Rinse and soak dry chickpeas in about 4 cups water, overnight, or at least 8-10 hours. Drain and rinse them before cooking. Skip this step if using unsoaked chickpeas. If using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain them.
Saute and Pressure Cook
Turn on Saute adjust it to high. Heat oil (or ghee) and add cumin seeds. When cumin begins to splutter, add onions and saute them for 3-4 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic paste, along with green chilies, and saute for another minute. Now add the tomato, and all the spices along with a few tablespoons of water. Use that to deglaze the pot and scrape off any brown bits stuck at the bottom. Cancel Saute.
Add chickpeas, and water and give it a stir. Close the lid, vent set to 'sealing', and pressure cook for 45 minutes at Bean/Chili or Manual mode. If using unsoaked dry chickpeas, adjust the pressure cook time to 60 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes.
Once cooking time is up, wait for the pressure to release naturally for 10-15 minutes, followed by manual pressure release. Open the lid after the pin drops.
Finish and Serve
Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, mash a few beans. This makes the curry creamy and thick naturally. To thicken it more, simmer for a few minutes on saute mode.
Garnish with cilantro and squeeze a few drops of lime or lemon juice. Serve with Puri, Naan, or Cumin rice!
Spices: If you don't have all the spices listed below, you can find ready-made chole masala powder in many stores and substitute about 1-1.5 tablespoon of that in this recipe. If it contains salt, add only 1 tablespoon.
Make it in 30 minutes: To make Chana Masala in 30-minutes, use canned chickpeas.
Canned beans: If using canned chickpeas, use 2 cans for this recipe. You may have to reduce the salt considering canned chickpeas are already salted.
Releasing pressure: For best results, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes.
Thicken the curry: To make this curry creamy naturally, use a potato masher and mash a few beans in the pot. As it sits for 5-10 minutes, the curry thickens and becomes creamy. You can also simmer it on saute mode until it thickens to your liking. Please know that the curry will also thicken as it cools.
Finishing touches: A few drops of lime juice towards the end makes this curry pop and it enhances the taste. This is totally optional though.
Cooking Time: The pressure cooking time has been updated to 45 minutes (from 35) to work consistently across different brands of dried chickpeas.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.