Paella ready to eat Paella on a plate

Inspired by Maria and Natalíe Solís Ballingers recipe for Paella de gambas con curry (curried prawn paella)

From the fantastic book; Spanish Bar & Restaurant Cooking

I did not know until a few years ago, that Paella could be much more than the seafood version with mussels, seafood and wedges of lime. The first Paella I ever tasted was much like the one mentioned above, but it kick-started me into investing in my own Paella gas cooker and multiple cookbooks on the subject.

The book Spanish Bar & Restaurant Cooking goes with me on travels to Spain, just in case I might get a chance to cook a Paella or make one of the fantastic Sangria recipes in the back of the book.

Be warned – it is not easy to get hold of this book, but don’t be put off if the only option is to buy a “used” book or from a seller listed with Amazon – it work just as well – the point is to get this book!

This is a different Paella, playing on the flavours of places like Thailand, mixed with the seafood and vegetables available in Spain.


What you need:

»   Olive oil                     

»   1 medium onion, minced or finely chopped                       

»   450g uncooked medium prawns, peeled and deveined

»   2 medium red peppers, cut into long thin strips

»   2 medium carrots, sliced this crosswise

»   1,5 cup or 350g paella rice

»   1,5 cup or 350ml fish broth

»   1 can or 400ml unsweetened coconut milk

»   1 tablespoon dried lemon grass

»   ½-teaspoon paprika

»   1 bunch of chopped coriander

What to do:

»   Thaw the prawns if you are using frozen ones, make sure that they are dry and not too cold before they have to go in the pan. Season with salt before frying.

»   Prepare all the vegetables before you start cooking. You can also put the fish broth and coconut milk in a small pot and heat gently, but do not boil.

paella be prepared

»   Heat the oil in the Paella pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until golden. Then add the curry paste to the onions and stir to mix well.

»   Turn up the heat on the pan, add the prawns, and cook over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the prawns turn pink.

»   Reduce the heat to medium; add the peppers and carrots, and sauté for several minutes, until they start to soften.

»   Make sure there is enough olive oil in the pan so that the rice can get a coating, add the rice and stir (do not stir the rice after this point, the clue is for the rice to absorb the liquid you are about to add and be done when there is no more liquid)

»   Pour in the fish broth and coconut milk (or the mix you have heated previously) and season with the dried lemon grass and the paprika.

»   Reduce the heat to minimum and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add more boiling water if the heat/liquid balance does not work as it should. Taste a few grains of rice to work out when the dish is finished.

»   Take the pan of the heat and mix in the chopped coriander.


Paella con curry