Instant Pot Kala Chana (Black Chickpeas Curry)

Instant Pot Kala Chana – black chickpeas curry made in the Instant Pot. This simple curry goes well with rice or roti.

If you want to make it vegan, just skip the paneer. It’s totally optional.

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group shares/features vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

kala chana or black chickpeas curry served in a small cast iron skillet with a lemon and some cilantro on the side

Kala Chana aka Black Chickpeas – have you guys ever tried it? In India, it’s made quite often especially during the fasting season of Navratri.

Sookha kala chana (dried black chickpeas cooked with spices), poori (deep fried bread) along with halwa (sweet) is the quintessential prasadam offered to goddess Durga during Navratri.

In my house, other than the sookha kala chana mom also made this black chickpeas curry. She would also add potatoes or paneer to it sometimes.

This Kala Chana or black chickpeas curry is a very simple curry and there’s nothing fancy about it. This is how everyday curry in India looks like – no butter, no cream, just some basic spices and comfort food for the soul.

Few weeks back I was bored of eating the regular dal and curries and so I ended up making kala chana in my Instant Pot. It’s quite easy to cook beans and lentils in the Instant Pot.

This Instant Pot Kala Chana

✓ makes a quick weeknight meal

✓ simple curry made with basic Indian spices

✓ goes well with rice or roti

✓ can be made vegan by skipping paneer

✓ can be made gluten-free by skipping asafetida (hing) or using natural asafetida which has no gluten

I added paneer to this recipe and let it pressure cook along with the black chickpeas. If you don’t want to pressure cook the paneer for that long, simply add it towards the end once the chana is done and let it simmer in the curry for 2 minutes and serve.

Of course you can always skip the paneer, it’s completely optional. I added it to my curry mainly because I had some leftover paneer at home and I was looking for ways to use it.

kala chana or black chickpeas curry served in a small cast iron skillet with a bowl of rice in the background and a squeezed lemon and some cilantro on the side

I know we cook so often with the regular white chickpeas that we often forget the black ones. In fact they aren’t that popular at all in this part of the world. But did you know about their health benefits?

Black Chickpeas Nutritional Benefits

For the records, black chickpeas have a higher fiber content and lower glycemic index, so they are really good for you.

They are also low in fat and rich in vitamins and minerals. Black chickpeas are a good source of protein. As a vegetarian, I mostly depend on lentils and beans for my protein fix so these are perfect for that.

If you have never tried cooking with the black chickpeas, now is the time! Start with this basic kala chana curry recipe, it’s so simple to make in the Instant Pot.

TIP: This recipe is not gluten-free as the hing (asafetida) that I have used here contains gluten. But if you are gluten intolerant, make sure that your hing is gluten-free. Just read the label before using hing in this recipe.

I recommend soaking the kala chana for 4 hours before using in the recipe. I have tried making it in the Instant Pot without any pre-soaking and it turns out okay but it’s so much better when it’s soaked. 

Method

Soak chickpeas in 3 cups water for 4 hours. Once 4 hours are up, drain the water, rinse the black chickpeas and set it aside.

1- Press the saute button on the instant pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil. Then add the cumin seeds and asafetida (hing). Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the onion and the green chili. Cook for 3 minutes until softened.

2- Then add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.

3- Add the tomato puree. Cover the pot with a glass lid and cook for 2 minutes.

4- Then add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, red chili powder, salt and cook the masala for another 2 minutes.

step by step pictures of making kala chana in instant pot

5- Add in the paneer cubes (if using) and drained black chickpeas. Toss the chickpeas and paneer with the masala.

6- Add 2 cups of water and stir (fresh water, don’t use the one in which you had soaked the chickpeas).

7- Close the pot with its lids and press the bean/chili mode. Adjust the time to 38 minutes at high pressure (the default timer for bean/chili mode is 30 minutes so you have to adjust the time). The pressure valve should be in the sealing position.

8- Let the pressure release naturally. Open the pot,  squeeze in some fresh lemon juice.

step by step pictures of making kala chana in instant pot

Garnish kala chana curry with cilantro and serve over rice or with roti.

kala chana or black chickpeas curry served in a small cast iron skillet with a lemon and some cilantro on the side

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Kala Chana Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Kala Chana

Black Chickpeas aka Kala Chana Curry made in the Instant Pot. This one pot meal is made with basic Indian spices and is comfort food the soul. Skip paneer to make it vegan!

kala chana or black chickpeas curry served in a small cast iron skillet with a bowl of rice in the background and a squeezed lemon and some cilantro on the side
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword kala chana
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 225 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 2 votes
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup kala chana, also known as black chickpeas, soaked in water for 4 hours
  • 1 tablespoon oil, use oil of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida, also known as hing
  • 1 medium red onion, 150 grams, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped, adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 3 large tomatoes, 330 grams, pureed
  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup paneer cubes, optional
  • 2 cups water
  • juice of half lemon
  • cilantro, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Soak chickpeas in 3 cups water for 4 hours. Once 4 hours are up, drain the water, rinse the black chickpeas and set it aside.


  2. Press the saute button on the instant pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil. Then add the cumin seeds and asafetida (hing). 

  3. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the onion and the green chili. Cook for 3 minutes until softened.


  4. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.


  5. Add the tomato puree. Cover the pot with a glass lid and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, red chili powder, salt and cook the masala for another 2 minutes.

  6. Add in the paneer cubes (if using) and drained black chickpeas. Toss the chickpeas and paneer with the masala.

  7. Add 2 cups of water and stir (fresh water, don't use the one in which you had soaked the chickpeas).


  8. Close the pot with its lids and press the bean/chili mode. Adjust the time to 38 minutes at high pressure (the default timer for bean/chili mode is 30 minutes so you have to adjust the time). The pressure valve should be in the sealing position.


  9. Let the pressure release naturally. Open the pot, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. 

  10. Serve kala chana curry with rice or roti!

Recipe Notes

1. The nutritional value does not include paneer since it is optional in the recipe.

2. Skip paneer to keep the recipe vegan.

3. Keep it gluten-free by skipping hing (asafetida) or make sure your hing is free of gluten.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Kala Chana
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Sodium 641mg 27%
Potassium 485mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 6g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 4.8%
Vitamin C 7.7%
Calcium 5.6%
Iron 18.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Black Chickpeas aka Kala Chana Curry made in the Instant Pot. This one pot meal is made with basic Indian spices and is comfort food the soul. Skip paneer to make it vegan! #instantpot #vegetarian #indianfood #indian #recipe

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