A Happy Blogiversary to me (celebrated with a Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani)

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.

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Mixing all the yummy ingredients with the yogurt.  This will sit in the refrigerator overnight.

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A glimpse of what lies ahead 🙂

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The final product assembled.

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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.

90 comments

  1. Happy Blogiversary, Loretta! We at Fiesta Friday love you back and look forward to more years of delicious recipes from your beautiful blog! I would have loved to taste this chicken biryani, one of my favorite rice dishes that I haven’t mastered yet. Where’s the recipe? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you darlin’ and you’ve made it all happen, so a big thank-you to you! The recipe was rather lengthy. It was a mish mash of about 3 different recipes, with my own twist to it. I’ll have to sit down someday soon and put it all together, and when I do, I’ll be sure to email you a copy. I can only imagine how you’d style it and photograph it with those extraordinary skills that you have. Thanks again, I can officially call myself a “blogger” now :))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Anniversary Loretta. We reciprocate the same feelings and love you and your blog. And what a way to celebrate. You nailed the biryani beautifully. Hyderabadi Biryani is the best in the world. Three cheers to You, Your blog and the biryani. Hip hip hurray 🎉🎆🎇🎉🎊🎊🎉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks SKD, that’s awful kind of you. I’m beginning to believe that the Hyderabadi Biryani is indeed the best in the world. I’m so glad I’ve mastered it, it will definitely be repeated again in the not too distant future. Thanks for stopping by, I truly appreciate the sentiments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Biryani is a part of every celebration big or small. And this occasion truly deserves a royal spread. Way to go Loretta. Have a lovely blogging year ahead.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks so much, it is definitely a milestone I will cherish. As a new blogger, I did not know where the road would lead me to, but I have a clearer understanding after a full year. Thanks very much for stopping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks so much, that’s real sweet of you. The biryani really was one of the best I’d tasted, and I will be sure to repeat it. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the good wishes. 🙂

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  3. Happy blogiversary Loretta!!! Woot woot! I can definitely relate to what you were saying as I celebrated my one year not too long ago too. As for this recipe, I super love biryani (you are making me crave for Indian food right now, I think we are going to my favorite Indian restaurant for dinner tonight) but hyderabadi is just a mouthful and a tongue twister but sounds deliciously exotic. What is that exactly?

    It has been a pleasure following you. Happy blogging! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, really sweet of you, thanks very much. Did you make it to the Indian restaurant tonight? I love biryanis too, and I read from various blogs that the Hyderabadi biryani was really the best. It just has a whole array of different spices that are a tad different from the regular biryanis, and it is cooked “dum” style. When layered, you let it cook in it’s own juices with a heavy weight on top, so no steam escapes. Don’t worry I’m sure you aren’t the only one who could not pronounce Hyderabad. :). Thanks for your encouraging comments, they really mean a lot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No we ended up at a steakhouse, my hubby’s fave. He worked hard yesterday in the yard and ended up surprising me with new flowers so I HAD to reward him, right? Next time, it’s going to be my choice for dinner. And you’re welcome, we are all here to encourage each other. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats to you Loretta on your first anniversary and a great blog I love to follow! I just finished taking an online class on Indian curries from “Craftsy”. There are so many interesting recipes that I felt I needed to learn something about Indian cuisine. First up is Tamatar Jhinga a very simple shrimp dish but I like to start out slow. Would love to have your recipe, when you publish it. I know how it is when you are combining recipes that sometimes it is not easy to post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sweet Judi, thank you. How interesting that you are taking an online course. There sure are a lot of Indian bloggers out there aren’t there? I too cannot figure out some of the ingredients that they use :). Perhaps I need a course on “Craftsy” too? I think I’ve heard of it before, do you pay for it? Will definitely write up my recipe, and you’re right, it’s not easy taking the best of 3 different recipes :). I’ll try to send you some simple ones if I remember. Thanks again Judi, it’s always lovely when you visit. 🙂

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      1. Yes, there are a lot of Indian bloggers – I hope they are trying to understand our way of cooking and experimenting like we are. That’s why I took a class which are always on sale, this one cost 19.99 for about 2 hours. You can watch any of it at your convenience, ask the instructor questions, recipes and materials needed are provided. Anyways, I have a better understanding of some parts of this cuisine! The instructor made things from scratch using a mortar and pestle which I will not do but provides an easier way using a blender. You can check out all of the lessons (usually 7) and decide if you like the class before purchasing it 🙂

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      2. Ahh, thanks for the info Judi. I’ll have to check it out. A lot of the Indian bloggers that I follow do try other cuisines as well, and in fact some of them are amazing bakers too! I know what you mean though, whenever we visit other countries and cuisines I’m always intrigued by it. I actually took a private lesson in Madrid once on how to make paella and sangria. I keep telling myself, I’ll have to do it again and blog about it, it’s been a while since I made paella. There’s nothing like immersing oneself in the culture and cuisine is there? I plan to take more classes when we visit places in the future.

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  5. Happy Blogoversary Loretta ❤️
    I loved how you wrote this post. I have made so many friends through blog. Some grew with time and some were lost. Blogging for every blogger evolves continuously and it evolves us as a person too. An amazing journey so far. Wish you a lot more success ❤️
    Hyderabadi Biryani should be listed as one of the top dishes of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sonal, how very kind! Blogging is kinda like a “family affair” isn’t it? I guess one shares some common goals and it is so easy to speak the same language when food is around isn’t it? I’m starting to believe that Hyderabadi Biryani is probably the best biryani as many Indians attest to. I was not so familiar with it, but I sure am glad that I tried it. It will definitely be repeated in the not so distant future. Thanks for your good wishes Sonal, I truly appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy 1st blogiversary dear Loretta! *\(^o^)/* You have delighted me for the last one year and am looking forward to more of your articles/recipes. You have chosen a perfect dish for this occasion. I love Hyderabadi chicken biryani and this one is favulous! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much dear Fae. I always appreciate your comments and insights, you’ve been so supportive all along and for that, I’m truly grateful. I know biryanis originated in Persia, even before the Moguls, am I right? This was my first attempt at the Hyderabadi variety, and I’ll have to say, I was sold 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sonal, I’m learning that Hyderabadi Biryani is truly the best of all biryanis. I’d love to see your version. I took 3 different recipes, watched YouTube on the “dum” method, and put my own spin to it. I’ll have to write the recipe down before I forget 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Josette, that’s very kind of you. I’m always bookmarking your recipes too and love visiting your site. I’ve had a full successful year blogging, so it encourages and motivates me to move on and expand my horizons. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Blogiversary Loretta! I love hyderabadi biryani! It’s the PERFECT way to celebrate a special occasion… your biryani looks absolutely perfect too! Wish I could come over and have some 😀 I have a special Biryani pot that I drag around with me wherever I go! It definitely is the best kind of biryani!
    I agree with you about blogging! It has been such a great way to meet like minded people, and I have learnt so much about other cuisines and that has inspired me too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dini for stopping by and for the warm wishes. I love your blog too and all your little (hmmm, not sure what you call them), but the pictures that move? 🙂 Your desserts are just mouth-watering. Now, I’m intrigued by your biryani pot? Not sure I’ve even heard of one, what is it? I’m definitely learning that Hyderabadi biryani is the best kind of biryani there is.

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  8. You have described the blogging experience so beautifully in this post and speak for many of us who have learned so much along the way with support from one another. I do hope you post this marvellous recipe one day – or I could do my own research, but your personal dish just looks so enticing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hilda, and thank you for co-hosting. I’m on a mission now, so many of you have asked for this recipe. The trouble is if I don’t sit down sometime soon and write it all out, I’ll probably forget. I took 3 recipes and incorporated bits and pieces from the 3, so while it is still fresh in my memory, I should put pen to paper soon. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  9. Happy first year blogiversary! And fiesta friday is indeed a great place to share your blogging and meet other bloggers, it has definitely been a great encouragement to me. The biriyani dish looks fantastic as well! I always mean to try biriyani a bit more, maybe I will manage to try this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Caroline. Yes indeed Fiesta Friday has been a wonderful medium to launch one’s blog isn’t it? Everybody is so encouraging and helpful. I love sifting through all the offerings every Friday, they are pretty amazing. Thank you for your wishes and enjoy the weekend.

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind wishes. The chickpeas have a variety of Indian spices in them, it is probably my favorite Indian vegetarian dish. You can either soak the chickpeas overnight, or used the canned version. It is a pretty popular dish. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Blogiversary and a Congratulations, Loretta! You have an awesome blog! And what can I say about the Hyderabadi Biryani. I am drooling all over my computer here….if only I knew that you had that menu for your blogiversary I would have driven there uninvited:) I would LOVE a copy of that recipe, when you are ready to give it.
    Wishing you continued success, my dear friend. Thanks to blogging, I have found you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ha ha Sandhya, you would have been more than welcome :). Thanks for your kind words and encouragement along the way. Yes indeed, thanks to blogging I too have linked up with you. If you’ve read the previous comments on the recipe, I definitely will be putting it up before it slips out of my memory. You see I took 3 different recipes and incorporated it into one, putting my own spin on it. I then watched YouTube and saw how the “dum” method was done. For crying out loud, I didn’t even know where Hyderabad was in India, imagine me trying that biryani for the first time…ha ha! But I’ll have to say it was amazing! Thanks again, enjoy the weekend.

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  12. Happy Blogiversary! I started a year ago too but need to look at when I pushed that first post. I agree with you about all of the friendships that we have forged. People that we would never have met. For that I too am very grateful my friend. Your pictures are really good. I saw one on an earlier post with some daffodils that was gorgeous too! This recipe looks company proof! I am glad that you gave the equivalents to it. I don’t know my biryani but I do no paella. Have a great weekend Loretta!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Julie. WP should alert you when you pushed that first “publish” button and send you a congratulatory note. Mine was last week. It has been an amazing adventure hasn’t it? Who’d have thought blogging was in my cards? :). There’s just still so much ground to cover, so many recipes to try, there’s just not enough hours in the day to accomplish all of that. :). Thanks for your continued support and encouragement too, I do really enjoy reading your posts as well and your challenges too. Keep healing, keep smiling 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Loretta! think I did get a note a few weeks ago from WP. I’ll have to look and yes, there will never be enough time to make all of the wonderful dishes, visit all of the places I want to go, and visit with the everyone that makes me happy! I look forward to keeping up with your adventures too!

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  13. Happy anniversary! 🙂 Am so glad you took up blogging, I really enjoy reading it!
    The dish sounds just delicious and how do you get your rice so fluffy?! Mine never quite turns out like I imagined 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Petra, and likewise, I always enjoy reading your posts too. There’s a certain trick to that rice, and actually the grains should be individual and not stick together. It’s tough to get it sometimes, but the trick for this biryani is to half cook it, then drain and layer it on top of the chicken and then cook it “dum” style (which is putting a heavy weight on the pot) and let it continue to cook in the steam that is formed. When done, the grains should be individual and separate.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liz, and yes, you’re absolutely spot on. I never would have thought there were so many bloggers whose lives all intertwine and touch each others in more ways than one. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Teresa, it was definitely a happy occasion completing a full year of blogging :). I so enjoy your blog as well, if I remember correctly, you were the first person I added as I saw your succulent chicken recipe about a year or so ago? My memory is not always reliable, but I believe it had citrus flavors in it? Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and the visit, truly appreciate it 🙂

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  14. Loved reading about your experiences over the past year, Loretta. Also, the dish looks very tasty. I’ve done a lot of Indian meals, but I have yet to tackle a biryani. After seeing yours and salivating over it, I’m sure it won’t be long before I attempt the dish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much J. Seaton, that’s so encouraging and motivating :). Yay for you trying Indian meals, I’ll have to admit biryanis are tres time consuming, but the end product is just so enticing wouldn’t you agree? I can offer some simpler biryani recipes if you’d like? There’s a ton online, I can sift thru them and recommend one for a beginner? Let me know.

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  15. Happy First annicersary Loretta! I would have guessed you were at this much much longer! I have enjoyed your friendship through FF. For some reason I have not been getting your posts. I am so glad I went to your blog to look up what you had been up to so I didn’t miss your anniversary. This Indian feast looks very enticing. I applaud you for learning Indian cooking. I haven’t been that adventurous yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks Johanne, and I’m really glad you decided to visit for this special anniversary post. I too at times don’t get certain posts on my Reader, and then I usually have to go to the website to catch up, not sure why that happens. I do not like receiving emails for blogs as I could easily get about 100 a week for the folks I follow, so I rely on my Reader to catch up. Anyway, I’m biased, but I do love Indian food the most, as I grew up with it, my roots being Indian. But frankly, I enjoy all types of ethnic cuisine. Thanks for stopping by Johanne, spring is here at last…ahhhhhhhhh!

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  16. Happy Blogiversary Loretta!!! 🙂 Wishing you many more happy years in the blogging world! I agree with all your ideas and how exciting it is to see all the countries that readers are from!! Also your dish is beautiful and would love to make it one day.. must be delicious and spicy. Yum! Have a great week! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lili, it is real nice to meet folks like you in the blogging world, so I embrace the fact that I signed up as a blogger :). Love all your contributions all the way from Spain, you sure know how to tease with all your goodies 🙂

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  17. Congrats on your one year! Wow! I feel the same way, too, and am often astounded when I see where people come from to view my blog! I was never much with geography and sometimes I have to look up a country and see what foods are served there! 🙂

    All I can say is you have what it takes to blog and are an inspiration!

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    1. Thank you so much, it has been quite a journey. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, I’m still in “learning mode”, but feel I’ve won half the battle. Now to improve those pictures 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your photos are lovely! But I struggle so with mine, and to tell you the truth I wish a bad photo that just showed the food was more acceptable. I redid a photo that had 80 hits in three years, the post got 1200 hits in two days! But we DO eat with our eyes first!!

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  18. Congratulation Loretta! Wishing you many great blogging years ahead. It has been a great pleasure knowing you on the blogsphere :-). Your briyan is looking so yummy 🙂

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