Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Have a Laugh 8

This dude is too funny...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So can I still say Eid Mubarak?

ok, Eid Mubarak!

Here's some flowers we picked up at the farmers market the day before Eid.

This is the oddest flower I've ever seen. It's like a velvety cauliflower type of thing. The only thing that scares me is the underbelly of this monster...it's all weird looking. By the way, I get very easily creeped out by even uncreepy things. One time, back in high school, they were selling sunflowers, so I decided to get one for my mom (I know, I know...I'm too sweet.) But I had no idea sunflowers were so huge! I only ever saw them in like books or cartoons, I had no idea they were like 3 feet long! And so I bought one (it was like $3) and I'm carrying it to my school bus and while I'm walking I stare into its eye (you know, the black/brown part of it) and it totally creeped me out and my automatic reaction was to drop it real hard and I ended up hitting my hand really hard on a wall. So yeah...not the most exciting story but even with this red velvet monster here, I had to have poops put it in the vase.

So did you buy anything to liven up your home during Eid?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Have a Laugh 7

One of my favorite "The Office" scenes:

And just in case you have some extra minutes, check this out:

Monday, September 14, 2009

3-Minute YumYum

Don't judge me. It's Ramadan.

This man is a genius

It's things like this that are so hard for an American of my pop cultural generation to explain to non-Americans (aka Poops) why this is so funny. Or am I the only one who thinks this is funny?
Well, better yet, I'll be George Bush for a second: If you find this funny, you're American. If you...if you...uh if you don't find this funny you're uh you're not American....you're the enemy (aka Poops.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Free Islamic TV

In case, you don't know about this website or any other websites to watch Islamic channels, I came across this one


Just choose the language and then you can choose the channel you want to watch. They're all live streaming channels. Under English, there's Peace TV India, UK, and USA, Huda TV, Press TV, etc..


Posted by Zarga

Friday, September 11, 2009


Thanks to tuttie from Trying to Take Over the World, the spanish lady hasn't called me yet!

To find out the story behind this, read this post and this post.

thanks again!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This is a great website for commentary on the Qur'an.

It's an English translation of the work by Abul Ala Maududi called Tafheem-ul-Quran.

It's easy to use the website, you can choose the surah and the ayat on the top. And also if you click on any of the Arabic it will recite it for you too.

This website has been my companion all throughout Ramadan along with a hard copy of the Qur'an I have with English translation as well. But I prefer the commentary by Maududi.

Anyways, Insh'Allah we can all still benefit from all the scholars who have worked so hard to provide us with understanding and commentary about the Qur'an.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And the saga continues...

shealakhan: omg the sspanish lady called again

Fahd: haha

shealakhan: i didnt pick up
just let it ring

Fahd: why don't u tell her not to call
otherwise I will call the police

shealakhan: i think she left a message

Fahd: lol

shealakhan: i just heard the tuntun
but it might just be her

Fahd: hahahaha


Ramadan Commercials

I should have posted these earlier but it's still Ramadan, Alhumdulillah, so enjoy! Some of them I've seen on the Pakistani channels we have and some I just came across on youtube.
The first set is ads by Olper's (Milk brand) and they're from this year as well as years before:

I like this next one from Olper's because of the two kids who seem to be fasting for the first time.

A Haleeb (also a milk brand) commercial:

Coca-Cola ads:

This next one is found in many languages but I'm posting the Urdu one. The baby is shocked at how amazing everything is during this month. He sees that his brother and sister aren't fighting, when he cries and wakes up in the morning and his mom takes him outside he sees everyone is already up before him, and he sees how everyone at the end is gathered together at the table to eat and says "wow what a fantastic month this is, can't we do this all the time?"

I don't know about other countries, but a child's first Roza (fast) is celebrated (not like a grand party but just everyone is happy and does special things.) Like that Olper's ad above with the kids above who were fasting for the first time and so their whole family was happy and now this ad is very touching. It's a family whose driver (who apparently lives nearby in a smaller house) tells the family that his son is fasting for the first time so the kids of the first family do something sweet (watch the ad for it.) Wall's is an ice cream company.

And now, by far, the funniest Ramadan ad I have ever seen:

Olive Chicken Tajine...Without the tajine!

Tajines are a big part of Algerian cooking, the most famous ones are olive chicken tajine and chicken tajine with dates:)

This weekend I made olive chicken tajine, without the tajine pot lol. I haven't been able to find one, the only one I saw was at Ikea, but I don't know, I didn't really like it. So anyways, it's super easy to make tajine without it, just use a pressure cooker, or a relugar large pot with a lid.

Carrots ( I used 4)

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tblsp of tumeric, pepper, cinnamon

1 pinch of salt (go very light on the salt, bc the olives are already salty)
1 regular sized jar of olives ( I used the green ones, with the red pepper inside)

1/2-1 cup of water

Chicken breast

4 regular sized potatoes
parsley ( I used cilantro)

Caramelize the onions in olive oil, after 3, 4 minutes add chopped garlic

add the carrots...

Once the carrots have softened, add the chicken ( I used two chicken breasts). Cook the chicken until it becomes kind of golden

add the spices, except the tumeric, add the olives. Let the chicken cook a few more minutes.

add the tumeric, potatoes, parsley, or cilantro.
Now add the water start with 1/2 a cup, cover and pressure cook for 15-20 minutes. Check every now and then to see if you want to add more water...

Voila! Hope u liked the recipe:)

P.S. Sorry about the quality of the pics, but my camera wasn't working, so I had to use my blueberry lol (wink wink Sheala).

Posted by Zarga

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Steak & Tikka

Look at those babies...

Jameelah's Banana Bread

1 1/2 cup sugar (I use brown)
3/4 cup butter
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour (I used 2 whole wheat and 1 white)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
mush 4 ripe bananas and stir them in
Grease and flour pan and cook on 350 for 45 min.

Fruit Chaat (Fruit Salad)

This is my version (or rather, my mom's version) of Fruit Chaat. Guava pulp takes it to another level, so I always buy the frozen kind and take out a piece each time I make Fruit Chaat.

I'm not much of a fruit person so I stick to bananas, apples, and oranges (poops likes to add grapes so I just throw some in for him.) And that's some frozen guava pulp in the bowl.

After chopping up the fruits, add some sugar (a couple of tiny teaspoons) and sprinkling some fruit chaat seasoning is optional.

Mix it all together and voila!

By the way, that's some pakoras on the left and biryani on the right with some raita and cucumbers on the bottom.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Musings of My Beloved 4

Some old lady in Miami keeps calling me...ALL THE TIME. She's got the wrong number. But I think the lady only speaks spanish so everytime she calls and I pick up, I say to her, "Sorry, wrong number." She says, "Ay ok, thAnk q."

Anyways, it's gotten so annoying that now I don't even pick up and I let the phong ring...HELLO LADY I'M OBVIOUSLY NOT THE PERSON YOU'RE TRYING TO REACH!

Who knows, maybe she got played by some Rico Suave she met on a cruise and he gave her my number instead. Or she's trying to reach her grandchildren who probably also gave her the wrong number cuz she so obviously can't take a hint. Augh...old spanish lady in Miami, stop calling me.

So you're probably wondering...why is this titled Musings of My Beloved, right? (Just humor me and pretend you were wondering it.)

Well poops (you all should know who this is but just in case you don't, it's Beloved's real name and from now on I'm referring to him as poops on here cuz it just makes the writing more natural) and I were driving to our city's main desi area to get some food or something (yeah right, it's always food) and I was going through my call log and told poops about the old spanish lady in Miami who keeps calling me and he gave me a mediocre idea, he said I should just record my voicemail greeting thing in spanish telling the lady that it's not cool to call me and that I'm going to report her to the police. I, of course, didn't laugh out loud at poops' idea and thought he could do better. And I also told him my spanish sucked and that I couldn't probably muster up a greeting to say all that, nor come up with what's spanish for wrong number except for "numero incorrecto." So then poops, in all his brilliance, told me what I should record on my voicemail. Beware, the following is a presentation brought to you by poops and his "all languages that aren't english and urdu sound the same to me" prejudice:

Me: (unprepared for the horror that was about to come)

Poops: Fi espanol same aurato!

Me: (horrified and peeing my pants with laughter (yes, poops, it happened...just a little bit though))

In case you don't get what was pee-worthy, poops managed to incorporate 4 different languages into a 4 word sentence. And none of it makes sense.

Fi = Arabic for in

Espanol = Spanish for Spanish

Same = English for same

Aurat = Urdu for woman and poops added an O to aurat to make it more Spanish I guess

Ah well...

Sunday, August 30, 2009


While I was cooking today, I went to the living room to look out the window, I like doing this I don't know why lol, and this is what I saw!!

No that's not a cloud! It's smoke! There's a fire that's been burning since Thursday and they're still trying to put it out. I didn't realize it was so close to where I live. Yup, welcome to Cali:(

Posted by Zarga

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tonight's Iftar

Tonight I made lentils, it really filled me up:) I also made some cucumbers in a yogurt, mint, garlic sauce.

Sorry I did take a picture of them in a nice bowl, just in the pot! lol o and I forgot to take a picture of the cucumbers! Sorry:(

Posted by Zarga

Sweets for Ramadan

Ghribiya b'zzit- I don't know how to translate in English, but it is basically a type of cookie made with flour and oil. They are very good with coffee and tea:)

It is very simple to make: 5 cups of flour, 2.5 cups of sugar, 2 cups of oil, mix with you hands until you get a kind of greasy paste (if that makes any sense lol). If the mix is to sandy, add more oil, or if too liquidy, add flour.

Then form small balls, about the size of a mandarin, and roll it between hands. It should have the shape of little pyramid, mine don't look as nice, but they're still good!

Then place them on a greased pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. O I forgot! before placing them in the oven you can sprinkle with cinnamon, or add an almond in the middle.


Posted by Zarga


So this is my first Ramadan cooking post. Unfortunately it's gonna be simple! After work yesterday, I didn't have much time to cook, and surprisingly, I wasn't very hungry. Soooo... I made one of my fav things... Mahkouda!! These are medium-sized potatoe cakes, they are typical of Oran, Algeria. Mahkouda, usually accompany fish dishes or lentil soup, but I like them with anything!

Again, I apologize but the photography is gonna be very simple:) Here are the ingredients you will need:
1)about 15-20 regular sized potatoes ( I use between 8-10, because I'm cooking just for myself).
2) parsley or cilantro ( I prefer cilantro)
3) salt, pepper, tumeric or safron (I use tumeric, safron is expensive and I can't find any!)
4)4 eggs (if using 8-10 potatoes use 1 or 2 eggs)
5) onion
6) cooking oil

1st I boiled the potatoes for about 35 minutes (it's best to cook them a while, so they won't be hard)
Then while the potatoes are boiling prepare the chopped onion and parsley. This time I will be using cilantro.

Now I wouldn't be able to give you any measurements for this, I just chop until I think it is enough. Here I filled up half way a small bowl (If that helps any lol)

Then once the potatoes are ready, peel them and then put them in a large bowl and mash! Once you have made mash potatoes, add on spoon of salt, pepper, tumeric (thats what I used), and crack the eggs into the mix;

Here I used 3 eggs, but I should have used 1 or 2, because then it became to mushy! lol
I also like to add one full spoon of pepper, because I prefer the cakes a little spicy, but if not you can just put a regular sized spoon of pepper.

After, you mix everything by hand until you see that all the ingredients are mixed into the potatoes.
I know it doesnt look very tasty, but it will be after!
Now take some of the mashed potatoes and form balls. Then place the potatoe ball into a pan prepared with hot oil, flatten them a bit, and set the temperature to around medium-low to cook them.

Let them cook for about 4 minutes on each side then flip over. I couldn't fit all the potatoe balls in the pan, but I was able to make 8 cakes.

Here is what they should look like when they are just about ready;

Then once they are pretty much brown and starting to look crispy lol, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate with a paper napkin, to soak up the grease;

Unfortunately, this a kind of greasy food. I know it doesn't look like much, but they are sooo yummy! I also like to eat them alone or with a salad, and you can also prepare a dip to eat them with.

Hope you enjoy!

Posted by Zarga

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hijab Discrimination in France

Another issue about Hijab in France. It makes me sad to see a country that is so liberal and advanced in many ways, supress it's Muslimah FRENCH CITIZENS. The worst part is that many of these young girls that are experiencing this discrimination, are 3rd or 4th generation French Citizens, and they are still treated as foreigners...

The Huffington Post:

"France caused a stir in the Muslim world in 2004 with a law barring the hijab (headscarf) and all other religious clothing from state primary and secondary schools. Earlier this month, a Paris swimming pool refused entry to a young Muslim woman wearing a burqini, a swimsuit that covers most of the body. Earlier this week, Société Générale, one of France's largest Banks, refused to let a 24-year-old female Muslim customer enter the bank, unless she removed her headscarf. The hijab-wearing woman said that her face was visible and she posed no security risk to the bank. She also said that she will be suing the bank. "

Check ou the video report:


Posted by Zarga

Musings of My Beloved 3

This is a short google chat I had with Beloved (aka poops) yesterday while he was at work and I was at home:

Fahd: wht r u gonna shake and bake today
Sheala: what do u want
Fahd: anything
okie let me tell you
Sheala: lol
Fahd: I want roh afza the frozen one
+ Pakoras (Both types)
+ Fruit Chat (that we already have)
do you think u can do it
Sheala: sure

(20 min later I started watching Duplicity with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.)

Sheala: this movie is more efor u
i have no idea whats going o
Fahd: lol
what is the movie abt

Sheala: spies i THINK
Fahd: hmm
Sheala: i mean but done in comedy style
Fahd: acha
Sheala: like how oceans eleven is comedy style
but serious subject

Fahd: like miss congineality
how ever it is spelled

Sheala: no poops
miss congeniality
was a comedy
Fahd: okie

And the night before, I caught the last few minutes of Princess Diaries 2 on tv (come on, you don't have to admit it but every girl loves the Princess Diaries movies...right?...right???) And this is how the chat went:

(Poops and I are sitting on the couch watching the last few minutes)

Poops: She's so pretty when she doesn't smile
Me: What do you mean? She's pretty all the time. She's the princess.
Poops: No, when she smiles she looks like Mickey Mouse.
Me: Mickey Mouse? WTF?
Poops: Yeah, like Mickey Mouse. Look her smile is weird and her ears are huge.
Me: um...
Poops: I don't mean Mickey Mouse I mean Mickey Mice.
Me. ummmmm......what?
Poops: She looks like Mickey Mice.
Me: What are Mickey Mice?
Poops: The girl Mickey Mouse...you know...his girlfriend.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA......You mean...Minnie Mouse?
Poops: Oh, I thought it was Mickey Mice.
Me: oh poops

Monday, August 24, 2009


Haleem is one of my favorite dishes and I LOVE my mom's haleem! My mom of course uses her own recipe and makes it so yummy!

A lot of Pakistani/Indian grocery stores carry easy-to-make haleem boxes which contain everything you need to make it at home (except for the meat, of course.) So here I've posted some (ok, a lot) of pictures to show you how easy it is to make. So go ahead and try it! (And you can click on the pictures to make them bigger)

Bon appetit!
Picture Credit: Beloved