Saturday, July 16, 2011


I love jambalaya; in fact I fell in love with the word jambalaya long before I had my first taste of the delicious rice dish, luckily for me it is a dish that tastes as good as it sounds.

There are many theories on the origin of the dish, though 'an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the new world by substituting saffron with tomatoes' is the most convincing one to me. The result of my little research on jambalaya was a very rewarding one, through the many articles and books on Southern food I also gained a deeper understanding about the very rich and colourful history of the Creole cuisine.

I am using prawns and chorizo here simply because they go so well together. Feel free to add chicken, seafood and vegetables to yours as there are really no rules on what you can or cannot put into a jambalaya.

serves 4 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced * (optional)
2 chorizo sausage, sliced
500 g of prawns, shelled and deveined reserving the shells and heads
3 tsp of sweet paprika
2 tsp of cayenne pepper
3 cups of long grain rice
400 ml can of crushed tomato
5 cups of chicken stock
3 bay leaves
a pinch of thyme
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1/2 cup of chopped spring onions

Prepare the pawns and chorizo.

Brown chorizo slices in batches and set aside.

Add prawn heads and shells to the rendered fat from the chorizo and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shells and leave behind as much of the flavoured oil as possible.

Saute the chopped ingredients in the flavoured fat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, scrapping of the brown bit on the pan as you go. Next add in the paprika and cayenne pepper and continue to cook for a minute.

Stir in the rice and return the sausage to the pan and mix well. 

Add tomato pasatta and stock and season well. Throw in the bay leaves and thyme and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Add prawns and put the lid on until the prawns are cook through (~5 minutes). Check for seasonings before mixing in the chopped herbs, stir well before serving.

Serve with a glass of Rioja.


  1. What rich flavors...seeing this post even i fell in love with it :)

  2. Este plato es una delicia, me encanta.


  3. Yum, I've never actually eaten jambalaya before but loved the sound of it - from that ABBA song, you know the one, it also mentions gumbo :) Were you inspired by the NY masterchef eps? Got to try this out, it does sound amazing.

  4. The prawns and chorizo in one dish? It sound strange but probably it is tasty. I've never eaten jambalaya before, maybe is time to change it.

  5. I've only had this dish once, and it looked difficult to make. My mother loves this dish, I'll have to give it a try the next time she comes to visit!

  6. I've been wanting to try this for a long time..looks tremendously delish! what kind of rice did you use? the normal medium grain or must use short grain? when you add the rice in at the beginning before simmering, its uncooked rice right?

  7. Very Southern...Well done!

  8. that looks so good! i love chorizo and i suddenly want rice in the middle of the night!!! whaaa!

  9. Wow so colourful Iwill have to try a veggie version of this.


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