From Boston I flew to London to single handedly take care of Arvind’s grandmother for a week. At 87 she knows exactly how she likes her food. She loves to have soft rice with Indian lentil soup for all her meals. At first I was nervous to take care of her because I don’t speak or understand Telugu. But Dadi’s (as I call her) smile after her first bite would tell me if my dish was a hit or a fail.
Even though she mostly eats Indian food, the one dish that brought a big smile to her face was the Seafood Paella. This authentic Spanish recipe was given to me by Lucy.
1 ½ cup of arborio rice
1 medium sized onion
1 L of chicken stock
½ red pepper
1/4 cup of peas
2 – 3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of white wine
1 big bay leaf
1 big pinch of saffron
3 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
a bunch of fresh parsley
1. Chop onion, jalapeno, red pepper, and garlic.
2. In a wok big enough to cook the entire dish, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno to the wok.
3. In a different pot bring the stock to a boil.
4. Once the onions turn translucent, then add the chopped red pepper, peas, and rice to the wok.
5. Then add the white wine to the wok and let the liquid evaporate.
6. Add the stock with saffron, bay leaf and, salt. Cover the wok with a tight fitting lid.
7. Bring it to a boil and then add the shrimp.
9. Once cooked, top with cloves and put the mussels into the rice and cover with the lid again. The mussels will cook and open up.
10. Serve warm with chopped parsley and wedges of lemon.
My verdict: At first I was really surprised that she liked Spanish Seafood Paella. Come to think of it, Paella is made of rice; well who doesn’t like rice!