Chana Saag (Chickpeas and Spinach Curry) recipe cooked in an onion tomato sauce with Indian spices is tasty and easy to make in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan and Gluten-free. Enjoy it with a bowl of basmati rice, quinoa, naan, or roti.
Today I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT. You can use any equivalent electric pressure cooker like Mealthy Multipot.
- What is Chana Saag?
- Chickpea Spinach Curry Ingredients
- How to Make Chana Saag in Instant Pot
- Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method
- What can I serve with Chana Saag?
- Storage Suggestions
- Spinach Chickpea Curry Variations
- Recipe FAQs
- More Chickpea Recipes
- More Vegan Instant Pot Curry Recipes
- Instant Pot Chickpea Curry with Spinach (Chana Saag)
What is Chana Saag?
Chana refers to chickpeas in Hindi, and Saag refers to a combination of mixed greens, which can include palak (spinach), methi (fenugreek), bathua (goosefoot), sarson (mustard greens), etc., but are not always limited to spinach.
However, in Indian Restaurants, spinach is often referred to as saag a lot of time. So today, I have used only spinach in this recipe, but feel free to use any available mixed greens. Each one has a distinct flavor.
Chickpea Spinach Curry Ingredients
- Chickpeas: I have soaked dried chickpeas overnight and used them in the recipe. However, you can also use canned chickpeas.
- Palak: I have used fresh baby spinach. You may also use frozen spinach.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger: I have used finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and ginger.
- Tomato: Used 2 medium Roma tomatoes and pureed in a blender. Alternately, you can also use canned tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes.
- Oil: use any cooking oil suitable for sautéing.
- Spices: I have used turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala as dry spices. Used cumin seeds and bay leaf for whole spices.
How to Make Chana Saag in Instant Pot
Firstly, Soak chickpeas (chole) for at least 4+ hours or overnight. Then, drain the water and keep it aside.
Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add oil. Once it's hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, and let the cumin splutter.
Then add onions, minced ginger, garlic, and saute onions for 3-4 minutes or until they turn light brown.
Next, add tomato puree and the spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and cook for 2 minutes.
Lastly, add soaked chickpeas, water, and salt. Stir well.
Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 35 minutes. Once the pot beeps, let it release the pressure naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid away from you, add spinach and amchur powder, and give a quick stir. Turn on the Saute again and boil for 2 minutes till the spinach wilts.
Instant Pot Chana Saag recipe is ready, serve with hot rice, chapatis, roti & parathas.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method
Follow the steps from the instant pot instructions. Give 6-7 whistles on medium flame and let the pressure release naturally. All the other steps remain the same.
What can I serve with Chana Saag?
Serve the Chana Saag recipe with hot steamed rice, roti, or paratha. I like serving it with jeera rice or quinoa.
- Store: You can store leftover chana saag curry in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: Freeze in freezer-safe containers or Ziploc bags for up to 2 months.
- Reheat: Reheat spinach chickpea curry in a microwave or stovetop on medium heat until warm, and serve. If it's frozen, thaw for a few hours on the kitchen top and then reheat.
Spinach Chickpea Curry Variations
- Canned Chickpeas: "Pressure Cook/Manual" on High for 5 minutes in Instant Pot or 2 whistles if using a stovetop Indian pressure cooker for cooking Chana saag with canned or cooked chickpeas. Adjust water appropriately, as it takes less water to cook canned chickpeas.
- Vegetables: You can add hearty veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, and squash, green leafy veggies like kale, mustard green instead of spinach, or a mix of all three.
- Spices: If you don't have the dry spices mentioned in this recipe, you can replace them with 1.5 tablespoons of curry powder instead.
- Thick Gravy: If you want a thicker gravy, you can mash chickpeas a bit using the back of your ladle after the pressure cooking cycle.
- Tanginess: If you do not have amchur (dry mango powder), replace it with 1 tablespoon of lime/lemon juice.
Ensure to deglaze the bottom of the pot with the juice from the tomatoes. There are chances of onion and ginger garlic bits sticking to the bottom, so gently scrape the pot with some liquid to prevent possible BURN notice.
Absolutely! Canned chickpeas work well in the recipe, and there is no difference in flavor. However, dry chickpeas are healthier, contain less sodium, have no preservatives, and are cheaper. Drain the canned chickpeas and rinse them before using them.
For canned chana saag PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL for 5 minutes (HIGH PRESSURE) in the Instant pot ( 2 whistles if using an Indian stovetop pressure cooker) and then add the spinach. Reduce the amount of water while cooking accordingly.
You can use either kale, mustard greens, or a mix of all 3.
Ideally, you want to soak chickpeas for 4+ hours or overnight, which makes them absorb water and will cook faster. But, if you forget, cook them in the instant pot for longer, about 50 minutes at High Pressure.
Another trick is to soak the chickpeas in hot water for at least an hour. Then use them in the recipe. Depending on how old the chickpeas are, cooking time may vary.
The amount of water listed in my recipe is needed for soaked chickpeas. Dried chickpeas absorb a lot of water, so if you don’t soak them in advance, the proportion of chickpeas to water will not be correct.
No, cooking time will remain the same if you half or double the quantity.
You sure can! Separate it into freezer containers with some rice and pop them in your freezer for a quick and easy meal. You can thaw and reheat before serving.
More Chickpea Recipes
- Chickpea Avocado Sandwich
- Beetroot Chickpea Stir Fry
- Chana Masala
- Chole/Chickpeas Biyani
- Chickpea Cucumber Salad
- Chickpea Coconut Curry
- Chole Paratha
More Vegan Instant Pot Curry Recipes
- Rajma Masala
- Black Eye Pea Curry (Lobia Curry)
- Lauki Sabzi
- Whole green moong dal
- Green Lentil Soup
- Mushroom Masala
Instant Pot Chickpea Curry with Spinach (Chana Saag)
Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250ml
- 1 cup dry chickpeas (chole/garbanzo beans) soaked overnight
- 3 cups water for soaking
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic minced
- 1 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1.5 cups water
- salt to taste
- 4 cups spinach (palak)
- 1 teaspoon amchur (or lime juice)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Soak chole (chickpeas) for at least 4+ hours or overnight. Drain water and keep aside.
Instant Pot Method:
- Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add oil, once it's hot add cumin seeds, bay leaf and let the cumin splutter.
- Then add onions, minced ginger and garlic and saute until onions for 3-4 minutes or till they turn light brown.
- Next add tomato puree and the spices like red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and cook for 2 minutes.
- Lastly add soaked chickpeas, water and salt. Stir well.
- Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 35 minutes. Once the pot beeps, let it release the pressure naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes.
- Remove lid away from you, add spinach, amchur powder, and give a quick stir. Turn on the Saute again and boil for 2 minutes till the spinach wilts.
- Chana Saag is ready, serve with hot rice, chapatis, roti & parathas.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method
- Follow the steps from the instant pot instructions. Give 6-7 whistles on medium flame and let the pressure release naturally. All the other steps remain the same.
Spinach and Chickpea Curry Variations
- You can add hearty veggies of your choice like carrots, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, squash, and green leafy veggies like kale, mustard green instead of spinach, or a mix of all three.
- If you don't have dry spices mentioned in this recipe, you can replace them with 1.5 tablespoons of curry powder instead.
- If you want thicker gravy you can mash chickpeas a bit.
- If you do not have amchur (dry mango powder) then replace it with 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
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