It’s a special occasion, and I’d like to shout it out on the rooftop. I started blogging about a year ago and today I present to you a Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani dish to celebrate the moment. I made this special dish on Easter Sunday for the very first time. I’ve made biryanis before, but I’d never tried the Hyderabadi variety, which is purported to be the best! Truth be told, I had to look up Hyderabad on the map of India. I know, shame on me. I don’t usually try new dishes when we have company, but I just knew that this would be a great hit with our guests.
I was celebrating Easter and a blogiversary after all. Biryani is India’s equivalent to the Spanish Paella, or the Chicken Basquaise from the Basque region in France, or Jambalaya (a Louisana Creole dish of Spanish and French influences). It is a one pot rice dish that is layered with meat, seafood or vegetables and assembled with precision. It is marinated in an array of spices and yogurt and refrigerated overnight. It is pretty labor intensive, but all so worth it in the end. The rich and irresistible aroma permeating through the entire house will engulf your senses and have you reaching out for seconds. I served it with a cucumber yogurt salad, and a side of chickpeas. When tracing the origins of biryani, it is said to have dated back to the times of the Mughals from the 15th to the 19th century. They looked upon cooking as a form of Art, and enhanced their cuisines with the addition of exotic spices. I won’t be adding the recipe today, as it is pretty lengthy. Now onto my blogging experiences this past year.
Exactly one year ago this week, I hit the Publish button on my very first blog post and I’ve never looked back since. Mind you, at the time, it was a nerve-racking, nail-biting and daunting experience as I was oblivious what lay ahead of me. It has been a learning curve as I sailed through uncharted waters with some trepidation. Fast forward a year later, and I can’t say enough about the knowledge I’ve gained and the encounters I’ve experienced via blogging, I now find myself helping others who are new.
When I first thought about documenting all the information in one central area, I did give blogging a thought, but dismissed it entirely. When I re-visited it again, a year later, I felt a bit more comfortable putting my thoughts out there. My husband encouraged me to try it out, and feel at ease with it before I joined the blogging world. I recall my very first post was just after we had visited Brazil last March. I remember writing notes in my journal, asking questions and doing some research on my own as I knew I had wanted my first blog post to feature Brazil. It took me about a month to get the post together, from the photos to the descriptions, to the facts. I must have had about 100 edits before I was finally satisfied and hit PUBLISH! Now it takes me about a week to get a post ready. It is pretty time consuming, but in a positive way. Blogging has given me an outlet during my first retirement phase and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
People blog for many reasons, and in different genres. Some blog for financial gain, some to connect with like-minded people, to share stories, or even as a forum on certain topics. For me it has given me the discipline to meet deadlines, to be spontaneously creative, challenging me to weave my passions into my real life. I love reaching out to bloggers from near and far. I challenge myself to expand my comfort zone, in all areas I blog about. I’ve learned about new cuisines and cultures. Photography and food styling is something I’m working on. Building readership is important to be a successful blogger, but along the way one tends to forge friendships and connections and that to me is priceless, more than finding how many hits you’ve received on a certain day. There’s even blogging etiquette and one quickly learns all the do’s and dont’s that go with blogging. When reading the stats on a weekly basis, it is wonderful to see that your blog is reaching every corner of the world, from Australia to Dubai to the USA and beyond. I recently saw that someone from Oman was reading my blog? Do I know anyone from Oman? :) Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me, and let’s just say, I think I’ll stay around for a while. :) Thank you to all the readers, I’m encouraged and motivated when I see the number of followers. To my fellow-bloggers, and especially the crowd over at Fiesta Friday linky parties, you’ve become like family to me. To all my real time friends who message me when they’ve tried recipes I’ve posted, and most of all thanks to my husband Bert and my family for encouraging me all the way. Thanks for putting up with the cooking breaks so I can photograph in the kitchen :). Wow, does it sound like I just won an award or something? Ha! ha! I’ve passed the one year test, I look forward to another year of blogging with great enthusiasm.
Back to some of the photos of the special Hyderabadi Biryani dish. You have to give this a try. I promise it won’t disappoint.
Mixing all the yummy ingredients with the yogurt. This will sit in the refrigerator overnight.
A glimpse of what lies ahead :)
The final product assembled.
Presenting for your dining pleasure – Chickpeas and the Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani.
Woo-hoo, Fiesta Friday # 63 is open. The lovely Juliana and Hilda will be co-hosting, thanks ladies. I’m bringing this to the wonderful virtual block party that happens every week. Anxious to see what everyone is bringing.