Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
This dish reminds me of my dad so much. I did this today in memory of him (raheem Allah) may Allah SWT bless him with Paradise ameen. My dad spent many years working in Spain before eventually moving to UK, he was so into his food and loved to cook. He loved Spanish cuisine and culture and bought it back home with him. He taught me many dishes and had so much patience with me. I loved cooking with my dad and I think he enjoyed it too.
He taught me this recipe and although I never was that into seafood, the smell that would arouse and fill the house when he cooked this was just amazing. He used so many different types of seafood on different occasions but today I am just using a pack of calamaris and some ready to eat muscles and shrimp/prawns.
No one in my household actually likes this kind of seafood ;) accept my eldest daughter, which is why I don't usually cook it with seafood, I use chicken instead. But today my eldest daughter has turned 19 and so I said she could choose what we had for dinner.. And yes, you guessed it, she chose this, a good choice if you have been denied the luxury of enjoying seafood on a regular basis ;)))
Spanish Paella is cooked in a big heavy metal pan that looks like a frying pan, this pan is actually called Paella, meaning big dish. Unfortunately I don't have one, but neither did my dad ;) What he used to do is stir fry all the ingredients in a frying pan then add the washed raw rice, but before adding the fish stock he would transfer the mixture into a suitable oven proof dish, then add the stock cover with foil and place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until rice and seafood is cooked.
Placing it in the oven creates the same crispy grizzly dark rice bottom that Paella is well known and enjoyed for when cooked in a traditional Paella pan.. It's not burned it's just crispy and more well done.
- 3-4 tblsp Olive oil -
- 1 large Onion - chopped small
- 1 red pepper - chopped small
- 3-4 table spoons frozen peas -
- 200g Prawn & Mussel mix - mine were ready to eat, but if you like the whole shell thing by all means add it, it looks fantastic and adds extra flavor
- 200g Calamari (Squid) -
- 2 large Tomatoes - peeled and chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic -
- 1 1/4 pint fish stock (you can use chicken if you don't have fish) - (boiled water mixed with 1 fish stock cube)
- 1 tea spoon safron - (I used the Moroccan powdered safron, threads can be expensive in UK so you can use haldi if you dont have)
- 1 bowl or big mug of Rice (1/2 pint) - (traditional paella is cooked with spanish rice, similar to long grain rice but shorter, although basmati works too)
- Salt and Pepper to taste -
- 1 tea spoon Ginger powder - optional
- 2 Chopped green chillies or 1 tsp of dried red chilly flakes - (only if you like it, this is optional)
- 1 1/2 tea spoons of sweet paprika - this is a must