Channa Masala (Spiced Chickpeas in Tomato Sauce)

1 cup Chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tsp turmeric
1 tea bag
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp ghee
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp Cumin-coriander powder (or 1 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 red onion
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
2 tbsp Tomato puree
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 
1-2 tbsp tamarind paste (or 2 tsp lime juice, 1-1/2 tsp molasses, 1 tsp sugar) 
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add 6 cups water, chickpeas, turmeric, bay leaf, and tea bag. Bring to a boil and cook for an hour.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt ghee and add caraway seeds and the spices and saute for 30-40 seconds. Add the onions and then ginger-garlic paste and saute until the onion is translucent. 

Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and tamarind paste and cook till the tomato is soft.

Remove the tea bag and bay leaf from the chickpeas and drain, reserving the liquid. Add the chickpeas to the tomato sauce and add 1 c of the reserved liquid. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens up.

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Spiced Rice

1/2 c basmati rice
1 c water
3 inch cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3/4 t salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Rinse rice until water is clear. Cover with water 3 inches above rice and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove spices. Serve hot.

Spiced Chai

4 tsp black tea
1/4″ slice fresh ginger, peeled
4 cinnamon sticks, broken up
8 green cardamom seeds, cracked/open
12 whole cloves
2 cups each whole milk and water
(optional: 3-4 saffron threads, 1 tsp vanilla)

Boil all ingredients together until liquid is a dark caramel color and milk forms a skin. Strain into cups and sweeten to taste.