Saffron always reminds us of decadent Indian sweets or the elaborate biryani preprations. But it need not be so; the unique flavour of saffron pairs beautifully with seafood like this Italian inspired stew.
A rich, hearty and delicious seafood stew with fresh prawns and squid rings; this dish will make you look at saffron in a whole new light. Spoon it over fragrant jasmine rice or mop it up with good quality artisan bread, this is one recipe you will want to make over and over again.
1. 300gms medium sized prawns; deshelled and deveined
2. 300gms squid rings
3. 4-5 tbsp olive oil
4. A generous pinch of saffron strands
5. 2 medium onion; finely sliced
6. 2 large garlic cloves; finely chopped
7. 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley; finely chopped
8. 2 dry bay leaf
9. 1 large ripe red tomato; chopped
10. 3-4 tbsp tomato paste
11. 1 tbsp mixed peppercorns; crushed (use black if mixed not available)
12. 1 tbsp red chilli flakes; crushed
13. Salt, to season
14. Parsley leaves; for garnish
• Soak the saffron strands in ½ cup warm water for at least 15 minutes.
• Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a deep pan and add the sliced onions. Sauté for a minute or two and then add the garlic; continue to sauté till the onions are softened.
• Then add the bay leaf and chopped parsley; sauté for another minute on low heat.
• Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook on medium to high heat for about a minute; then add the tomato paste, mix well to combine and cook on low heat till the whole mixture comes together to a mushy consistency.
• Remove and keep aside.
• In the same pan, heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil and add the squid rings. Cook for a minute on high heat and then add the prawns. Continue to cook on high for another minute.
• Season with salt and add the pepper and chilli flakes.
• Next add the tomato mixture along with the soaked saffron (with water); mix well to combine.
• Add enough water for a thick stew; cook covered on low heat till the seafood is done (doesn’t take too long as seafood cooks fast).
• Garnish with parsley leaves.
• Serve warm with jasmine rice or with bread; a salad on the side would complete the dish.