This Instant Pot Chana Masala and Rice is a great introduction to Indian food. The chickpeas and rice are both full of flavor and you can make it all in your Instant Pot at the same time!
Chana masala is one of the first Indian dishes that Americans are usually introduced to. It’s always on the lunch buffet and served over those amazing potato turnovers called samosas to turn it into street food, or chaat.
It’s a simple dish of chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices. Don’t be intimidated by the spice list though, they are easy to find. And my favorite tip is that if you have an Indian market near you, spices are so much cheaper there.
Why Cook Two Things At The Same Time In My Instant Pot?
I love cooking 2 recipes in my Instant Pot, and you should check out the Red Beans and Rice recipe too for another great example of this.
In the summer, running one appliance keeps my house cooler than running a few, and there’s less to clean up. (Always a plus.)
There’s also something cool about putting together the layers and then releasing the pressure to two distinct dishes to bring to the table.
What Do I Need To Cook Layered Electric Pressure Cooker Meals?
You will need a tallish (2 to 3 inch) stainless steel rack that fits into your Instant Pot, and a stainless insert that will hold the rice and water to cook that part. You can use just a container from a combo like this one that fits into an 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot.
It’s most important that all the pieces fit into your Instant Pot and you can close the lid.
The other part that’s important is an easy way to get that rice container back out of the hot pot once it’s cooked. I use a silicone band that’s made for cooking, but you can roll up 2 long pieces of aluminum foil and cross them under the rice container and lift it in and out that way.
What Is Garam Masala?
Garam masala is a spice blend that helps you easily bring Indian flair to soups and stews.
In India each family has their own blends, so they vary widely. Just know that the blend is not spicy hot.
Why Are There Whole Spices In The Rice?
The spices bring the flavor to the rice layer. And honestly, you can skip the saffron, green cardamom pods, whole cumin seeds, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf if you don’t have them or if you prefer plain rice.
Then you’ll just serve your Indian stew over steamed plain basmati rice and that will still be just as delicious. And you will have still cooked it all in one go in your Instant Pot.Print
Instant Pot Chana Masala and Rice
This mild and flavorful chickpea stew is used in many dishes and is a great introduction to Indian food. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but most of them are spices that you will use again and again.
Use a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Soaking Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 8 hours 27 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Entrée
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Indian
- 1 (1 lb.) bag dry chickpeas
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup minced onion
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 3 Tbsp. minced or grated ginger
- 1 and ½ tsp. ground coriander
- 1 and ½ tsp. garam masala
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- ½ tsp. chili powder (or substitute ground cayenne)
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups long grain basmati white rice
- 10 stands saffron, optional
- 6 whole green cardamom pods
- 2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 and ¼ cups water
- Place the dry beans in a large bowl that’s at least twice the size of the dried beans, and fill about ¾ full with water. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours. Or you can quick-soak the beans if you want to make this recipe now.
- Heat the olive oil on high sauté until warm, then add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, then sauté 3 minutes more. Then add the ginger, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder and cook for 30 seconds or until the spices become more fragrant. Turn the Instant Pot off.
- Place in your tall stainless steel rack.
- Check to make sure your stainless steel pan fits on top and that you can close the top with it on!
- Remove and add rice to your small pan and top with the cardamom pods, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, and the bay leaf.
- Then place a food safe silicone band around to make this easy to remove or take 2 aluminum foil pieces about 2 feet each, roll up lengthwise and make a cross. Then set the pan in the middle.
- Add the water and place on top of the rack using the silicone band or aluminum foil sling. Note: If using the sling, fold over the handles to make them easy to get to after cooking.
- Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure manually.
- Remove the rice container by the foil handles or the band using a pot holder and place on a trivet or other heat proof surface. Remove the bay leaf, cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon stick so no one crunches on them by mistake.
- Serve the channa masala over the rice.
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