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Complex tastes

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Complex tastes This dish has been inspired by the food from the street vans of the world. Street food often showcases the unique creativity of the vendors. This dish has a complex taste and is a medley of four different dishes.

Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 01. September 2013
Mushroom and beans Ingredients10 whole mushrooms8 - 10 chopped long beans 1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon crushed black pepper1 teaspoon olive oil InstructionsHeat the oil in a pan.Season the pan with the salt and pepper.Add the mushrooms and beans.Saute the vegetables on a high flame for a few minutes until they begin to brown.
Sausages Ingredients3-4 chopped sausages1 teaspoon crushed black pepper1 chopped coriander InstructionsRoast the sausages in the pan until they are lightly brown.Season them with black pepper and garnish them with the fresh coriander.
Sweet and sour sauce Ingredients2-3 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar2 tablespoon of soya sauce1-2 tablespoon of thai sriracha sauce1-2 tablespoon …

Tech - Nine Windows of Architecture

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The world at large has been going through a phase of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). Some say that this is the new "normal". Although, this term was initially coined by the US Army War College, it applies to the world of business and markets as well. As a result, the VUCA conditions impose more strain on IT departments to deliver solutions that are sustainable and flexible.

There are several structured techniques one can employ to manage this scenario. One of the techniques is called - "Nine Windows". This technique looks at two dimensions - time and space. The time represented as past, present and future. The space dimension is modelled as - super system, system and sub system.


As an IT architect, a lot of my time is spent working with teams on solution architecture and implementation. Sometimes, when there are several or competing options available, I use this technique. Typically, there is a tendency to focus only on the immediate oppo…

Cups of joy

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"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well." ~Virginia Woolf
One of the recent trends all over the world has been the popularity of cupcakes.  I suppose people are becoming more health and wallet concious. Added to that is the creativity from the deli and patisserie establishments.
I have found baking always a bit tricky because one doesn't often have a chance to course-correct if there are any mistakes in the cooking. You get to see the results only at the end. So far, my attempts at baking have been hit-and-miss.

So, I thought of giving a bakery class a shot. I went for a weekend class at Spoonful of Sugar in Bangalore.  If you are in Bangalore, you should give this class a go. Chef Yuvna Damani took us through all the steps in making the cupcakes and the icing. All the participants then had to make their own too. We made vanilla, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes with various icing on them. The three rules of baking seem to be - measuremen…

Song Review - Chasing The Sun

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Posted by Rajan Manickavasagam
July 17th, 2013

Rating: 5 out of 5
The album 'The Blessed Unrest' by Sara Bareilles has just been released. It contains a superb collection of songs imbibing pop, soul and jazz musical styles. The outstanding song in the album is 'Chasing The Sun'. I would recommend this song and even the entire album to anyone.

The song is sung from the vantage point of the cemetery in Queens. The photograph aptly captures the essence of the song. We spend our lives chasing our moment in the sun. Everyone is keen to see the skyscrapers in the city but there are over 3 million tiny skyscrapers in the cemetery too. There are songs in the past that eulogised the hustle and bustle of New York, like - 'New York Minute' (Don Henley), 'New York, New York' (Frank Sinatra'). This song captures New York in a more reflective mood.
Sara's voice is strong and sharp throughout the song. The background score is dominated by the piano. There is a …

Tech - Doin it Right

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I recently participated in a Hackathon organized at my company. While, I am not at liberty to tell what the hack was, I can share the experience though.
We all usually have ideas brimming about how we could improve or change things. A lot of times, one does not get the time to act on those ideas. Sometimes, these ideas require time, people, resources, money etc. 
Our Hackathon got off to a great start with music by Daft Punk - 'Doin it Right'. It certainly set the tempo.
Focus It is easy to get carried away with the ideas. Learn to focus on the idea. Once, you have something in mind, explore it in more detail and flesh it out. Bounce the idea around with different people to get various perspectives. Perhaps, you may fall in love with the it or just drop it. If you must, fail quickly and learn from it.
Team Unless, you are planning to go it solo, get a great team. Ensure that there are diverse skills, experiences, even temperaments. The most fun you will have is in building the …

Tech - Balance is the key

In the world of services, a challenge we will face is the granularity of a service. As a principle, it is recommended that a service should be granular. As more and more services are built, this allows developers to 'compose' or 'combine' the services to achieve a desired feature.
But, this has a potential pitfall. Often, there may be a need to combine the services  in a certain way. The options are either to modify the service or to have another service on that does the ​aggregation. There are pros and cons both ways.
Here is an interesting example from 3Scale - http://3scale.github.io/2013/04/18/accelerate-your-mobile-api-with-nginx-and-lua/.
And, an equally interesting article on being pragmatic vs dogmatic - http://dlo.me/archives/2013/04/16/there-is-no-right-way-to-develop-software/.
If  you are building services/API, there may well be a case for sometimes being pragmatic or dogmatic or both! You may need to evaluate each scenario on a case-by-case basis.

Food for a king

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Food for a king The galouti kebabs are known to be first cooked in the kitchens of Awadh royalty. One could say that, they are an indian version of meat patties. They are supposed to be very soft and legend has it that the dish was first created for a 'toothless' nawab in Lucknow.

This recipe is my take on this legendary kebab. They can be had on their own with chutney or as a filling in a burger or kati roll.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 17. February 2013

Ingredients1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste1 chopped red onion3-4 diced cubes of raw pumpkin1 chopped green chilli1 teaspoon red chilli powder1 teaspoon of turmeric1 tablespoon of garam masala powder1 cardamom1 bay leaf1 mace1 teaspoon of fennel3-4 tablespoon of butter or clarified butter500g of chicken mince InstructionsSeason the chicken mince with salt and black pepper and knead it well.Mix the remaining chopped chilli and spices and g…