Chana Masala Soup in a soup bowl topped with cilantro, red onion, and greek yogurt.

Chana Masala Soup: Spiced Chickpea Soup {Instant Pot, Canned Chickpeas}

Chana Masala Soup: This spiced chickpea soup, based on an authentic chana masala recipe, is made easy as an instant pot chickpea curry in the form of a hearty soup with chunks of potato and kale! It can be made in a snap with canned chickpeas. This recipe is from the Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot cookbook.

Chana Masala Soup in a soup bowl topped with cilantro, red onion, and greek yogurt.
Chana Masala Soup: Spiced Chickpea Soup {Instant Pot, Canned Chickpeas}

Chana Masala Soup: This spiced chickpea soup, based on an authentic chana masala recipe, is made easy as an instant pot chickpea curry in the form of a hearty soup! Reprinted with permission from Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot by Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2022.

Chana Masala Soup in a bowl.

If you had to pack your bags and move to another country, what would be the one item you bring from your kitchen? While I’m not moving any time soon, for me, it would be the hand-hammered wok my Tita Leah brought back for me from the Philippines when I was just starting out in my first solo apartment.

For Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan of Signature Concoctions, it was her pressure cooker.

When I interviewed Vasanti Balan on the podcast to discuss her cookbook, Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot: Classic and Innovative Recipes for the Home Cook (affiliate link), she reminisced about packing her precious pressure cooker when she moved to the United States for graduate school. This one special tool helped her have a taste of home.

Eventually, the Instant Pot came out, and Vasanti fully embraced having an appliance that works so well with Indian cooking. We chatted about the recipes in her cookbook that were handed down from her grandmothers, her grandmother’s Garam Masala that she still has in her freezer, and cozy recipes like this North Indian-inspired Chana Masala Soup.

Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot by Vasanti Balan-Bhadkamkar with ingredients for Chana Masala Soup

How to Make Chana Masala Soup

You may have heard of chana masala, a delicious and comforting Indian chickpea curry. It’s also known as chhole masala or chole masala – either way, it’s a spiced chickpeas dish that is absolutely delicious!

The chickpeas (chana) are cooked with chhole (chole) masala powder, a complex blend of warm North Indian spices. If you’re familiar with garam masala powder, it is very similar, but usually with a little more spice from chilis and a touch of tang from dry mango powder. There are some recipes out there that use garam masala, but this recipe calls for chhole masala, which can easily be found at your local Indian market, or on Amazon.

This version takes the flavors of an authentic chana masala recipe and transforms it into a hearty soup, with chunks of potatoes and kale. If you have dried chickpeas, keep in mind that you will need to soak your chickpeas overnight. Or, if you’re like me, opt for canned chickpeas to make this quick on a weeknight.

Now, you must decide: what broth to use? I have made it with both chicken broth (my personal preference) and vegetable broth (also delicious, and perfect for when I want a completely vegetarian or vegan soup), and my kids both love it, too. Serve it with warm naan for a wholesome meal!

Ingredients for Chana Masala Soup

Chana Masala Soup FAQs

Where do I find chhole masala?

Chhole Masala (chole masala) is readily available in Indian stores or on Amazon. If you can’t find it, you can substitute the same amount of Garam Masala and 1/2 teaspoon of dried mango powder, dried tamarind powder, or tamarind concentrate.

Can I use canned chickpeas?

Absolutely! Using canned chickpeas is a great way to save time; cut the pressure cook time in half, about 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse and drain the chickpeas well before using.

How spicy is this dish?

Perception of spiciness can vary greatly depending on the person. I personally find this recipe as written to be mild in heat. The chhole masala adds cozy, fragrant warmth to the dish. You may find yourself craving more or less spice, depending on your tastebuds.

Is this dish vegetarian?

The recipe calls for chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water. I love the flavor of chicken broth, but vegetable broth is just as delicious and will make this soup vegetarian/vegan.

Chana Masala Soup with naan in a bowl.

Listen to the Podcast with Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan

For more Instant Pot inspiration and to learn more about authentic Indian cooking, be sure to check out my interview with Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan in Episode 44 of the Kitchen Confidante Podcast!

More Indian-inspired Recipes

White Chicken Curry Pot Pie
Lentil Okra Curry
Butternut Squash Butter Chicken
Sweet Potato Bebinca: Goan Pudding Cake

Chickpeas in a white bowl for Chana Masala Soup

More Chickpea Recipes

Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Feta
Chickpea Crab Cakes
Lemony Kale, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad
Chickpea Salad
Stuffed Butternut Squash with Farro, Chickpeas, and Kale

Chana Masala Soup in a bowl, garnished with cilantro, onion, and yogurt.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot to review for the Kitchen Confidante Podcast Episode 44 with Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan. All opinions are, of course, my own. There may be affiliate links in the post, see my Disclosure page to learn more.

Chana Masala Soup (Spiced Chickpea Soup)

Chana Masala Soup: This spiced chickpea soup, based on an authentic chana masala recipe, is made easy as an instant pot chickpea curry in the form of a hearty soup! It can be made in a snap with canned chickpeas. Recipe reprinted with permission from Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot by Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2022.
Chana Masala Soup in a soup bowl topped with cilantro, red onion, and greek yogurt.
Print This Pin This
5 from 1 vote
Course Dinner, lunch, Soup
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Soaking Time (if using dried chickpeas) 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours
Servings 4 servings
Calories 342kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (100 g) or 1 15-oz can chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups water if using dried chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chhole masala see Notes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped
  • kosher salt as needed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock or water
  • 4 leaves kale stems trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes diced
  • fresh cilantro leaves for garnishing
  • plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
  • 1 small red onion thickly sliced, for serving
  • lime or lemon wedges for serving
  • naan for serving (optional)

Instructions

Soak chickpeas (if using dried chickpeas)

  • Soak the dried chickpeas in 1 1/2 cups of water for 8 hours, or up to overnight. If using canned chickpeas, skip this step.

Make the soup

  • Place the inner pot in the Instant Pot (or your electric pressure cooker) and press the "Sauté" button. When the pot is hot, add the oil and cumin seeds. When the seeds sizzle, stir in the onions and carrots. Sauté the mixture, stirring it frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the carrots have softened a bit.
  • Stir in the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the ground cumin, coriander and chhole masala. Sauté for about 30 seconds to let the spices bloom, and then the tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Season the mixture with salt and stir to combine well.
  • Deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping with a wooden spoon. This is an important step; if the bottom of the pan is not deglazed well, the "burn" error might appear during the pressure-cooking stage. Press the "Cancel" button to turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas (or if using canned, drain and rinse the chickpeas) and transfer them to the pot, then add 4 cups of stock or water. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add the kale and the diced potatoes, stirring to combine them with the other ingredients.
  • Close the Instant Pot's lid and turn the steam-release valve to the sealing position. Press the "Soup/Broth" button and set the timer for 30 minutes at high pressure. [NOTE: If using canned chickpeas, set the timer for 15 minutes]
  • When the cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally, which will take 15-20 minutes, and then open the lid.
  • Garnish the soup with the cilantro, and ladle it into bowls. Serve hot with Greek yogurt (if using), slices of red onion, lime wedges and naan (if using).

Notes

Reprinted with permission from Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot by Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2022.
Note on Chhole Masala from Vasanti:
  • Chhole masala is readily available in Indian stores or on Amazon. If you can’t find it, you can substitute the same amount of Garam Masala and 1/2 teaspoon of dried mango powder, dried tamarind powder, or tamarind concentrate.

More Chana Masala Soup FAQs

Can I use canned chickpeas?
Absolutely! Using canned chickpeas is a great way to save time; cut the pressure cook time in half, about 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse and drain the chickpeas well before using.
How spicy is this dish?
Perception of spiciness can vary greatly depending on the person. I personally find this recipe as written to be mild in heat. The chhole masala adds cozy, fragrant warmth to the dish. You may find yourself craving more or less spice, depending on your tastebuds.
Is this dish vegetarian?
The recipe calls for chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water. I love the flavor of chicken broth, but vegetable broth is just as delicious and will make this soup vegetarian/vegan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 1049mg | Potassium: 1410mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 12147IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 230mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

Comments

Recipe Rating




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  1. Sabrina

    5 stars
    great soup, love that it’s made with chickpeas since I eat a lot of black and pinto beans, as part of my diet, but a different kind of legume is welcome, especially since all of the other ingredients in this soup work well too, thank you

    Reply
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