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No Onion No Garlic Chole | Chana Masala (Instant Pot and Pressure cooker method)

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No onion No garlic Chole or Chana Masala is a protein and fiber-rich vegan curry made using Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans.  

Cooked Chole in a serving kadai or wok with a garnish of ginger. Seen in the background are few coriander leaves, green chili and lemon in a brown small bowl.
Instant Pot Chana Masala

This Indian Chickpea curry is also one of the most popular recipes for parties, get-togethers, or potlucks. This garbanzo beans curry is best for everyday lunch or dinner. 

My version of no onion no garlic chole can be made from dried chickpeas in an Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker, or from boiled or canned chickpeas in an open pot.  And I promise you will not miss the onion and garlic.

This healthy chana masala can be served with Jeera rice, naan, pulav, puri, bhatura. So you know why it is one of the most popular recipes for any festive occasion. 

What is Chickpeas | Garbanzo Beans

Chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans have been grown in middle eastern countries for centuries. It is a nutrient-dense food and has been long valued for its fiber content. One of the best sources of plant-based protein, it aids in digestion and is believed to help in weight loss. 

Making chole from dried chickpeas

Do you use chickpeas? Do you buy cans instead of directly using them from dried chickpeas? If you want to save some money and also make it preservative-free, check out my post on how to cook dried chickpeas. It is easy, economical and much better. 

Cooked chickpeas seen in a spoon on top of an Instant pot vessel with chickpeas in it
Cooked chickpeas in Instant Pot

Few recipes with Chickpeas on my blog

Being a Vegetarian chickpeas is one of the regulars in my house. I try to incorporate it in various ways. Be it salads, starters, dips, main course, or even a snack.

Veggie Chickpea Burger ( Pumpkin, Swiss Chard and chickpeas)
Veggie Chickpea Burger is a protein and nutrient-rich, delicious, healthy vegan and gluten-free burger made using Pumpkin, Swiss Chard and chickpeas.
Check out this recipe
A close up look of Veggie chickpea patties served on a lettuce , with layers of onion, nasturtium dip, avocado and tomato
Oil-Free Chickpea Salad
Oil-Free Chickpea Salad is a healthy and protein-rich, Vegan salad made using chickpea or garbanzo beans or Kabuli chana.
Check out this recipe
Close up look of Chickpea salad served in a black bowl, with some chickpeas seen scattered with some tulips seen in the background
Brown Rice Chickpea Pulao
Brown Rice Chickpea Pulao is a vegan, gluten free and a nutritious one pot pulao perfect for your lunchboxes or for your parties.
Check out this recipe
Brown Rice Chickpea Pulao
Herb Roasted Chickpeas
Herb Roasted Chickpeas are crunchy, easy, healthy and an addictive protein-rich munching snack and stays good for a couple of days.
Check out this recipe
Herb Roasted Chickpeas
Easy Homemade Baked Falafel (No Canned Beans)
Easy Homemade Baked Falafel is a healthy alternative to the typical fried falafel, which is made using chickpeas, a few spices and herbs.
Check out this recipe
Falafel seen on a black plate.
Easy Golden Turmeric Hummus
Easy Golden Turmeric Hummus is a quick and easy hummus recipe with the goodness of protein rich chickpeas and anti-inflammatory Turmeric.
Check out this recipe
Close up look of Easy Golden Turmeric Hummus

There are many variations and versions of this recipe and every household has its different recipe. Punjabi chole or pindi chole is one of the famous ones made. This is my version of no onion no garlic chole or onion and garlic chole. Again this delicious dish is learned by me from my mom. However, I have modified this recipe over the years. 

Chole or Pav bhaji or similar recipes develop tastes over time. I am not saying it is not best when consumed immediately, but the flavors develop over time. So I would advise making this 5-6 hours before you want to serve. 

Top view of Chole served in a kadai or a wok.
Instant Pot Chole or Chana Masala

Ingredients used in chole 

Chickpeas

The first main ingredient used is chickpeas. As I always use chickpeas from dried ones, it needs a little planning. But at times yes and know. It is better to soak chickpeas before cooking. It helps in digestion and reduces bloating. Again there are many recipes that do not soak chickpeas, but I do not recommend that and it is up to you. If you do not soak chickpeas, the cooking time will increase. However, I make my life easy, by soaking more chickpeas every second time I do cooking. I soak it in bulk and store it in the freezer. It comes in handy as then I need not wait for 6-8 hours for soaking the next time. 

Tomatoes 

Tomatoes here are used as the base of the curry. 

Onion and ginger.

If you are using onion and garlic, again it adds to the base of the curry and taste. Ginger is added for taste and that extra spice. It also helps in digestion.  

Chole Masala

One of the must-haves in chole. It is an aromatic blend of spices that flavors the dish. It can be easily made at home or brought in Asian shops or from amazon. 

Garam Masala

Again the second main masala of the dish. A blend of species adds so much depth and flavor to the dish. 

Other spices

Cumin, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, black cardamom, turmeric, red chili powder, etc all are used to spice the dish. Asafoetida is added to aid digestion. Store brought Asafoteida has wheat powder in it, so if you are gluten intolerant, skip the asafoetida or use it in its original form.

Pomegranate seeds

I add this sometimes or skip it at times. This again adds texture and flavor to the dish. 

Sugar

A pinch of sugar is added to remove the sourness and acidity from the tomatoes. Do not worry it will not make your chole sweet.

Chole without potatoes 

I use to add potatoes earlier, but now I skip it completely. I do not feel the need for this. One can get the thick or semi-thick consistency of the curry by simply smashing some chickpeas. This also makes the curry more delicious. Of course, you can add some potatoes if you want. 

So you can say that my chole or chana masala is Jain Chole or Jain Chana masala without onion, garlic, and even potatoes. 

Chana Masala without Tea bags

Next for the color, I do not add any black tea or food color. The color would come naturally if you cook it perfectly and if you have the best masala. I do use chole masala and my mom’s Homemade Garam Masala. You can check in the pic itself that there is no need to add any tea bags.  

close up looked of Cooked chana masala seen in a laddle over an Instant Pot.
Cooked Chole or Chana Masala

Recipe process for Chana Masala

Whole spices are first sauteed in oil. Then tomato puree is added along with the powdered spices and allowed to cook, till tomatoes get cooked. If using onion and garlic, add them before tomato paste. Sautee the onion and garlic until translucent and then add the tomato puree.

Then add the soaked chickpeas, mix and cook. For an instant pot for soaked chickpeas, it will take 25 minutes. If the chickpeas are not soaked it might take an additional 10 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, it will take 3-4 whistles depending on your pressure cooker settings. 

Once the chickpeas are done, in a bowl or directly in the pot, slightly crush a few chickpeas with the back of the spoon. Adjust the consistency if required by adding more water. Mix everything and simmer for a few minutes.

Cooked Chole in a serving kadai or wok with a garnish of ginger. Seen in the background are few coriander leaves, green chili and lemon in a brown small bowl.
Instant Pot Chole

Dietary Requirements

Chole is vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free. As I am adding asafoetida it is not considered gluten-free as store-brought asafoetida has wheat powder. I use asafoetida in its original form and it is gluten-free. However, if you cannot source gluten-free asafoetida, gluten intolerant people can skip it. 

Can you refrigerate chole?

Yes, chole stays in the fridge for 4-5 days. Keep it covered in an air-tight container. 

Can you freeze chole?

Yes, chana masala can be frozen. They should stay good for 3 months at least. Let the curry get completely cooled before freezing. When required, defrost, warm, and serve.

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Cooked Chole in a serving kadai or wok with a garnish of ginger. Seen in the background are few coriander leaves, green chili and lemon in a brown small bowl.
Instant Pot Chole or Chana Masala
Cooked Chole in a serving kadai or wok with a garnish of ginger. Seen in the background are few coriander leaves, green chili and lemon in a brown small bowl.

No Onion No Garlic Chole | Chana Masala (Instant Pot and Pressure cooker method)

No onion No garlic Chole or Chana Masala is a protein and fiber-rich vegan curry made using Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Curry, Legumes / Beans / Pulses, Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Soaking Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup dried Chickpeas | Kabuli Chana | Garbanzo Beans or 3 Cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 4-5 cup Water To Soak Chickpeas
  • 4-5 medium-sized tomatoes.
  • 1 medium size onion finely chopped or pureed. Optional for those who want without onion
  • ¼ inch ginger grated or finely chopped.
  • 1 medium size Bay leaf Tej Patta
  • 1/4 inch of cinnamon stick Dalchini
  • 1 Black Cardamom Badi Elaichi
  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds Jeera
  • 3-4 cloves long
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped as per your taste
  • The red chilly powder as per taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 teaspoon of Chole masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Gluten Free Asafoetida hing **Please see Notes
  • 1 tablespoon Pomegranate seeds Optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 cup water – To cook chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Coriander chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • Salt

Instructions

Pre-work

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in normal water
    1 Cup dried Chickpeas | Kabuli Chana | Garbanzo Beans
    Chickpeas before pressure cooked in Instant Pot
  • Add about 4-5 times more water than the chana quantity as they will double up the next day.
    4-5 cup Water
  • 1 Cup of chickpeas will make around 3 cups of soaked chickpeas.
  • If you want to do it instantly like 3-4 hours before, soak it in boiling water for at least 2 hours.

Instant Pot Method

  • Puree the tomato in a blender along with pomegranate seeds. (If using pomegranate seeds)
    4-5 medium-sized tomatoes., 1 tablespoon Pomegranate seeds
  • Switch on the Instant Pot to saute mode for 20 minutes.
  • Add oil to the inner vessel of the pot.
    2 tablespoons Oil
  • Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
    1/2 teaspoon of Gluten Free Asafoetida, 1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
  • Once cumin seeds crackles add cloves, Bay leaves, Cinnamon sticks, and Cardamom.
    1 medium size Bay leaf, 1/4 inch of cinnamon stick, 3-4 cloves long, 1 Black Cardamom
    Sautee dry spices in oil
  • Add ginger and saute it for 30-40 seconds.
    ¼ inch ginger grated or finely chopped.
  • If using onion add the chopped or pureed onions. Saute until translucent.
    1 medium size onion finely chopped or pureed.
  • Add the tomato puree, chole masala, green chilies, red chilly powder, and turmeric. (the spices can be added along with oil if you want more spicy),
    2-3 green chilies finely chopped, The red chilly powder as per taste, 1 teaspoon of Chole masala, 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
    Tomato puree, spices added in oil
  • Let the masala cook along with tomatoes for 3-4 minutes, until it starts releasing oil from the edges, or the masala is cooked.
    Cooked Tomato
  • Add the soaked Chickpeas and 3 cups of water.
    3 cup water
  • Add salt, and mix everything.
    Salt
  • Cancel the saute mode and close the lid.
  • Pressure cooker on high for 25 minutes.
  • Once done, let the pressure release naturally. Once the pin is dropped open the lid.
  • Take around ¼ cup of chickpeas in a bowl or in the pot itself crush a few chickpeas lightly with the back of a spoon.
  • Add garam masala, coriander, and water if required and let the curry simmer on saute for 6-7 minutes until done.
    1 teaspoon garam masala, 2 tablespoons fresh Coriander chopped
    Cooked Chole
  • No onion No garlic Chol cooked in Instant Pot

Pressure cooker method

  • Add oil to the pressure cooker pot.
    2 tablespoons Oil
  • Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
    1/2 teaspoon of Gluten Free Asafoetida, 1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
  • Once cumin seeds crackles add cloves, Bay leaves, Cinnamon sticks, and Cardamom.
    1 medium size Bay leaf, 1/4 inch of cinnamon stick, 3-4 cloves long, 1 Black Cardamom
  • Add ginger and saute it for 30-40 seconds.
    ¼ inch ginger grated or finely chopped.
  • If using onion add the chopped or pureed onions. Saute until translucent.
    1 medium size onion finely chopped or pureed.
  • Add the tomato puree, chole masala, green chilies, red chilly powder, turmeric and sugar . (the spices can be added along with oil if you want more spicy),
    2-3 green chilies finely chopped, The red chilly powder as per taste, 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder, 1 teaspoon of Chole masala, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • Let the masala cook along with tomatoes for 3-4 minutes, until it starts releasing oil from the edges, or the masala is cooked.
  • Add the soaked Chickpeas and 3 cups of water.
    3 cup water
  • Add salt, and mix everything.
    Salt
  • Close the lid and cook for 4-5 whistles or depending on your pressure cooker settings.
  • Once done, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Take around ¼ cup of chickpeas in a bowl or in the pot itself crush a few chickpeas lightly with the back of a spoon.
  • Add garam masala, coriander, and water if required, and let the curry simmer for 6-7 minutes until done.
    1 teaspoon garam masala, 2 tablespoons fresh Coriander chopped

Chole from cooked or tinned chickpeas

  • Boil the chickpeas in enough water. To boil chickpeas check out the recipe here or this detail post on how to cook chickpeas from dried chickpeas.
  • Add oil to the pressure cooker pot.
    2 tablespoons Oil
  • Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
    1/2 teaspoon of Gluten Free Asafoetida, 1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
  • Once cumin seeds crackles add cloves, Bay leaves, Cinnamon sticks, and Cardamom.
    1 medium size Bay leaf, 1/4 inch of cinnamon stick, 1 Black Cardamom
  • Add ginger and saute it for 30-40 seconds.
    ¼ inch ginger grated or finely chopped.
  • If using onion add the chopped or pureed onions. Saute until translucent.
    1 medium size onion finely chopped or pureed.
  • Add the tomato puree, chole masala, green chilies, red chilly powder, turmeric and sugar. (the spices can be added along with oil if you want more spicy),
    2-3 green chilies finely chopped, The red chilly powder as per taste, 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder, 1 teaspoon of Chole masala, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • Let the masala cook along with tomatoes for 3-4 minutes, until it starts releasing oil from the edges of the masala is cooked.
  • Add the cooked Chickpeas.
  • Add water to desired consistency.
    4-5 cup Water
  • Add salt, and mix everything.
    Salt
  • After 8-10 minutes, take around ¼ cup of chickpeas in a bowl or in the pot itself. Crush a few chickpeas lightly with the back of a spoon.
  • Add garam masala and coriander and let the curry simmer for further 4-5 minutes until done.
    1 teaspoon garam masala, 2 tablespoons fresh Coriander chopped

Notes

  • Standard US Size cups and spoons are used. 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
  • Asafoetida (Hing) powder available in shops contains wheat and is not gluten-free. Gluten intolerant people can either skip it completely or opt for Gluten Free Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 Cup of dried chickpeas will make 3 cups of soaked.
  • Step by Step pics would be updated later. 
 
 
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @cookwithrenu_ad or tag #cookwithrenu_ad
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.

Updates

This post was first published on 6-Feb-2015. Today I am updating the recipe with the Instant Pot method. I am updating the contents as well as the pics. Sharing this with Foodies_RedoingOldPost.

Foodies_RedoingOldPost

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Recipe Rating




Jayashree T Rao

Thursday 15th of September 2022

Nice chole recipe without onion or garlic. The next time I prepare, will follow your recipe.

Priya Vj

Thursday 15th of September 2022

Love to try different recipes of chole as I love to have it with hot hot puris . Bookmarked your recipe to try for my next chole Puri dinner :-) Love the color of the chole gravy .

Mayuri Patel

Friday 9th of September 2022

My hubby always insists that dishes like chole, pav bhaji, dal makhani, biryani masala I make a day ahead and allow the flavours to infuse. So yes I do that. Love chole, my all time favourite being with bhature. And make a bit more so that we can enjoy it with rice too or in a sandwich wrap. Like this no onion and garlic version.

Swati

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Chole are an all time favourite.. loved your spicy and masaledaar recipe.

CookwithRenu

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Thank You

Sushma

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

Yummy curry, perfect to go with poori or roti.

CookwithRenu

Wednesday 20th of March 2019

Thank You