Indy Power's Buckwheat Paella
Bring a taste of the Med home with this nutrient-packed take on the classic that's gluten and dairy free.
This is such a delicious twist on the classic. I've swapped traditional rice for buckwheat groats, which mirror the texture perfectly and pack in way more nutrients. The chorizo has incredible flavour which infuses the whole dish, along with garlic, paprika and, of course, saffron.
Gluten free and dairy free. Serves 4
You will need
1l chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
1 tsp paprika
225g buckwheat groats
150g cooked tiger prawns
To serve: fresh parsley, lemon wedges
Add the saffron to the hot stock to infuse and set it aside. Slice the chorizo. Place a large deep frying pan on medium heat and add in the chorizo, cooking until crispy.
Add in the garlic and onion and cook until soft. Adjust the heat down if necessary, you don't want them to brown.
Sprinkle in the paprika and then add in the buckwheat groats and three quarters of the stock. Stir to combine and then leave it to simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
When most of the stock has been absorbed, add in the remaining stock and prawns. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how dry you like it.
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon if desired.
Tried this recipe?
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If you’ve used it before then you’ll probably already know that saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Because of this, it’s sold in teeny quantities. If you buy it in the supermarket spice aisle you’ll use the whole small jar for this dish, which at about €4 a pop isn’t cheap, but it is so worth it. The threads that we buy are actually the dried stigmas of the Crocus flower, which are so delicate they have to be hand picked — hence the price. Not only does saffron have gorgeous flavour and turn things a beautiful sunny yellow colour but it also has loads of medicinal uses. It was used to treat depression in traditional Persian medicine and is said to have powerful anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Today saffron supplements are used to help alleviate asthma and menstrual cramps. It’s also great for anxiety — if you’re suffering from sleepless nights make a little saffron tea before bed by infusing some saffron threads in hot water with a little honey.
Colourful foods! Eating a range of colourful ingredients doesn’t just brighten up your plate, it provides you with loads of key nutrients that your body needs for optimum health. Colour variation is nature’s way of highlighting which phytonutrients are present and they can play loads of different roles such as boosting the immune system and acting as antioxidants. Load up on blue/purple for heart, brain and bone health, yellow for a healthy immune system and red for protection against heart disease. You don’t have to overthink it, just aim for variety and eat the rainbow!
I mentioned buckwheat flour in one of my first Weekend columns but buckwheat groats are the un-ground version; fabulous, funky little kernels that can be prepared like rice, as porridge and to add crunch to baked goods. Naturally gluten-free, high in fibre and flavanols (which are good for boosting heart health) and so versatile, I always have some in the cupboard. One of my favourite ways to use them is instead of oats in porridge, like in this paella they swell into gorgeous pearls and taste like rice pudding when paired with almond milk, vanilla and a dribble of honey.