Vegan Instant Pot: Chana Masala Recipe

Vegan Instant Pot: Chana Masala Recipe - Indian simmer sauces are available in most grocery stores, but it can be hard to track down a vegan variety (Maya Kaimal brand Goan Coconut Indian Simmer Sauce is a good one). The recipe that follows will yield sauce to spare, enough for three batches of this spicy chana masala, so you can freeze the extra for a later date. If you’re pressed for time, use two drained cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) instead of dried ones, or, when cooking the dried chickpeas, follow the quick-soaking method used for the Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Aquafaba Mayonnaise.

Serves 4
Vegan Instant Pot: Chana Masala Recipe

Ingredients for Vegan Instant Pot: Chana Masala Recipe:

  • 1⅛ cup (8 ounces) dried chickpeas
  • 4¼ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups Indian Simmer Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Hot steamed rice or warmed naan for serving

Directions for Vegan Instant Pot: Chana Masala Recipe:

  1. Combine the chickpeas, 4 cups of the water, and salt in the Instant Pot. Select the Manual, Pressure Cook, or Bean/Chili setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure; select the Timer or Delay function and set the time delay for 10 hours. (When the soaking time is complete, the pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  2. When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and, wearing heat-resistant mitts, lift the inner pot out of the housing and drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid if you wish to make recipes with aquafaba; see page 100. Return the cooked chickpeas to the inner pot and return to the Instant Pot housing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program.
  3. Add the simmer sauce and the remaining ¼ cup water to the pot and stir well. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Manual or Pressure Cook setting and set the cooking time for 3 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  4. When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot, add the lemon juice, and give the mixture a final stir.
  5. Ladle the chana masala into bowls and serve hot, with rice or naan.

Indian Simmer Sauce (Makes About 6 Cups)
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes

Directions:
  1. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot, add the oil, and heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and salt and sauté until the onions soften, give up their liquid, and are just beginning to brown and stick to the pot, about 15 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, garam masala, paprika, cayenne, and turmeric and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the water, using a wooden spoon to nudge loose any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, leaving the tomatoes whole.
  2. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program. Then select the Manual or Pressure Cook setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  3. When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally (this will take about 25 minutes). Open the pot and, using the wooden spoon, smash the tomatoes against the side of the pot to break them up into the sauce. Wearing heat-resistant mitts, remove the inner pot from the housing and let the sauce cool.
  4. Set aside 2 cups of sauce for the chana masala and transfer the rest of the sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To freeze the sauce, transfer 2-cup portions to quart-size ziplock plastic freezer bags and freeze for up to 4 months.

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