a lone carolina wren at the sunflower feeder
Sunday was a snow day. It snowed all morning. In the afternoon, we went out and cleared off the driveway and walks. Then it snowed again all night.
Come Monday morning, before work, I had to fight the snowblower to clear a path out of my driveway. I love winter, though, I really do.
I love it because the birds flock to the feeder with a passion born of necessity — something they don’t face in spring. Suet takes the place of insects, and even the shiest of creatures, a little carolina wren, was undeterred by my noisy foray into the white wilderness.
carolina wren peeking from behind suet cage
and his big cousin, hairy woodpecker. they are almost identical but the hairy is larger with a longer bill, and lacks the spots on the outer tail feathers
There is something about a snowstorm that brings out the best in me. Maybe it’s the birds after all! No matter that we’d shoveled all morning, and I was feeling lazy. Sunday was an evening for cooking, and my not-so-little girl-child wished hard for chicken. It won’t be long before she’ll be off on her own, thought I, so I ventured out in the lull of the afternoon just to get chicken. I cooked it with broccoli and pasta, just the way she likes it, especially for her. And I felt good 🙂
Even after cooking a bit for the kitties, I had enough chicken left for another dish.
I remembered ISG’s biryani. She made it with seeraga samba rice, which I don’t have, but I do have sona masuri. So last night, I tried ISG’s version.
I followed the recipe (always a wise idea for me!) — the method to the letter — ingredients with very few little changes: ISG used chicken masala and I used Nawabi meat masala instead. This masala has stone flower, which adds a special taste. I also added a black cardamom, just because I love them and it seemed it would fit with the star anise and cloves and cinnamon which ISG’s recipe called for.
It was the first time making biryani in the pressure cooker, and it won’t be the last. When I opened the cooker, the aroma flooding the kitchen was enough to make my mouth water.
The dish itself was sublime — spicy and rich — I took some to work today with hastily made cucumber raita, and a few of my coworkers gleefully gobbled it up.
Thanks ISG, for another fantastic recipe! 🙂
Two winter delights!
ISG’s spicy, delicious chicken biryani from the pressure cooker ~ on canary twisted optic by imperial glass, circa 1927
carolina wren in wintry wonderland