent. You may need to add a bit of water to keep from burning.
  • Add the ginger, and garlic and saute for about 1 more minute. Don't burn the garlic!
  • Add the coriander, paprika, turmeric, and garbanzos with 1.5 cups water. Stir well.
  • Cancel the saute setting on the instant pot and set the manual time for 35 minutes.
  • 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.