Chana Saag is a delicious one-pot Indian curry. It is a vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free main course dish you can easily make in an instant pot. Be sure to watch the video!
What is Chana Saag?
As the name suggests, chana saag is a hearty Indian curry with chickpeas (chana) and spinach leaves (saag). Hence the name chana saag.
In India, it is common to cook various legumes, lentils, or beans with green leafy vegetables. The proteins and the greens make a wholesome, fulfilling, and nourishing main-course dish for the family meal. I similarly make spinach egg curry or chana dal palak for everyday meals.
In the last few years, chana saag has become quite popular among the instant pot community and vegan food lovers. In my upcoming cookbook, you will find a lot of Indian curry recipes with seasonal green leafy vegetables.
Reasons To LOVE It
- one pot meal
- high protein
- vegan and vegetarian
- It takes only 30 minutes
- perfect for a family meal
- wholesome and nutritious
You can make chana saag with both dried and canned chickpeas. In fact, with pre-cooked or canned chickpeas, the curry takes less than 20 minutes to get ready!
I prefer using dried chickpeas (chana) and cooking them from scratch in the masala to make chana saag. The dried chickpeas take 20 – 25 minutes in the instant pot pressure cook mode.
Ingredients For Curry
Greens: My choice of saag for this curry recipe is spinach. You can use dill leaves, kale, fenugreek leaves, etc.
Tomate Paste: It is a blend of fresh tomatoes, ginger, garlic, dried red chilies, and hot water.
Spices: Red Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala, Cumin Seeds, Green Cardamom, Black Cardamom, Bay Leaf
Coconut Milk: It gives a creamy texture to the curry. Use thick or first pressed coconut milk.
Other Ingredients: Cooking Oil, Red Onion, Salt, Water
Watch Chana Saag Video
Chana Saag is an Indian main course dish. You can serve it with plain basmati rice or jeera rice. It tastes delicious with chapati, paratha, or naan as well.
Store the leftover chana curry in the refrigerator. It remains fresh for one week. Reheat in a microwave or stovetop before serving.
More Indian Instant Pot Recipes
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Chana Saag Recipe
- Instant Pot
Ingredients For Tomato Paste
- 1 Cup tomato, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- 4 Kashmiri red chilies
- ¼ Cup hot water
- 1 ¼ Cup dried chickpeas (kabuli chana)
- ⅛ Cup refined oil
- 4 green cardamom (elaichi)
- 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ½ Cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 ¼ Cup water
- ¼ Cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (see recipe)
- 2 Cup spinach leaves (palak)
- Soak dried chickpeas for 5 – 6 hours in 2 cups of water. Skip this step if you are using canned or pre cooked chickpeas.
- Make a smooth blend or paste of fresh tomato, ginger, garlic, and dried red chilies using hot water. Keep it aside.
- Set the SAUTE mode of the instant pot for 5 minutes.
- Add oil to the inner pot. Once hot, add cardamom, bay leaf, and cumin. Saute for 40 – 50 seconds to release their aroma.
- Add chopped onion, and fry till light golden.
- Add the tomato paste prepared earlier, red chili powder, turmeric, corriander powder, and salt. Saute the masala for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add soaked chana (chickpeas) and 1 ¼ Cups of water. Stir to combine. Close the lid of the instant pot. PRESSURE COOK for 20 minutes.
- Release the steam manually. Check chickpeas for doneness. Add garam masala, coconut milk, and spinach leaves. Stir to combine. Set the SAUTE Mode for 5 minutes to simmer the curry. Taste and if required, add more salt.
- Serve chana saag with rice.
- If you are using canned or pre-cooked chickpeas, cook chickpeas and spinach together in pressure cook mode for 5 minutes only.
- The chickpeas (chana) take 3 – 4 whistles over low heat in a stovetop pressure cooker.
- This is a mild to medium spicy curry. Adjust the number of spices and chilies according to your taste preference.
- Kashmiri dried chilies are mildly spicy and give bright red color to the dish.