Fenugreek / Methi seeds, even though used in very small quantities, are very much necessary for our day-to-day cooking. Without fenugreek seeds, preparing Dosa, Sambar Powder, Methi Powder, etc. will not be perfect. These seeds are having some health benefits as well. For all sorts of hair problems, fenugreek seeds works as a good remedy. Not only the seeds, fresh fenugreek leaves are also good for cooking. Roti, Paratha, Stir Fry and various rice items can be prepared using Fenugreek / Methi leaves.
Sometimes, I need fresh methi leaves for my cooking, but we get them very rarely in the convenience stores here. So, since the summer has started, I am growing the fenugreek leaves in our backyard and using the same for cooking. Every week, I will sow the seeds in 1 - 2 rows and within the next 3 weeks, it will be available for cooking. 
Both fenugreek leaves and dill leaves can be interchanged for some variety of dishes. I had posted the Dill Leaves Stir Fry recipe long back. The same way, you can prepare the Fenugreek Leaves Stir Fry. Since fenugreek leaves are slightly bitter in taste, it tastes better if we add little more sugar to this stir fry. 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 - 3
Difficulty level: Easy

  • Fenugreek leaves - 3 big bunch
  • Urid dal - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Sambar powder - 2 tsp or according to taste (see Tips)
  • Sugar - 1 tsp or to taste (see Tips)
  • Amchur powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated coconut - fistful
  • Oil - 4 tsp

  • Wash and clean the fenugreek leaves. Chop them finely including the tender stems. 
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add urid dal, asafoetida and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start crackling, add the sambar powder followed by chopped fenugreek leaves.
  • Add salt, sugar and amchur powder according to your taste. Cook the mixture half covered.
  • Saute the mixture regularly. Cook it for around 7 - 8 minutes or till its dried out fully and looks too dark. 
  • Add grated coconut and cook for 2 - 3 minutes more and switch off the flame. 
  • Serve this delicious stir fry along with Roti, Chapathi or rice.

  • Any type of sambar powder, saarina pudi or palyada pudi can be used for this recipe. 
  • Since the fenugreek leaves are bitter in taste, I have made this stir fry slightly sweet in taste. Those who won't like sweet taste, can add less sugar for this recipe.

If there are any special occasions like birthday or anniversary of near and dear ones, it calls for a celebration. Baking a cake at home is not a big deal, but decorating the cake needs some thinking and more efforts. Depending on the type of cake, we need to decide which type of frosting will be suitable.
I tried chocolate frosting for my chocolate cake few days back. Chocolate cake with layers and yummy frosting..it was divine! You can remember my earlier recipe of Egg-less Chocolate Cake which I shared sometime back. I just prepared 2 chocolate cakes in that way, layered and decorated them and finally, here is the outcome!

Time required: 45 - 50 minuted
Cooling time: 2 - 3 hours
Servings: 10 - 12
Difficulty level: Difficult

- Egg-less chocolate cakes - 2 nos (prepare and keep them ready)
- For Frosting:
  • Unsalted butter (at room temp) - 1 cup
  • Icing sugar - 3 cups (adjust according to taste)
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  • Dark chocolate - 200 gm
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Big pinch of salt
  • Chocolate shaves - as needed (see Tips)
  • Chocolate coated peanuts (or any other chocolate bytes) - few

- How to prepare frosting:
  • Melt the dark chocolate and allow to cool.
  • Beat butter using a beater or hand mixer till creamy. 
  • To this, add melted chocolate, salt and 1 cup of icing sugar. Beat them for a minute.
  • Add 2 - 3 tbsp of milk and one more cup of sugar. Beat the mixture again. 
  • Continue adding milk followed by sugar till you are done. 
  • Adjust the consistency and taste.
  • Beat the mixture for 2 - 3 minutes or till its light and creamy. 

- How to assemble the cake:
  • Slice each cake carefully into two layers. You will have 4 separate layers in total now.
  • Keep the first layer on the cake base or on a plate. Cover it with one layer of chocolate frosting.
  • Put the second layer of cake upon that and cover with frosting.
  • Fix all the four layers in the same way and cover the top and sides with frosting.
  • Decorate the sides with chocolate shaves. Arrange the choco-coated peanuts / your favorite chocolates on the top. Sprinkle some chocolate shaves as you like.
  • Refrigerate the cake for 2 - 3 hours before cutting. 

  • Dark chocolate which I used for frosting was sweet and hence, 3 cups of icing sugar was enough. If using unsweetened chocolate, add more sugar accordingly.
  • You can prepare the chocolate shaves easily at home. Refrigerate the chocolate block and once it becomes really hard, peel them using a peeler. Your chocolate shaves are ready to use!

There are some well known areas for shopping in Bangalore and one of them I like most is Gandhi Bazar. Evening time will be really good to roam around there, and our shopping will be complete only after having some food, preferably chat food. You can see so many chat shops serving various chat food to the never ending crowd. I had been to Gandhi Bazar with my sister quite a few months back. She knows that area very well and we did plenty of shopping. We were really tired and feeling hungry. She took me to a chat shop in Gavipuram Area. Mango - Sweet Chat from that shop was her all time favorite. So, we ordered the same enjoyed eating. It was so good and so yummy! 
Unripened Totapuri mangoes are perfect for this chat recipe. Grilled sweet corn and finely chopped mangoes are really a wonderful combination. This chat food has become one of our favorite snacks for the evenings. Here is the recipe of Mango - Sweet Corn Chat for you!

Time required: 20 - 25 minutes
Servings: 3
Difficulty Level: Medium

  • Sweet corn cobs - 2
  • Totapuri mango (medium size) - 1
  • Green chilli paste - 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
  • Lime juice - for taste
  • Salt - for taste

  • Roast the corn cobs on direct flame. I did this on my stove top. Separate the kernels when its still hot. You can do this job easily using a knife. 
  • Chop the raw mango finely. I prefer cutting them to the same size as of corn kernels. 
  • Combine corn kernels and chopped mango in a mixing bowl. Add salt, chilli paste and lime juice according to taste. 
  • Toll them quickly and serve immediately! 
  • This delicious chat can be served as salad for the lunch or as evening snacks. 
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