We do fasting a lot. Whether it is for religious reasons or just for the sake of cleansing the body. However, when I break my fast after some Puja or Vrat, I prefer not to eat Garlic or Onion right after it. Onion and Garlic is used to bring rich thickness to the curry. So, how to make thick gravy without Onion/Garlic?
Well, there are other ways. For this Chana masala recipe, I used Gram Flour (Besan). It is readily available in Indian grocery stores.
For making the color of the gravy darker and richer, I added one more ingredients in this gravy and it is black tea water. Because of the above tweaks, you are not going to miss onion and garlic in this recipe.
Let’s make this yummy recipe for days when you would want to avoid Onion-Garlic!!
3 Cups Chole Chickpeas, soaked in enough water overnight, or use 4 cups canned chickpeas.
4.5 cups + ½ cup water, ½ cup to be added later on for gravy.
1 Bay leaf
1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
1 tsp. Black peppers
1/3 cup Tomato Puree
1/4 cup Besan (gram flour)
1 tsp. Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp. Cumin Powder
1 tbsp. Coriander Powder
¼ tsp. Red chili powder, or to taste
1 tsp. Amchur powder/Dry Mango powder
1 tsp. Chole/chickpeas masala powder (if not available, use Garam Masala)
Pinch of Heeng
Salt, to taste( I used 1/2 tbsp.)
1. In a large bowl, soak 3 cups of chole (chickpeas) in enough water for 6-8 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Before starting Instant Pot, put your soaked chole in a microwave-safe bowl and boil for 15 minutes /or
boil in a covered pan for 15 minutes.
3. Turn on the Instant Pot in sauté mode in medium heat.
4. Add oil, cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppers, and heeng.
5. Once the cumin seeds start to splutter, add besan/gram flour and saute it. We do not want to let the besan burn and stick it to the bottom of the pan, so add 1/8 cup of water.
6. After 2 -3 minutes, add tomato puree to the side of the pan and sauté it with besan. Add 1/8 cup more water to it and let it cook.
7. Meanwhile, make black tea water by adding black tea (Any non-flavored black tea bag will work) with 1/4 cup of water and keep it aside.
Now, Back to the Instant pot.
8. When you see some oil is coming around the corner ( after around 3,4 minutes), add black tea water inside the pan and stir it.
9. After another 1 minute, add turmeric powder, Chole masala/garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and a little bit salt(1/4 tsp), mix all the species with 1/8 cup of water.
10. Keep stirring the mixture and add 1 cup of water to the pan; wait for 3,4 minutes.
11. Now add soaked and partially boiled chole (chickpeas) and an additional 1/2 cup of water into the pot.
12. Now, cancel the sauté mode. If anything is stuck to the bottom, deglaze the pot properly; otherwise, it will show a burn sign. Close the lid with the vent in a sealing position.
13. Change the instant pot setting to pressure cook mode, set time for 20 minutes in high pressure. (You can add more than 10 minutes if you like to eat mushy/more cooked chickpeas)
14. After 20 minutes, when the instant pot beeps, it means that chole masala/chana masala is ready.
15. You can let the pressure release, or if you are in a hurry, release the pressure manually.
16. Open the pot lid and add crushed Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, if available) and mix it; it will give a nice aromatic flavor.
Server Hot with Rice or Naan!