Pressure cooker, Side dish
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Instant Pot Masala Desi Chickpeas (Masala Desi Chana)

A bowl of desi chickpeas (Desi Chana) with an Instant Pot in the background
Instant Pot Masala Desi Chickpeas

Instant Pot Masala Desi Chickpeas (Masala Desi Chana). Pressure cooker brown chickpeas, with a hint of garam masala.

Desi chickpeas are smaller than regular chickpeas, with a striking dark brown color. I discovered them when they showed up in my Rancho Gordo bean box – my favorite way to find new beans. And I’m cooking them in my Instant Pot, because pressure cooking is my favorite way to cook dried beans.

Do desi chickpeas need to soak before pressure cooking? Yes.

These chickpeas a small, dense bean, so dense that I can’t give my usual “don’t bother soaking them before pressure cooking” instructions. They need an overnight soak to get tender, or at least a quick soak. (See the recipe for instructions). Even then, cooked to creaminess, these chickpeas still have a noticeable “al dente” resistance when biting into them.

I add a hint of Indian flavors to the beans by toasting some garam masala spice blend in butter. If you want plain chickpeas, that’s fine – skip the butter and the masala. Like most beans cooked from dried, these beans have a lot of flavor on their own.

Recipe: Instant Pot Masala Desi Chickpeas (Masala Desi Chana)

Inspired by: Desi Chana from

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A bowl of desi chickpeas (Desi Chana) with an Instant Pot in the background

Instant Pot Masala Desi Chickpeas (Masala Desi Chana)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 cups cooked beans 1x


Instant Pot Masala Desi Chickpeas (Masala Desi Chana). Pressure cooker brown chickpeas, with a hint of garam masala


  • 1 pound Desi Chickpeas, sorted and rinsed
  • 8 cups of water (for soaking)
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt) for soaking water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala powder
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


Sort and rinse the beans: Spread the beans out on a rimmed baking sheet and discard any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight or a quick soak.

Soak the beans overnight: Cover the beans with the 8 cups of water and add the 1 tablespoon of salt. Leave the beans to soak at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid.

OR Pressure Quick Soak the beans for 1 minute with a 30 minute rest: Put the beans, 8 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of salt in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then let the beans sit for 30 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure, drain the beans, and discard the soaking liquid. Wipe out the pot before continuing.

Toast the spices: In an Instant Pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over sauté mode adjusted to medium (medium heat in a stovetop PC). Stir the garam masala into the butter and toast for 1 minute. Stir in the beans, then pour in the water and add 1 teaspoon salt.

Pressure Cook for 25 minutes with a 15 minute Natural Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 25 minutes (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 22 minutes if using a stovetop pressure cooker. Let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.

Serve: Carefully remove the lid – tilt it away from you to avoid the hot steam. Serve the beans immediately, or store them in their cooking liquid in 2 cup containers, up to 3 days in the refrigerator, or for 6 months frozen.


Want plain desi chickpeas? Skip the butter, masala, and “toast the spices” instructions, and go straight to “everything in the pot”. The pressure cooking time will be the same.

Leftover brown chickpeas make great hummus – substitute them for regular chickpeas in my hummus recipe.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Instant Pot Desi Chickpeas, Instant Pot Desi Chana, Pressure Cooker Desi Chickpeas, Pressure Cooker Desi Chana

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Royal Corona Beans
Instant Pot Garbanzos with Smoked Paprika
Instant Pot Spanish Farm Beans (Alubia Blanca De La Granja)
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Janis says

    So, I’m making them today and I’ve slacked them for 15 hours. I would say half of them plumped up and the other half still look like hard little pebbles. Was this true for your batch as well? I just turned in the insta pot so I’m curious as to how it’s going to taste. Thanks for the recipe.

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