How to Make Paella

PaellaWell, you don’t need to travel all the way to Valencia to get the taste of this authentic Mediterranean cuisine ‘Paella’. Of course, a firsthand cooking experience from a Spanish local or chef is all great; however, it’s very simple to be even tried at home.

Although you will find many variations in the original paella dish, the recipe for Spanish paella in general is very simple, which consists of rice, vegetables, dry fruits, olive oil, saffron and many other ingredients.

Spaniards use mostly two variety of rice: Calasparra and Bomba to bring out the real flavour of paella although there are other Spanish rice varieties. The short-grained rice is preferred as it is very absorbent, good for sauces and broths.

Seafood paella dish is made of shellfish and fish found in the region of southern Spain, while some even add chicken, rabbit among some other local specialities. So, largely it’s either meat or vegetable or seafood paella.

Ingredients to make Paella

The traditional paella recipe is indeed a vegetarian paella dish or a mixture of vegetables and meat. So, if you are ready to prepare this gracious dish, the first thing you need to do is to bring together all ingredients, including few cups of Spanish paella rice.

The other most important ingredient is saffron which gives the rice dish a light yellowish colour, and also a wonderful aroma and flavour. You may even use turmeric powder or go for artificial colouring, but then you may not get the end result you want.

Here is a list of ingredients which you may need, although it’s up to you to bring the variation.

– Cups of rice
– Chopped Onions
– Garlic
– Red peppers
– Tomatoes diced
– Chicken
– Green beans
– Teaspoon of saffron
– Olive oil
– Seafood, prawn/fish

This is not all; you may add few other vegetables, while Spaniards use a home-made vegetable stock other than water. The quantity of rice depends on the size of the pan, and always make sure the pan left enough space to add water or stock to cook all the ingredients. The cooked rice soak the additional stock which later gives it an aromatic flavour.

Traditional Paella Recipe

Most cook paella dishes on the stoves, but locals cook over an open flame and that’s the traditional approach. Anyways, to make paella you first need to cook the meat and/or the fish (in olive oil) for about 10 minutes. If you are adding prawn, it’s good to take out the prawns so they don’t disintegrate.

Once the meat is done, stir fry vegetables and add rice, with your spices and seasoning followed by boiling stock. Boil this mixture of rice, meat and vegetables. Remember, you need to allow the rice to absorb as much of remaining liquid and it takes around 30 minutes.

Remember, saffron – also known as azafran – is a much more flavoursome option to add together than the horrible “colorante” or even turmeric. When it’s done leave the dish set for some time, and here it’s ready to be served!

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