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:
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:
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
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?