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instant pot kala chana (brown chickpea curry)

These brown chickpeas have a “meaty” quality to them. While they do soften after cooking, they don’t absorb much liquid or break down the way other legumes or lentils do. Because of this reason, I only use a little water in this recipe. I enjoy eating this curry over basmati rice.
5 from 9 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup brown chickpeas kala chana, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger



  • ½ cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • Cilantro garnish


  • Soak the brown chickpeas in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Press the sauté button, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Once the oil is hot, add the bay leaf and cumin seeds to the pot. Once the cumin seeds turn brown, add the onions and stir-fry for about 10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and spices and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, brown chickpeas, water and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 45 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • If you prefer a thicker curry, you can reduce the liquid by pressing the sauté button once the dish is done.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.


If you'd like to use onion masala for this recipe: omit the onion, garlic, ginger, and tomato sauce in the recipe and replace them with ½ cup of onion masala. Also, be sure to add an additional ½ cup of water (for a total of 1 ½ cups water). You can keep the spices the same.
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