What To Serve With Paella ?  

Paella the internationally well-known Spanish rice dish originated in Valence, Eastern Spain. Paella is a one pot meal cooked in a shallow flat pan and can be prepared using almost anything from chicken, pork, rabbit, shellfish, fish, eel, squid, beans, peas, artichokes to peppers along with rice. The golden color on the rice is because of adding saffron to it. People cook paella in many different ways and this dish is very nutritious so it can be a full meal by itself. Nevertheless, one can also serve salads or a light side dish with it.


It is believed that the servants of the Moorish kings cooked rice preparations from the left-overs of the royal banquets. These dishes were called Paella. However, many linguists say that Paella is a dish that was prepared by farmers or field workers in regions around Albufera, a bay in south Valence. Paella was cooked over fire on a flat bottom pan and any find like vegetables, sea food or snails were added to this. On special occasions rabbits and chicken were also included.

It is important to consider certain points while preparing paella. Firstly, make sure that you cook paella on an open fire, a charcoal barbecue or a gas burner especially designed for cooking paella. If you intend cooking outdoors, then use a round kettle type of barbecue or a paella burner that comes equipped with a tripod stand whose height you can adjust. Cooking on these ensure the heat to get equally distributed and can be simultaneously reduced. Initially, the fire needs to be hot so as to cook the meat well and then simmered for the rice.

Secondly, paella is cooked the right only on the paellera, the traditional pan used to cook paella. Ideally, purchase one of these large, open-round, flat steel pans with handles. Thirdly, the texture and the rice grain selected makes immense difference to the consistency, flavor and taste. Make sure you use medium-grain rice that absorbs more liquid and flavor as compared to the long-grain rice.

Paella as a dish is a complete and wholesome meal by itself. However, to make it festive or more appetizing, it can be accompanied by simple side dishes like flavored or garlic bread, cheese plate, green salads and some marinated vegetables. In Valencia, paella is served with allioli, bread and vegetables marinated mainly in peppers and olives.

Anything fresh and simple, cooked in olive oil tastes good with paella. One can also add some garlic to it as a flavoring. Allioli, the most commonly served side dish, can be made by crushing few fresh garlic cloves with mortar and pestle and mixing it in olive oil. Sometimes egg yolk is also added in small quantities to this mixture.

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What Type Of Rice To Use In Paella ?      The term paella is derived from the Latin word Patella and this means a flat plate. Rice is the most important ingredient for paella and therefore selection of the right sort of rice is essential. Paella cooks advise using medium-grain rice, as on cooking this rice type becomes chewy and also absorbs more of the liquid as compared to the long grained rice. Many traditional cooks keep some toasted browned rice as the bottommost layer in the pan for cooking. Some of the well-known paella recipes are the Spanish paella, mixed paella and Valencian paella. More..




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