Spain – Paella – Recipe (Traditional)


Enjoy your award-winning traditional Paella, a dish that brings the authentic flavours of Spain to your table!


Paella is a vibrant and iconic dish from Spain, specifically from the region of Valencia, known for its rich flavors, colorful presentation, and cultural significance. This rice-based dish has evolved over centuries, blending local ingredients and culinary traditions into a delightful and communal dining experience.

Key Elements:

  • Rice: Bomba or Calasparra rice is traditionally used in paella for its ability to absorb liquid and flavors without becoming mushy. The rice forms the base of the dish and plays a crucial role in its texture.
  • Saffron: Saffron threads are an essential ingredient in paella, contributing not only a distinctive golden color but also a subtle floral aroma and flavor.
  • Protein: Paella can include various proteins such as chicken, rabbit, seafood (prawns, mussels, clams), and sometimes chorizo or other cured meats. The choice of protein often depends on regional preferences and availability.
  • Vegetables: Common vegetables used in paella include tomatoes, bell peppers (usually red or green), peas, and sometimes artichokes or green beans. These vegetables add color, texture, and freshness to the dish.
  • Broth: A flavorful broth, often made with fish stock, chicken stock, or a combination of both, is used to cook the rice and infuse it with additional flavors.


  1. Sofrito:
    • Paella starts with a sofrito, a mixture of sautéed onions, garlic, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. This base provides a foundation of flavor for the dish.
  2. Adding Rice and Broth:
    • Bomba rice is added to the sofrito and toasted briefly to absorb the flavors. Hot broth is then poured over the rice, and saffron threads are typically added at this stage to infuse the dish with their color and aroma.
  3. Layering Ingredients:
    • Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, proteins such as chicken, seafood, and vegetables are arranged on top. These ingredients are often arranged in a visually appealing pattern.
  4. Cooking and Socarrat:
    • Paella is cooked uncovered over a medium-high heat until the rice is cooked through and forms a slightly crispy layer on the bottom called socarrat. This crispy layer is prized for its intense flavor and texture.
  5. Resting and Serving:
    • After cooking, paella is allowed to rest for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. It is then typically served directly from the paella pan (paellera) with lemon wedges on the side.

Culinary Experience:

  • Visual Appeal: The vibrant colors of paella, from the golden rice to the red hues of chorizo and peppers, create an enticing presentation that is as visually appealing as it is delicious.
  • Flavor Fusion: Each spoonful of paella offers a harmonious blend of flavors from the saffron-infused rice, tender proteins, and vegetables, all enhanced by the savory broth.

Cultural Significance:

  • Community and Tradition: Paella is traditionally cooked and enjoyed communally, often at festive gatherings, celebrations, and family gatherings, emphasizing its role as a social dish.
  • Regional Variations: While Valencia is known for its traditional paella Valenciana (made with rabbit, chicken, and beans), there are countless regional variations throughout Spain, each reflecting local ingredients and culinary traditions.

Paella is more than just a dish; it embodies the warmth of Spanish hospitality, the richness of its culinary heritage, and the joy of sharing a delicious meal with loved ones. Whether enjoyed on a sunny terrace in Valencia or prepared at home, paella remains a beloved symbol of Spanish cuisine and culture.


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