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How do I make my own paella spice mix ?


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How do I make my own Paella Spice Mix ?

There is almost nothing on earth that tastes quite as good as a fresh out of the pan spicy paella !

 Your paella recipe will come alive with the right mix of spices, so how do you know which spices to use and how much of each spice should you blend to create the perfect paella seasoning ?

 Well there is no one correct answer, you can be as creative as you want when mixing up your own special blend of spices to make the perfect paella.  

 With that in mind we can’t tell you the definitive paella spice mix, but there are a few overall guidelines to follow when you create your perfect paella spice mix. 

Ingredients : 

Firstly, your ingredients must include at least the top 5 of the following spices – added in more or less the following order - and mixed together in a dry mixing bowl.

  1.  Saffron – Absolutely essential.  It just wont be a paella without it.  Saffron contributes both colour and taste to the paella, and a paella without saffron is simply not paella.  Use a high quality saffron, and for best results crush the saffron threads or grind the saffron into a fine powder.  Surprisingly Persian saffron can work better in a paella spice mix because it does not have to be toasted – that said a good quality Spanish saffron will work splendidly too !
  2. Paprika – Another must have ingredient.  Known in Spanish as Pimenton paprika can either be sweet or smoked.  Many paella recipes call for sweet paprika, and many will call for smoked.  Its up to you which one you prefer, try mixing a bit of both for your own twist on the traditional !
  3. Cayenne Pepper – If you like it hot use a lot !   If you like it mild go easy on this wild child ! 
  4. Garlic Powder – Garlic powder will never go astray in your paella spice mix.  Don’t be afraid to mix in a little bit of onion powder as well, many paella recipes call for the onion powder instead of garlic powder, so again use what’s in your cupboard and what you are comfortable with.
  5. Salt & Pepper – Add salt to your taste, and your favourite freshly ground peppercorns.  Yummo !
  6. Dried herbs – You can experiment with a little dried rosemary or oregano in your paella spice mix.
  7. Cumin, cloves… are just a few ideas :)

Proportions :

Your perfect paella will have everything in moderation with no one ingredient overwhelming the dish !  This goes for your paella spice mix as well, we’ve given some guidelines below on what proportions to use so as not to overwhelm the paella seasoning with any one ingredient.  As a tip start small and add more whilst regularly mixing it all together taking in the fragrance, and giving it a bit of a taste every now and then for quality control.

Once you’ve perfected your perfect paella spice mix, write down the recipe and never ever tell anyone your secret (except maybe your grandchildren one day) !  Make your spice mix in large batches, get some jars, and give the spice mix away as amazing, creative, and personal gifts to your friends and family.  Not to mention using it yourself to cook up amazing paella and other dishes !

Basic recipe :

Quantities will be good for around 6-8 people (600-800g rice) :

-       2 good pinches of quality saffron threads (about 1/8 – 1/6 gram) powdered finely in a pestle and mortar

-       2 - 3 tablespoons of quality spanish paprika, at least 50% sweet

-       3 – 4 teaspoons of onion and garlic powder about half half

-       1 teaspoon of cayenne (or more if you are a fire breathing dragon)

-       1 teaspoon ground black pepper

-       a good sprinkling of dried herbs

-       salt, cumin, cloves, etc to taste

Mix together in a dry mixing bowl, and seal into an airtight container for storage.  Remember that powdered spice loses its potency relatively quickly compared to raw spices so store in an airtight container in a cool dry place to maximise longevity.

Once you are familiar with the basic recipe start experimenting with your own creative twists.  Remember there is no rules to paella, just start off with a few basic ingredients and let your senses do the rest !

The most difficult ingredients to buy are good quality paprika and saffron.  Whilst these spices are available in Woolworths and Coles they are typically the mass produced brands like Masterfoods and McCormicks, and priced quite expensively.  

If you prefer to cook with the real deal, you can't go past authentic imported paprika and saffron, or, if you are after a pre-prepared paella spice mix including powdered saffron why not try our Antonio Sotos authentic paella seasoning.  Your paella will taste fantastic, and you will save money on top quality ingredients !

Check out our website, you will be surprised at how good our prices are for top quality ingredients, and remember shipping is free to all Australian addresses !  

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Tell us your most creative tip for making paella !




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