Obsessive Confessions

sunset hands love woman

Since the sun makes its impression
Till the starry sky’s succession
You’re my number one obsession
There you have it, my confession

When you are the point in question
I lose all sense of direction
You’re my deed and my intention
Hope you’ll pardon my regression

Learn to cut out all detraction
Try and read through this redaction
Oh, the core of my affection
You’re my only plan of action

All the world is a distraction
It’s at odds with our attraction
You’re my freedom of expression
Rest is naught but an abstraction

Bound by fate, we are a faction
We won’t ever be a fraction
No addition or subtraction
What we have is pure perfection

– Yousuf Bawany, November 2018

* Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

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When you have two kids under the age of six, solitude is a precious commodity. You spend the entire day being a friend, an enemy, a teacher, a doctor and more often than not, a referee; raising kids is no easy job, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When the day is finally over and I have tucked my children in for the night, I find nothing more comforting than the pages of a book. Here’s a picture I took tonight to personify my love for the written word. Enjoy!

Off You Go

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I gave you wings
So you could fly

Let go of doubt
Just don’t be shy

Shake off your fears
Give them a try

At first you’ll fall
May even cry

But I’ll be there
To wipe your eye

In but a blink
Your tears shall dry

’cause night will pass
The light is nigh

With dreams in tow
You shall go high

The winds of time
Will pass you by

And lift you up
Beyond the sky

– Yousuf Bawany, September 2016

Note: One moment you’re carrying them in your arms, and the next, you’re dropping them off to school on their first day. Children grow up so fast and as much as you want to hold on to them, there’s nothing you can do to stop them from their destiny. This poem is a gift to my children Fatima and Muhammad; they are the light of my life, the twinkle in my eye, and the beat of my heart. To them, I say:

There’s nothing you cannot do or accomplish if you set your mind to it. If you ever need me, you just need to to call; I’ll be there to break your fall and support you in getting your bearing straight. All the best, my little birdies; fly high and let nothing drag you down. The world is your nest now.

Culinary Escapades: A Photo-blog

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Venue: Liwan and Shayan Resturants at Al-Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana. Enjoy! 🙂

Piri Piri Chicken Cutlets

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Ever since I first tried Nando’s some ten years back, I have been obsessed with the global phenomenon that is peri-peri; just thinking about the tangy-spicy flavor gets my mouth watering. I have been searching far and wide for the secret behind the peri-peri sauce, the infamous ‘African Birds-eye Chilies’ (a.k.a. piri-piri), so that I can try making the sauce at home, but until I do, I’ll have to settle for some store-bought (read uber-expensive) Nando’s sauce.

Ramadan is a time to thank Allah for all the bounties he has bestowed upon us; it is also a time for specially prepared feasts and platters full of delicacies to be shared with everyone (especially those less fortunate). After not having anything to eat or drink for almost fifteen hours daily, your mind naturally tends to think about food (a lot) and you cannot help but obsess over what needs to be cooked for the iftar (breaking of the fast at sunset). While fasting a few days back, I started lusting for some peri-peri goodness and thought of trying something new using the sauce as a key ingredient. Here’s what I came up with and believe me, it turned out fantastic; easy to make, perfectly crunchy, spicy and cheesy. It’s everything you’d want in a dish to satiate your Ramadan cravings.

This recipe here serves THREE people.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (cut horizontally into ½-inch thick fillets)
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tbsp Nando’s Hot peri peri sauce (you can choose to go for mild)
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4-5 slices of cheese (alternatively, you can go for a shredded mozzarella + cheddar combo instead for that rich thready texture)
  • 3-4 cups oil (for frying)

Method 

  1. Put the chicken fillets along with THREE tablespoons of peri-peri sauce into a bowl and mix well, ensuring that each piece is coated perfectly
  2. Set it up in the refrigerator for TWO to THREE hours to marinate; this step can be reduced to half-an-hour too but two to three hours gives the best results (taste-wise)
  3. Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl to make an egg-wash
  4. Take two plates and fill one with flour (add salt and pepper as seasoning to the flour) and the other with the bread crumbs
  5. Take a piece of chicken and coat it with the flour; ensure to coat properly and remove any excess
  6. Next, dip the chicken into the egg-wash; ensure to coat properly and remove any excess
  7. Finally, take the egg-washed chicken and drop it into the crumbs; ensure to coat properly and remove any excess
  8. Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 till all pieces have been coated properly
  9. Set it aside for FIFTEEN minutes to air-dry
  10. Here you actually have a choice: you can either (a) pan sear the chicken using a few tablespoons of olive oil or (b) deep fry it on medium heat till the chicken is tender and has a crisp-golden coat on either side – I prefer the deep-fried version
  11. As soon as you take the chicken cutlet out of the pan, add a slice of cheese (or the shredded combo) on top to allow it to melt
  12. In a separate bowl, mix two tablespoons of peri-peri sauce with cream cheese and mayonnaise to make the sauce; add some milk if you want to adjust the consistency
  13. Spread some sauce at the base of a plate and put the chicken cutlet on top
  14. Other garnish options include jalapenos, olives, spiced feta cheese, and even some tomato ketchup (if you’re really that into it)
  15. On the side, you can choose to add french fries or Peri Bites

All my Muslim readers will agree with me that coming up with something tantalizing (and different) for iftar each day is something we all fret over. Hopefully, this recipe will give you a much-needed additional option and will earn you some praise from children and adults alike. Enjoy!

Insanity has a new home!

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Greetings Friends!

Today marks a big day for this blog. I’ve been thinking of getting my own domain but have always been skeptical about it. After a lot of deliberation (which took me almost 3 years), I finally indulged myself and bought www.yousufbawany.com. Hallelujah!

This could not have been accomplished without your support (yes, I’m referring to you, dear followers/fellow bloggers). The love that you have extended to me over the past few years has helped me progress on this journey of self-discovery and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. Your kind words have helped push me to my creative limits and beyond and I truly appreciate that; I’ve realized that making people happy is what makes me happy, and this is just the beginning.

The metamorphosis is complete; I’m ready to fly.

Cheers,
Yousuf

Fluttering Across Stratford-upon-Avon

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Nestled in the heart of Warwickshire, UK, is Stratford-upon-Avon, a town made famous for its association with Shakespeare; to be honest, that was the only reason I wanted to visit. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined falling head-over-heels in love with this magical place. It was refreshing to see the laid-back carefree attitude of the people in general, enjoying the beautiful sunny day with their loved ones, walking their dogs or getting some icecream from the truck; it just seemed to portray a general sense of well-being.

If you want to escape the fast-paced city life and need a few days of R&R, Stratford is the place to be. There are plenty of activities in and around Stratford that you could indulge in; I’m mentioning some of my favorites here:

  • Visit the Stratford Butterfly Farm; consistently voted one of the best attractions in the UK, this is one place I could’ve spent an entire day in
  • Visit Shakespeare’s house and Anne Hathaway’s cottage
  • Take a stroll along River Avon or just sit at one of the benches, take in the sights and breathe in the mildly fragrant air
  • Get in on one of the ferries or row a boat on the river
  • Attend a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and get the full 360-degree Shakespearean experience
  • Wander the streets of Stratford soaking in all the history the town has to offer

Here are a few highlights of my day there; so without further Ado, let’s get on with it: