• Prepare time: 15 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Ready in: 40 mins
  • Pressure: High
  • Release Type: Natural


      • 1 cup raw chickpeas/ cholay / chana to be soaked
      • 3 tablespoon cooking oil
      • 1 cup chopped onions
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
      • ½ tablespoon grated ginger
      • 1.5 cups water
      • 2 cups fresh tomato puree
      • 1 tablespoon roasted chickpea flour * (optional) see notes

    Spices needed

      • 1 green chilly finely chopped
      • ½ teaspoon turmeric
      • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
      • 2 teaspoon chili powder
      • 1 tablespoon cholay / chana masala

    To be added later

      • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
      • Salt to taste
      • Fistful of chopped fresh cilantro
      • Lemon


  1. Wash chickpeas in a mesh under cold running water for 30 seconds.
  2. Now soak chickpeas in 2 cups water for 8-10 hours or overnight.
  3. Next day before cooking drain out all the excess water from soaked chickpeas .
  4. Switch on the instant pot on sautee mode . After 3 minutes add in 3 tablespoon cooking oil .
  5. Add in the onions and cook for 2 minutes or until translucent .
  6. Add in the bay leaf, green chilly , ginger , garlic paste and cook it for 20 seconds .
  7. Add in the chana masala , turmeric , chili powder , coriander powder along with 1 tablespoon water to avoid masala to burn.
  8. Sautee it for 10 seconds.
  9. Add in roasted chickpea flour/ besan and sautee for 10 seconds .
  10. Now add in the tomato puree , drained chickpeas and 1.5 cups of water and mix well .
  11. Now close the lid and choose 15 minutes on manual mode High pressure.
  12. Position the steam release to sealing .
  13. After the timer goes off let it naturally cool off for 15 minutes .
  14. Carefully vent any steam off after 15 minutes and open the lid.
  15. Give it a stir and check for doneness by smashing a chickpea.
  16. The chickpea should smash up easily without any resistance.
  17. Now put the instant pot on sauté mode again and add in chopped spinach and salt.
  18. Mash few chickpeas with back of the spoon for thicker gravy .
  19. Let it cook on saute mode for 3 minutes .
  20. Switch off the instant pot.
  21. The Gravy will thicken eventually after it starts cooling down.
  22. Add in chopped coriander and some lemon juice if desired.
  23. Taste test, adjust spices if desired and serve warm as a soup , along with roti or over rice/ quinoa.


I have used roasted chickpea flour/ besan to make the gravy thick .
You can leave it and just smash up few chickpeas later and the gravy will thicken once it starts cooling.
Use garam masala if chana masala unavailable.
You may skip spinach all together.
The spice level of this recipe is 3 on the scale 1-5 , 5 being the hottest .
Adjust seasoning to your spice level .
It’s important to soak the beans for 8-10 hours .
If using store bought puree , add only 1.5 cups puree and increase water by additional ½ cup.
Leftovers can be enjoyed up to 3 days . Store in refrigerator .
Tastes even better the next day so makes a perfect next day lunch.
Stove top pressure cooking method mentioned below.


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