Prep 20 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Serves 6

Few things are more quintessentially Spanish than paella. We love any one-pan, rice-based dish but paella is top of the pops in our books because chorizo + chicken + mussels + prawns… What’s not to love!  Normally saffron is the spice star in paella. It has a unique earthy, perfumed quality. But these threadlike stigma of the crocus flower aren’t exactly easy to find and it’s terribly pricey. So it’s our Cape Herb & SpiceTastebud Umami Spice to the rescue instead. It is packed with  – well with loads of umami flavour! Added to rice is makes for a savoury sensation. This is one-pan cooking the way we like it.


  • 6 chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 10cm piece of spicy chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
  • 3 fat cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Tastebud UMAMI
  • 1½ cups uncooked white rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1½ cups frozen peas
  • 18-24 uncooked prawns, deveined
  • 18-24 mussels, cleaned by pulling off all visible beard
  • large bunch of parsley, finely chopped


Start off by adding olive oil to a large saucepan and fry chicken pieces until golden – they’ll still be raw inside, you’re just caramelizing them at this point. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add onion, garlic and chorizo to the same pan and fry gently over low heat for a few minutes. Add the Cape Herb & Spice Tastebud Umami Spice and rice and stir for a minute or two until the rice is thoroughly coated with all that flavourful oil.

Then, add the water, lay the chicken pieces on top of the rice, place the lid on and cook it on very low heat until the rice is done – it takes 20-25 minutes. (If you use a thick-based saucepan and the heat is low enough, the amount of water in this recipe will be sufficient. But check it occasionally. If all the water has cooked away and the rice is still hard, add a small splash more.) Once the rice is cooked, stir in the frozen peas and add the mussels and prawns. Place the lid back on and cook until the prawns are pink and the mussels are open – it takes no more than 5 minutes.  Scatter liberally with chopped parsley and tuck in.


Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at