This Instant Pot Indian recipe will allow you to make something at home that you’re unlikely to encounter in a restaurant. Last night I made Indian Kala Channa or Black Chick Peas in my Instant Pot. Childhood food memories are strange things. They tend to pop up out of nowhere and make you crave things you’d all but forgotten about. My mom used to make these channa with puris and halwa for Navratri or Durga puja. It’s a 9-days and 9-nights type of festival to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. As part of the celebration on the final day, 9 little girls are revered, fed this channa, puris and halva made from semolina, and they’re often given new clothes or other presents.
I didn’t care about the clothes and presents. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t given the food along with them. No amount of telling me that I was too young or too old or that I was the host not the guest had any impact on my perception of how unfair this was! So my mom would make this for me from time to time and I have always loved the channa.
These are black chickpeas which are denser, more fibrous, and have an even lower glycemic index than regular chickpeas. They’re available at Indian stores or on Amazon but of course they’re a lot cheaper in Indian Stores.
The steps for making this Instant Pot Indian Kala Chana are:
- Cook the chana in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker
- Season in a pan on the stove
- Add water, chickpeas, salt, and bay leaves to the inner liner of your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
- Cook for 30 minutes at high pressure, or use the BEAN button. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Release remaining pressure carefully. If it foams, stop and let it cool some more.
- Drain water and reserve for other purposes. Place cooked black chickpeas in a bowl.
- Turn your Instant Pot onto Sauté on high. When the display reads HOT, add 1 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add cumin seeds and julienned ginger and allow the seeds to sputter and pop.
- Pour in drained chickpeas, and add all other spices, and lemon juice. Cook until heated through.
- Garnish with cilantro (or parsley).