Learn how to make an Indian favorite – Instant Pot chickpeas in a spicy tomato sauce – also known as chana masala. Plus, you get to cook the accompanying brown rice at the same time, making a super easy, nutritious, vegetarian and vegan dinner with little effort.
This pressure cooker chickpea recipe is from the Instant Pot Miracle Vegetarian Cookbook © 2020 by Urvashi Pitre (of Two Sleevers blog). Photography © 2020 by Ghazalle Badiozamani. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
This Instant Pot chickpea recipe is Indian chana masala and rice in one go. Yes, you cook both at the same time, making it super efficient and easy meal to make. You must use brown rice for this dish since white rice would cook too quickly and dry out in the time it would take for the chickpeas to finish cooking. You can serve this dish with rice, naan, or even buttered rolls—all of which are great accompaniments to these chickpeas.
If you want to serve these spicy tomato chickpeas with white rice, you will have to cook them separately. This still works as chana masala (or chickpeas masala) are perfect to make ahead and will keep well both in the fridge and the freezer. You can also use ready-made, 2-minute rice for a speedy weeknight dinner.
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Easy, one-pot Instant Pot chickpeas in a spicy sauce with brown rice (also known as chana masala) are perfect for a vegetarian or vegan dinner. Pressuring cooking garbanzo beans and brown rice at the same time make this a little-effort meal for the whole family. Gluten-free friendly.
For the Rice
1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
For the Chickpeas
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped tomato
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 small jalapeño pepper, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons prepared chana masala spice blend (like this)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and drained (see notes)
1½ cups water
1 tablespoon tamarind extract/paste (see notes for swaps)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- For the rice: In a 6 × 3 inch round baking pan, combine the rice, oil, salt, and water. Stir well to combine; set aside. (You do not need to cover.)
- For the chickpeas: In a food processor, combine the onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger. Process until finely chopped. You could also do this by hand.
- In the Instant Pot, combine the onion mixture, jalapeño, garam masala, chana masala spice blend, salt, turmeric, cayenne, chickpeas, and water. Stir to combine. Place a tall trivet in the pot over the chickpeas. Place the pot with the rice on the trivet.
- Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure release valve or point to Sealing (depending on the model). Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 30 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure by pointing the pressure release handle to Venting (known as a quick release).
- Carefully remove the rice. Use the back of a spoon to mash half the chickpeas until thickened. Stir in the tamarind extract (or the substitute).
- Serve the chickpeas with the rice. Garnish with cilantro, if using.
Soaking chickpeas for Instant Pot: Soak 1 cup dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans in 3 to 4 cups very hot water (preferably boiling water) for an hour. The beans will have plumped and absorbed almost all the water in this time. Drain and use as directed. This is what the author did for all the bean recipes in her book. The beans cook consistently with very little breaking. This is a great last-minute method.
Tamarin extract substitute: Combine lemon or lime juice with brown sugar to replace 1/6 of the amount of tamarind concentrate called for in your recipe. For instance, use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to replace 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate.
Keywords: Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan