Yousuf Bawany

Yousuf Bawany

A writer who enjoys to cook foods from across the world. He blogs at yousufbawany.wordpress.com. He tweets @YousufBawany (twitter.com/YousufBawany)

Pakoras galore: Let the Ramazan feast begin!

The month of fasting is finally upon us, and what makes this Ramazan more special is the fact that it is coinciding with monsoon; the clouds in Karachi ready to pour any moment now (Please, God, please?). Monsoon and Ramazan have nothing in common save for a piping garam garam plate of pakoras. This Pakistani staple dish is a must-have as any Iftar is incomplete without a variation of this. The popularity of pakoras lies not only in their unique flavour profile, but also in their affordability. Pakoras are savoury snacks deep-fried to a crisp and served with a dash of chaat masala with ketchup, ...

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Stuffed chicken breast with pineapple sauce the Salt n’ Pepper way!

Stuffed chicken breast with pineapple sauce is a dish served at Salt n’ Pepper (SNP) in Lahore. It brings back a lot of fond memories from my postgraduate days. I associate this phenomenal recipe with some of the happiest times in my life.  I happened to visit Lahore a few months ago and luckily, SNP was just around the corner from where I was staying. Needless to say, this restaurant was my first stop after a long and tiring day of travel. As I took my seat, I couldn’t help but reminisce all the good times I had had with my friends. ...

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The Singaporean Rice saga

Karachi wedding receptions are very different from those in any other region of Pakistan. While the bride and groom are (supposed to be) the main attraction, it’s the food that takes the limelight. A menu can either make or break a wedding, and you’d be darned if you selected something the guests end up hating – and don’t even get me started on the menu-bashing uncles and aunties who’ll torture you for weeks (and even months) to come! Keeping in view Karachiite’s mindsets, caterers try adding new and exciting dishes to their portfolios, giving the gossip-mongers something positive to talk about. Fish ...

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Satisfy your peri bite craving

Nando’s has taken grilled chicken to a whole new level and the secret lies in their amazing sauces.  If eating at Nando’s can puts a dent in your pocket, you can always buy their sauces at any good grocery store. Like my fellow poultry lovers, I go to Nando’s for the best grilled chicken on the planet. But to truly whip up an appetite and to get the taste of what’s to come, you have to order their peri bites. These mouth-watering chillies are deep-fried with a crisp coating, and have a cheesy centre with a little chunk of their famous peri-basted ...

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February 23, 2012
TOPICS

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Spotting a strand of white in a head full of black hair is fairly easy and insignificant, but if you are over 30, it can be very traumatic. Combine this with the hair-fall situation and the ever-increasing “naked-eye” visibility of your scalp and hello, Paranoia. Depending on: (a) how rich (or poor) you are (b) how bad the present situation really is, or (c) your organic/herbal orientation (straight or otherwise), one of the following will be your next course of action: Pretend everything is okay and do nothing; after all, you still have a lot more hair compared to cousin Salman (and I really mean a lot). Try ...

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For the love of hot halwa

The greeting  ’What’s up, doc?’ immediately conjures up an image of Bugs Bunny in my head, nonchalantly chewing on a carrot, trying to evade (or shall I say, torment?) his eternal  archenemies Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam. I am a big Looney Tunes fan and I know for a fact that many people ate carrots as kids only because Bugs Bunny ate them, just like Popeye fans couldn’t get enough of spinach (yuck!). All the toon-talk aside, carrots are one of the most loved of all vegetables (some even argue it’s a ...

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Three layers of chocolate heaven

There are some culinary combinations that gel together nicely and this recipe explores one such combination -cake - instant jelly and custard.  This is a simple yet amazingly tempting dessert that’s ideal for any special occasion. The best part is that it requires very little cooking time. Also, nothing is set in stone here so feel free to experiment with different flavours and combinations. Ingredients Chocolate/marble cake Swiss rolls (I prefer chocolate but you can use any flavour) Vanilla-flavoured custard powder (again, you can have any flavour you like) Milk Sugar Instant jelly (cherry or strawberry – because it adds a little colour to your dessert) Fresh fruits (bananas and apples go well with this ...

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Home-made cool, creamy falooda!

Nothing beats the heat better than a big glass of cool and creamy falooda! Now you can make some for you and your family within the privacy of your air-conditioned habitats (no leaving home – yipee!). A timeless classic, this recipe is a sure-shot hit amongst family and friends. As intimidating as it looks, it takes very little time and effort to prepare it. Ingredients (serves 5) 1 kg milk 5-6 tbsp sugar Few strands saffron 2-3 cardamoms (powdered or thinly chopped) 1 tsp agar-agar powder (China grass) 2 cups water Few drops food coloring (any color other than red) Few drops Essence (Rose or Strawberry) 1 pack of ...

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What my 5-month-old taught me

Usually, what goes on in the labor room, stays in the labor room. While some progressive hospitals allows dads to enjoy the whole birthing experience, more often than not, us dads and the couple’s close relatives sit in the waiting area, praying for the health of the mother and the baby. Just like in the movies, the father-to-be can clearly be distinguished from the lot as he paces the length of dimly-lit corridors, biting his nails, waiting for the nurse to come out with some good news – it’s just like a scene straight out of a movie. It could take hours, ...

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In pursuit of greener passports

I had been dreading this day for months. The inevitability of not being able to travel with a valid passport loomed over my head. Despite my fears I was optimistic when my brother and I headed towards Awami Markaz, Shahra-e-Faisal. CNIC? Check. Old Passport? Check. Yousuf in all his glory? Check. Our car was surrounded by zombies moving in for the kill. “Bhai Sahab, are you here for a passport? We can get it done for you and you won’t even have to get in line.” This always sounds too good to be true and it actually is; these “service providers” don’t come for free. ...

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