Chickpea & Peppadew Paella

Happy sunday, spice lovers. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far.

This month, I had plans for another anime-inspired recipe but I’m afraid that the ramen are going to have to wait. Because I came across something far fancier:

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Saffron, one of the most expensive per weight spices around, going buy one get one free.

Today, I’m going to be working with that but don’t worry, my recipe requires only a pinch and, while it won’t taste the same without it, I do have a substitution to suggest should you really need one.

The ingredients, as I made it, were as follows:

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2 cloves garlic

2 small red onions

3 decent sized tomatoes

16 pickled malawi picanté chillies

1 tin chickpeas

1 cup arborio rice

1 teaspoon cumin

1½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon saffron

1 chive for garnish

And yes, that’s a whopping sixteen chillies – The most that I’ve ever used in a recipe – but there’s a reason for that. They’re also the mildest.

In fact, between coming pre-cored and losing a little of their strength when cooked, even the little fire that they have was almost gone by the time I served my paella. If anything, I’d give the finished dish the bare minimum of what I can taste. A

1/10

Heat

that comes across more as a warmth in the throat than any actual burn and isn’t obvious until you’ve eaten most of a portion.

Today’s non-traditional, vegetarian and vegan take on a paella isn’t about the burn or even that warmth. It’s about showing off the flavours of a highly prized, delicate spice and some mild but delicious chillies that have a wonderful natural sweetness about them.

Because why else would I leave out the seafood?

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