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Instant Pot Chana Saag / Chickpea Spinach Curry

Instant Pot Chana Saag / Chickpea Spinach Curry - A vegan and gluten-free chickpea spinach curry cooked in an onion tomato sauce. Makes a nutritious weeknight meal when paired with basmati jeera rice, quinoa, naan or roti. Ready in under 30 minutes. Yes please!!! Video Recipe.

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chana saag chickpea spinach

What is Chana Saag?

Chana is also popularly known as chickpeas or garbanzo beans.

Saag in India is a curry made with leafy greens like spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, kale etc.

So Chana Saag is literally chickpeas cooked with greens in onions tomato sauce. Just like Saag Aloo where the potatoes are cooked with greens in a tomato onion sauce or Kale Saag Paneer, where the paneer is cooked with kale in an onion tomato sauce. 

There are lots of variations of, it can be thick and creamy or it can be like stew. The sauce can be either red or green in color depending on the amount of greens you add.  In either ways it's nutritious and delicious. There is no right or wrong way, make it your own as it's one versatile recipe.

When we make the thicker version we like to pair it with basmati jeera rice or Indian flatbreads, when we make the thinner version which is more like stew we like to relish it with quinoa or toasted artisan breads. It's always yum. You won't be disappointed. instant pot chana saag recipe

Why you will love this Instant Pot Chana Saag

  • It's a nutrient powerhouse. you can enjoy the goodness of leafy greens & chickpeas in one bowl.
  • It's ready in 30 minutes when you use pre-soaked or canned chickpeas.
  • It's quick and easy and  makes a perfect weeknight meal. 
  • It's filling and keeps you full for a long time.
  • Plant based, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free.
  • No fancy ingredient list.
  • Meal Prep and Freezer Friendly

Instant Pot Chana Saag Recipe Ingredients

What we really love about this recipe is that you don't need any fancy ingredients and it doesn't call for a very elaborate list of ingredients. Here is just a list of the ingredients you can find the measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Chana Saag Recipe Ingredients

  • Chickpeas - You can use either dry chickpeas or canned. Honestly we prefer to cook our own chickpeas as it's much more economical plus they taste so much better and are minus all the additives and salt.  You don't have to pre-cook the chickpeas to use in this recipe.
  • Greens - You can use any fresh or frozen greens you have handy, spinach, kale, mustard greens or even collard greens. My favorite is always spinach and/ or mustard greens, but we have also tried half and half of spinach and kale and collard greens. We keep rotating the greens in this recipe. 
  • For the sauce - onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chillies (optional), oil, water, salt.
  • Spices - cumin seeds, dried fenugreek leaves (optional), garam masala, turmeric, red kashmiri chili powder.

How to make Chana Saag in Instant Pot : A step by step recipe

Here is just a gist of the steps involved in the recipe. You can find the measurements of ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Step 1 : Saute - Using the saute function, heat the oil in the inner pot. Once the oil is hot, throw in the cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the onions, ginger and garlic. Saute until the color of the onions change. Throw in the spicecs - turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves. Mix the spices in. Next add the tomato puree and deglaze the pot, scrape the bottom of the pot for any food particles that might be stuck. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes on saute function. Then add the pre-soaked chickpeas, salt and water. Deglaze the pot again. 

Step 2 : Pressure Cook - Cover the lid, seal and vent and pressure cook for 20 minutes on high. Once done, quickly release the pressure. Open the lid.

Step 3: Dump Spinach - Throw in the greens - spinach, kale, collard greens or mustard greens. Using the Saute function, continue to cook for a couple minutes. Serve with rice or flatbreads. 

chana saag recipe

Tips to make a good Chana Saag Recipe

  • Dry chickpeas over canned - It's always a good idea to whatever extent possible to use dry chickpeas as the taste of homecooked chikpeas versus canned is pretty different. Ofcourse if you don't have dry chickpeas, by all means you can used canned chickpeas.
  • Fresh greens over frozen - Fresh greens will always yield a nicer color over frozen greens.
  • For Green Sauce - add pureed greens. 

What greens can I use to make Instant Pot Chana Saag

You can use any green you have handy, spinach, kale, mustard greens or even collard greens. Preferably fresh but if you can also use frozen greens. For a greener sauce, add pureed greens.

Is is necessary to soak the chickpeas, if using dried chickpeas.

It's always a good idea to soak the chickpeas if you can as it makes digesting them easy. If you forgot to soak them overnight, you can soak them in hot water for about 4 hours. If you don't have time to soak at all and need to make this in a jiffy then just adjust the cooking time to 35 minutes.chana saag recipe

What can I serve with Chana Saag

Depending on how you like your Chana Saag,  thick and creamy curry or like a stew, you can either pair the curry with basmati jeera rice or Indian flatbreads like naan or roti. when we make the stew version we like to pair it with quinoa or artisan breads. 

How can I meal prep this Chana Saag and store it?

You can make this Chana Saag ahead of time and either refrigerate in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it in freezer safe containers for upto 4 months. When you want to consume it, just thaw the frozen Chana Saag overnight in the fridge and heat it before serving. 

chana saag recipe

More recipes using Chickpeas

Hope you try making this Instant Pot Chickpea Spinach Curry and relish it too. Don’t forget to come back and leave us a comment. If you know of someone who loves to chickpeas, spinach or Indian curries, share this with recipe with them on your social media. 

chana saag with basmati rice

Instant Pot Chana Saag / Chickpea Spinach Curry Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Chana Saag / Chickpea Spinach Curry - A vegan and gluten-free chickpea spinach curry cooked in an onion tomato sauce. Makes a nutritious weeknight meal when paired with basmati jeera rice, quinoa or breads. Ready in under 30 minutes. Yes please!!! Video Recipe.

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1 : Saute - Using the saute function, heat the oil in the inner pot. Once the oil is hot, throw in the cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the onions, ginger and garlic. Saute until the color of the onions change. Throw in the spicecs - turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala and half of the dried fenugreek leaves. Mix the spices in. Next add the tomato puree and deglaze the pot, scrape the bottom of the pot for any food particles that might be stuck. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes on saute function. Then add the pre-soaked chickpeas, salt and water. Deglaze the pot again. 

Step 2 : Pressure Cook - Cover the lid, seal and vent and pressure cook for 20 minutes on high. If using canned chickpeas, pressure cook for 8 minutes on high. Once done, quickly release the pressure. Open the lid.

Step 3: Dump Spinach - Throw in the greens - spinach, kale, collard greens or mustard greens. Using the Saute function, continue to cook for a couple minutes. Garnish with remaining dried fenugreek leaves. Serve with rice or flatbreads. 

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