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 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


These are some sweets we got over the weekend. That there on the left is pretty obvious - DATES! To the right are sweetmeats (Mithai in Urdu,) the yellow ones are called "coconut sandwich" by the Mithai store and the green ones are "burfi." Towards the bottom there we have "jalebi" which Beloved loves.

Which sweets have you gotten to reward your tongue and tummy after a day's fast?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem to the Muslim Ummah, may we increase our good deeds, du'as, may we strive to pray our salat on time, and may we be more merciful

(Sheala, this is the inside of the masjid we went to in London and we met the Pakistani woman and her daughter)

Posted by India

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadan Mubarak!

Everyone's been posting/sending cute or beautiful pictures of Ramdan Mubarak cards and I thought I would post a picture I took myself (just to be spontaneous.) This is the Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Julie & Julia & Us & Our Cookbooks

Click here to find out what the Chapati Ratings System is.

Julie & Julia
2.2 chapatis + .3 chapatis just because it's about food = 2.5 chapatis

I felt refreshed after this movie, it was like taking a walk through a beautiful garden on a perfectly windy day. This movie didn't have the typical movie formula (antagonist and protagonist, challenges and side-stories, climax and meaningful ending)...ok there maybe was a meaningful ending...but I can't tell you everything.

What I did love about this movie was that I ended up wanting to pop open those gazillion cookbooks that are so neatly filed into my bookshelf. Let's face it, we buy cookbooks mostly because they're either on sale (don't be shy, we all browse the Barnes&Noble Bargain bookshelves,) or we catch one of the many cooking shows on the Food Network and think if that fat guy can do it I can do it too, or we go to a country (Morocco's tagines and appetizers will forever haunt my culinary dreams) whose food we like, or we eat something different and exciting at a friend's house and hope we can prepare something just as awesome so our beloveds will forever be in our debt.

Alas, we end up collecting cookbooks for whatever reason tickled our fancy and we open the books only to find out that buying all those ingredients for that one dish will be moderately cash-consuming. Not to mention who has the space to store an ingredient we might just use only once and sometimes just use one teaspoon of it, (darn you, Indian cookbooks!) Because let's face it, we bought the book to cook the dishes we thought were easy enough for us to cook, and that ends up being anywhere from 2-7 dishes in a 100 dish book. So we put away our cookbooks promising ourselves that one day we'll visit it again.

My suggestion: Watch this movie and ladies your promised day may come sooner. I do recommend watching this movie even with your husband (who may be hesitant at first because it's a supposed "chickflick".) It's a 2.5hr long movie but you won't even once look at your watch to check the time. Check out Julie & Julia in theatres before it hits DVD, and the experience will be better, plus you'll love seeing Paris in the early 1950s on a bigger screen.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cool Idea...

I was planning on doing a series of Iftar ideas by giving recipes and taking pictures of the food I myself made and I forced insisted Jameelah and India also post recipes and pictures of their Iftar meals. And going with that theme, the lovely lady at SimplyRamadan is holding a contest for the best Iftar recipe.
Now Jameelah and India I hope you guys make some deliciousness this Ramadan and take pics! Visit the site listed in the picture above for other Ramadan-related goodness.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Have a Laugh 6

Last week I went to my local Arab grocery store (for halal meat and other deliciousness) and upon exiting the store I noticed a stack of glossy post-card-sized flyers (make sense?) So anyways the title caught my eye and I decided I had to take one and share it with you (you can thank me later.)

I had beloved scan the flyer at work, that's why it's in black and white. Then beloved introduced me to some software program thing which allowed me to add my comments. So the following is my editing and commentary to this flyer, enjoy! (oh and click on it to make it bigger) (oh and beloved forgot to scan the other side of the flyer so this is just the front)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bollywood Hero

I don't know who out there has the IFC channel (I do, pshht) but there's going to be an interesting show on there starting August 6th called Bollywood Hero. I'm going to post the link to the show's website: Bollywood Hero

The Eyebrows Have It

I decided that there were some famous women who needed to be recognized for something other than their acting or singing...their EYEBROWS. These legendary actresses will hopefully inspire those of you (you know who you are (wink wink)) to stop tweezing, waxing, threading your eyebrows. Let's go through the decades with these beautiful ladies and their neatly trimmed but unchanged eyebrows.

Audrey Hepburn
How beautiful does she look? Even this petite lady was able to pull of dark, full eyebrows.

Elizabeth Taylor
Classic beauty most definitely. And although the eyebrows have been shaped, the thickness is still there.

Keira Knightley
One of my favorite modern actresses; I'm glad she didn't fall into the thin eyebrows trend.

Brooke Shields
She was the epitome of youthful beauty in the 1980s, especially after Blue Lagoon.

Natalie Portman
A very talented actress who, although has tweaked her eyebrows, still retains the essence of full brows.

Jennifer Connelly
Very famous for her thick eyebrows which almost form a unibrow. I think without the eyebrows she wouldn't look half as pretty as she looks now.

Rachel Weisz
We all fell in love with her in The Mummy, and since then fell in love with her eyebrows.

The best for last. I love her eyebrows (her eyebrows in the 1980s) and I wish she hadn't thinned them out since then.

My favorite picture of Madonna's eyebrows


Does anyone else think that Canadian comedian Russell Peters...
looks like small-time actor Kurt Fuller?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Spicy Indian Snack

Ok this is for professionals only...even I couldn't eat this thing. It was spicyyyyyy. But I just wanted to show my mom what it looked like lol. I present to you cup o' Indian spicy rice snack.

Seriously, do not eat this unless you have a whole bottle of Pepto waiting for you by the toilet.