Fruit and Vegetable illustration

I went to an arranged Sikh wedding in Punjab in India a decade ago and one of the fondest memories I had was of eating Chole, a melt in your mouth chickpea curry. Chole is believed to be the original Indian chana masala that has inspired the countless variations that you’ll find around the world.  Here we make a curry paste and then cook the dish in some aromatic spices to give a more balanced flavour. The chickpeas are cooked until they have a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. To get that effect, the chickpeas are soaked overnight and cooked for longer than usual, 45 minutes on your Instant Pot’s pressure cooking setting. We then use an airfryer to top it with some crispy pieces of tofu – so yum!

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Takes 45 minutes

Serves 4


  • 1/2 onion
  • thumbsize piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chilli
  • 4 room tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50 ml water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup


  • 200 g dried chickpeas or 440g soaked
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 2 cardamom pods open up if using green
  • 2 tomatoes chopped


  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  • Drain the soaked chickpeas and transfer them to your Instant Pot along with all the remaining chole ingredients and the curry paste. Mix well. 
  • Lock the lid into place, set the Pressure Release Knob to Sealing, select the Pressure cook/Bean setting/manual at high pressure, and set the cook time to 45 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is done, let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and mash some of the chickpeas. Taste and season with any additional salt to your palette's desire. 
  • Tofu – I usually cook the tofu while the Chole is cookingChop the block of tofu into cubes. Transfer to a bowl and add in all the remaining tofu ingredients. Mix well with your hands so that the sauce evenly coats each piece of tofu.
  • Transfer the tofu to your instant airfryer and put on airfryer setting for 15 minutes at 200C. 
  • Serve the Chole with cooked rice and top each serving with the air fried crispy tofu, some chopped coriander and red onion.
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