Mutton Biryani in a Pressure Cooker

Traditionally you cook Mutton Biryani over a slow wood fire. Modern urban life does not lend itself to such indulgences. Swati who just launched her kitchen blog has learned and perfected the art of making the complete Dum Mutton Biryani in pressure cooker. Apart from the marination which can be anything between 3 hours to overnight the cooking time is just 40 min!

Mutton Biryani Subtle taste with melt in mouth tender mutton pieces

Mutton Biryani Subtle taste with melt in mouth tender mutton pieces

Head over to her blog and get the complete recipe. http://swatisani.net/kitchen/recipe/mutton-dum-biryani/

Some interesting tidbits about Biryani

There are two basic types of biryani: pakki (“cooked”, also pukka) and kacchi (“raw”, also kutchi). In pakki biryani, the cooked meat and cooked rice are layered. In the kacchi biryani, raw marinated meat is layered with raw rice before being cooked together. It is also known as kacchi yeqni. It is cooked typically with goat meat (usually ‘khasi gosht’, which is meat from castrated goats and often simply referred to as mutton) or with lamb, and rarely with chicken or beef. The dish is cooked layered with the meat and the yogurt based marinade at the bottom of the cooking pot and the layer of rice (usually basmati rice) placed over it. Potatoes are often added before adding the rice layer. The pot is usually sealed (typically with wheat dough) to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened till ready to serve. A boiled egg and mixed salad often accompanies the dish. It is featured in wedding feasts in Bangladesh, usually served with borhani, a spicy drink.

The non-vegetarian biryani may include chicken, mutton and sea food among types of meat. Although originally cooked with meat, biryani is now also cooked with vegetables, especially in India, where a substantial number of people practice vegetarianism. The vegetable biryani is prepared with rice, masala and non-meat ingredients such as potatoes and cauliflowers. Egg Biryani is another type of biryani.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biryani

48

Sahir Ludhianvi has written both the verses

Kal aur ayenge nagmon ki
Khilti kaliyan choonewale
Mujhese behetar kahenewale
Tumse behetar sunnewale
Kal koi mujhko yaad karhey
Kyon koi mujhko yaad karhey
Masruf zamana mere liye
Kyon waqt apna barbadh kare

Versus

Tujhko Mujhko Jeevan Amrit, Ab In Haathon Se Peena Hai
Inki Dhadkan Mein Basna Hai, Inki Saanson Mein Jeena Hai
Tu Apni Adaen Baksh Inhen Maein Apni Wafaen Deta Hoon
Jo Apne Liye Sochi Thi Kabhi, Woh Saari Duaen Deta Hoon
Main Har Ek Pal Ka Shaayar Hoon…

Contrary to popular opinion I find that the first verse is more liberating!

View Cells in CakePHP 3 – A quick start!

Wrote about another new feature in CakePHP 3 – View Cells. In a short 4 step how to I explain how to create a Recent Posts Widget

The concept behind View Cells in CakePHP 3 has been around for a very long time. As per the book View cells are small mini-controllers that can invoke view logic and render out templates. Andy Dawson wrote about this in 2007. If I were to to summarise the use of View Cells I would say, “Think Widgets”

Read the blog post

Aasim in MUWCI – finally!

Aasim with his wada mates and wada parents

Aasim had been preparing for this day for almost an year! Finally today he is where he wanted to be – a first year at the Mahindra United World College of India abbriviated to MUWCI by almost everyone.

Several friends expressed concerns about us having to let go of Aasim. Thanks for that. Agreed, last 17 years our world revolved around Aasim. We changed directions when he was born, some even called it a U turn. (No! it was not) This is the day we have aspired for as a family. Nothing can sum up things better for me than what Khalil Gibran has written about parents in his poem "On Children "

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

So yes my dear friends we are not just OK with Aasim flying. We are immensely proud and happy to see him fly. Thanks for being so concerned

From self downing to self acceptance!

One of the roadblocks that many people face on the path to happiness is self downing. In Self downing you believe that you are not good enough. This in some sets of a chain reaction of irrational demands leading to unhealthy negative emotions and self defeating behaviours.
From self downing to self acceptance

A simple thumb rule to know that a demand you are making from yourself is irrational by noting if the statement echoing in your head has a must in it. This is what Albert Ellis called “Musterbation” A few patterns of musterbation often seen are

  • I must be more successful
  • I should be more skilful
  • I must be more popular
  • I must not fail
  • I must be better than I am

These demands lead to being

  • Ashamed about what we see as our lack of success
  • Embarrassed about what we see as our lack of competence
  • Afraid of what other people think of us
  • Afraid to attempt some of the things we want to do
  • Depressed because of our “un-worthiness”

The cure for self downing is not self elevation but self acceptance. You can achieve self acceptance if you change your demands into preferences. Add to the preference a second part which negates the demand you are making on your self. Usually the two parts of your thought will be joined by the word “but”. Moving along with the examples which I presented above, an alternative to each of the demands would be

  • I would prefer to be more successful but it is not a must that I be more successful.
  • I would like to be more skilful but there is no proof that I have to be more skilful.
  • It would be nice to be more popular but  it is OK if I am not popular.
  • I don’t want to fail but I am human and at times I can fail.
  • There are some things about me that I would like to improve but there is no proof that I must improve those things.

If you are thinking easier said than done then you are right but with practice it becomes easier. Remember the objective here is to give yourself a leeway without giving up on yourself. Once you have broken the wall of demandingness the path to self acceptance becomes more achievable.

Photo: I am stronger, Teen Depression by Hopeless Lavender

Twitter bootstrap forms in CakePHP 3

Wrote about how to get Twitter bootstrap forms in CakePHP 3. Twitter bootstrap is probably the most popular of the CSS frameworks, getting to know how to manipulate the CakePHP 3 forms to use it is a useful thing to know.

So what are the thumb rules for using custom templates, Widgets and form helpers? For me

– Only markup changes – change just templates
– Conditional markup, amalgamation of input fields (think datetime inputs) – create widgets
– Additional processing of data, change in defaults like no label, no HTML 5 require checks by default – mess with custom form helper

Read the blog post

Beginning Therapy? Some tips to remember…

Beginning Therapy? Just the fact that you have decided to seek help of a therapist is a huge step forward towards your emotional well being. REBT is generally short term and often didactic. To make the best out of your sessions I would like to suggest a few tips which will help you maximise the benefits.

Begining Therapy

I have taken Anxiety as an example disorder here but I am sure that these tips will apply to many things that you choose to apply it to. However if any of the following seems daunting or in itself induces anxiety let it be, your therapist will guide you :)

Have an agenda

Know why you are going to the therapist. That one thing that makes you most anxious and you would like to change – set that as a goal. Try to picture your life minus that anxiety. If you have in your mind a clear picture of how you would like your life to be if you were free of anxiety,you will know what you are working towards. Share your ideas with your therapist so that he or she can help you reach your goals. Setting goals gives impetus to change.

You have to make it work

Results from therapy are not a given fact nor are they automatic. You are the one who has to make therapy work for you. Like everything else in life you can only get out what you put in. Effort is required if any significant changes are to take places. If you have been prey to anxiety for a long time. It will take time and effort to isolate old thought patterns and develop ways to counteract and modify them but it will happen if you try.

Practice will make you better

Practice! Practice!! Practice!!! Be conscientious in the use of techniques learned in therapy. Just remember that whatever you are doing is worth doing and if it is worth doing, it is also worth it to not do it well. Yes, sounds confusing but it simply means that do not let a few bad tries pull you down.

No one is forever free of emotional problems, but you will realise that anxiety need not dominate your existence.

Reward yourself

Reward yourself for your actions. If you feel that something did not go very well try to grade your success and then reward yourself proportionately. Permit yourself the pleasure of feeling excited about exploring new ways to meet life’s challenges. You have shown the initiative to seek help, this indicates that there is a lively spark of hope and expectation within you. As therapy progresses and anxiety recedes, that spark of hope will kindle a new enthusiasm for daily living.

Therapist is not the only one

You are not alone. Your own extended family, relatives, friends, coworkers and others interested in your well-being are all potential participants in yours progress. Learn to call upon them for understanding and help. Usually these significant others experience favorable changes in their own lives when they are called upon to help another. Seek out support groups in your area. If you are in Nagpur, you are in luck – Participate in Happy Hour Discussion group.

Photo: “PressureSensitiveStartingBlocks” by Andrew Hecker.

10 free minimalist WordPress themes

In my previous post I wrote about some premium minimalistic themes and had promised that I will make a post about free minimalist wordpress themes next. So here it is, I am making good on my promise.

All of these themes are available as free and open source themes. Some of them surpass several paid themes in terms of looks and typography but I have generally found that they are also a bit minimalist on functionality as compared to the premium themes.

Tonal

Tonal
Tonal from Automattic sports a minimal design with large featured images. It can display images and videos at full width. The menu and widgets are hidden from sight in a pull-down panel. The background adaptation feature on this theme is unique. Select any solid background color and the theme will automatically modify your typography and other elements to preserve readability with the new background color.

Demo & Download

Papaver

papaver1
Papaver is a minimalist theme that puts the focus on your words. With column layout this theme makes your content look like a beautiful book. This theme offers one, two or three column layouts. Unfortunately this also needs the most code editing to make it really work well.

Demo & Download

Continue Reading…

Change markup for pagination in CakePHP 3

Wrote about pagination in CakePHP 3 at the SANIsoft blog. Lots of things are changing in CakePHP 3, so decided to write a series about it.

CakePHP 3 introduces an elegant solution to this problem in the form of PaginatorHelper templates. PaginatorHelper templates allow you to easily separate the markup from your code and keep your code DRY. Let us try and use them. In this very short HowTo we will change the Pagination section to look from this

Read the blog post

Minimalist WordPress themes – Premium version!

Recently I was required to search Minimalist WordPress Themes for a friend of mine. She did not mind it being a paid theme. Here are the ones which I shortlisted for her. These are all premium themes. If you want free themes you will have to wait for the next post where I will post the free themes which were shortlisted.

Purity: Responsive, Clean, Minimal & Bold WP Theme – $55

Purity: Responsive, Clean, Minimal & Bold WP Theme

Purity is a Clean, Minimal and Responsive WordPress Theme with a ‘BOLD’ feel that can be easily used as a personal portfolio or a business website. With an Extensive Documentation and a Demo Content it’s a matter of minutes to set your page up. Theme is fully compatible with the latest WordPress 3.9!

Demo & Download

Maktab – Business theme – $55

Maktab – Clean, Minimal and business theme

Maktab WordPress Theme is a fully responsive HTML5 theme that is ideal for Business, Corporate and Portfolio. Maktab Comes With a lot of features Custom page builder, custom posts, Bootstrap, Retina Icons, Contact Form, Woo Commerce integration, Unlimited Sidebar, and much more to help you create you next project.

Demo & Download

Good Space – $40

Good Space - Responsive Minimal WP Theme

Good Space Good Space is a WordPress theme especially for creative agency. It’s very clean, minimal with modern design. This theme is also has a responsive ability. Moreover, it comes with tons of features. Including our page items that can be managed very easily via our awesome tool, ‘Page Builder’. Admin panel in this theme is a real feature rich. You can also create unlimited sidebar, choosing over 450 fonts or if you want to use your own, we provide a cufon uploader. You can also translate each elements to your language via this admin panel.

Demo & Download

Minimal WordPress Portfolio – $35

Minimal WordPress Portfolio
This is a clean, minimal, timeless design for a wide variety of users. Designed to help you get your site up and running quickly by taking advantage of built in WordPress functionality and avoiding dozens of useless, complex option screens. Leverage the popular JetPack plugin for a custom Carousel, Galleries, Gravatar Hovercards, Contact Forms, Widget Visibility, Custom Add-on CSS, Extra Widgets, Infinite Scroll and more!

Demo & Download

Mokka – Minimal & Elegant WordPress Blog – $45

Mokka - Minimal & Elegant WordPress Blog
Mokka is a responsive, minimalist, flexible and modern WordPress Blog. From a clean white color scheme (with a accent color of choice) & multiple page layouts which all remain sophisticated and simple. Everything definitely brings a certain elegance.

Demo & Download

Casia – Minimal WordPress Theme – $35

Casia - Minimal Clean WordPress Theme
Casia is a clean and responsive one-page creative portfolio that is perfect to promote your work in a very professional and pleasant way. Casia was built in HTML5 and CSS3, with parallax image effects to make it even more appealing and dynamic. It is fully responsive; it looks stunning on all types of screens and devices (desktop, notebook, tablet and mobile). Casia comes in three versions:

Demo & Download

UniSphere Minim – $40

UniSphere Minim Corporate and Portfolio

UniSphere Minim is a WordPress theme designed with corporate businesses in mind. It has a custom CMS integrated into the WordPress administration area that allows you to build a fully functional professional website in minutes. The theme is also well suited for online portfolios and blogs.

Demo & Download

Rayleigh – $45

Rayleigh - A Responsive Minimal Architect Theme

Rayleigh is a minimalistic theme with clean and elegant design, made for architects, designers, and all-around creatives to showcase their work.
Demo & Download

Raiden – $40

Raiden - A Minimal WordPress Theme with Style

Raiden is an elegant personal blogging WordPress theme with refined typography and aesthetics. Offering support for all 10 WordPress Post Formats, this theme is ideal for your personal Blog. Raiden also has an optional View Mode Switcher that optimizes the reading experience according to the lighting conditions. Have a look at the demo!

Demo & Download