Asie Mohtarez

Asie Mohtarez – Brooklyn-based Perzhian girl comedian with a solid Tumblr and a Bollywood obsession – is awesome and funny. Everything she writes about Persianity is totally right and honest and hilarious. Somebody give this girl a TV development deal already.

Here is her stand-up:

Here is a tour of her Brooklyn apartment:

Here’s the Thing – Episode 9: Asie Mohtarez, comedian from miskamagic on Vimeo.

It’s Not Easy Being (A) Green (Revolutionary)

It’s not easy being green / try to blend in with the others in the mob /

Plainclothes police will run you over / drag you over to Evin prison /

Or maybe just beat you with electric baaa-tons

(via mariamjaan.tumblr.com and seaofgreen.tumblr.com)

7 Questions for Yogurtsoda

mariam-at-bouchon
Yogurtsoda is the new online home of Iranian-American, Bay Area-based, Pars Arts contributor Mariam Hosseini’s excellent food and travel writing.

1. You’ve blogged regularly for quite a while on Distant Voices. Why did you decide to spin out food/travel posts to Yogurtsoda?
I’d been planning on blogging on my own domain for years, but had never really gotten around to it. www.distant-voices.com is actually my sister’s domain and she had hosted (re)definition for me there since the beginning.

Yogurtsoda is still in transition – not everything is properly formatted and archived yet. But hey, I love doogh, and www.yogurtsoda.com is a reflection of two things close to my heart: food and Iranian culture. For better or worse, I’m really shekamoo.

2. How did you become interested in cooking?
When I was five years old, my favorite television show was Yan Can Cook. I used to watch him and imitate what he did by “playing chef.” I had my own pretend live studio audience and everything in my head, embarassingly enough. He’s the original celebrity chef in my eyes.

I also grew up in a household where home cooking and healthy food was valued, so being exposed to that from a young age led to my curiosity in the kitchen. I still remember the first meal I cooked for my family as a kid: A huge pot of instant ramen noodles, refried beans, and some boiled peach atrocity of a “beverage.” Thankfully, I’ve come a long way since then.

3. You work quite a bit at your day job in the non-profit world; how do you make the time to cook?
I’ve definitely had to scale down in the past couple of years. I’m too busy to crank out my homemade pasta maker or to tackle multi-course meals, so I stick to simpler recipes that maintain the integrity of the ingredients but still work with a busy schedule. It also helps if I prep as much as I can ahead of time. My kitchen is pretty small too, so I’m limited not only by time but also space.

4. What’s the best Bay Area Persian food? What’s the best Persian restaurant you’ve been to anywhere?
My parents’ kitchen. I don’t know what it is, but I much prefer Iranian homecooking to the restaurant variety. That being said, Shalizaar in Belmont is probably the best Persian food in the Bay Area, but I haven’t tried them all to be able to give a fair assessment. Any of the Moby Dick restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area are the best I’ve had in the U.S – their kabab koobideh is really good.

5. Which food-related blogs do you read?
I read Serious Eats; it’s such a great resource and an entertaining read. I also love The Girl Who Ate Everything, Writing with My Mouth Full and Michael Ruhlman’s blog.

6. What do you always have on hand in the kitchen?
Equipment: A chef’s knife, a wok and a couple of thick-bottomed pans.

Ingredients: Garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, Parmesan cheese, vinegar (balsamic and rice wine), eggs, dried mushrooms, chicken stock, rice and at least one kind of pasta.

7. Which recipe on Yogurtsoda is a good one for readers with beginner cooking skills to try?
Most of the recipes I post are pretty easy, but some of my favorites for beginner cooks are Lentil Salad with Browned Sausages, Hearts of Palm Salad with Shrimp and Avocado, and Pumpkin Spiced Muffins.

Googoosh Blog

Yes, you read that right: Googoosh has an official blog.

Nasim Pedrad

Every dorky Iranian girl will relate to this great stand-up bit by comic and actor Nasim Pedrad, who has appeared on ER and performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Also check out her fairly accurate mockumentary about the A.I.B. – aggressive Iranian bachelor:

(via Iranian.com)

Iranian American Writers Online

The Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) has just launched their website, iranianamericanwriters.org, which features member profiles, excerpts of member work, and a blog. From the group’s mission statement:

The Association of Iranian American Writers is a member-based organization dedicated to promoting the work of fiction and non-fiction writers, essayists, poets, journalists, photojournalists, and artists who work with words. Iranian heritage and/or Iranian history and culture are important aspects of our work, although not necessarily our essential subject matter.

Membership starts at $50 ($35 for students). The group was founded by professor and writer Persis Karim and is co-directed by her and writer Manijeh Nasrabadi.

(Full disclosure: I spoke at AIAW’s inaugural conference.)

Belog

Tiffany Malakooti is an LA-based artist whose blog, Belog (get it?), is a visual encyclopedia of awesome Iranian art and randomness. Heavy on visuals, a recent post highlights this charming UNICEF PSA by Noureddin Zarrinkelk:

Mashroob & Moustaches

Mashroob & Moustaches is an arty, stylish group blog by some very cool young Iranians, including Sunny (Sanaz) Shokrae (scroll down a bit), a photographer whose style is so good, it’s truly enviable. Here’s her awesome Flickr feed, too. Enjoy!

(Hat tip: Payam)

Pars Arts Twitters Irvine: the Iranian-American Writers Association

Pars Arts Twitter screenshot

The Inauguration of the Association of Iranian-American Writers is happening at UC Irvine tomorrow, in a workshop format that will address issues of representation and etc. It’s hosted by UCI’s Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture and its director, Nasrin Rahimieh, as well as writer and professor Persis Karim and journalist Homa Sarshar. Here’s a press release on Payvand News, and here’s the full day’s schedule. It’s free and open to the public, so please come if you can.

The attendees include people like novelists Porochista Khakpour and Anita Amirrezvani. And I’ll be there to talk about the Internet and blogs and self-publishing and social media, on a panel with Jahanshah Javid of Iranian.com. My talk will probably be mostly focused on the benefits for writers in engaging with their readership online.

I may not have wireless access there, but I will be talking to people, taking pictures, possibly shooting some video, and updating microblog site Twitter constantly throughout the day via my cell phone. You can follow that “coverage” at twitter.com/parsarts.