Rooibos Rice with Smoked Paprika Mussels (Quick Paella-wanna-be)

Rooibos Rice with Paella-inspired flavours

I thought to myself, ‘How can I make a rice dish a little more interesting?’ So I started with the idea of color and decided to use all ‘red’ coloured ingredients in my kitchen. So first off, I made rooibos (redbush) tea-flavoured water to steam my brown rice.  I also took flavours commonly found in paella and used deliciously red: smoked paprika, cayenne, tomato paste, and red peppers, to add to the dish. The recipe goes a lil something like this:

2 cups of brown rice

4 cups water

4 rooibos teabags

1 medium onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 green pepper

1 medium carrot

half a red pepper

1 cup of rooibos tea

120 g tomato paste

170 g smoked mussels

Olive Oil

2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 TB smoked paprika

4 artichoke hearts

parsley for garnish

salt

pepper

Boil 4 cups water and add 4 bags of Rooibos tea. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer.

In a deep large frying pan, cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and let it heat on medium for 1 minute.  Add slices of onion and grated garlic and let them cook until soft and brown.  Add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper with salt and pepper to taste.  I accidentally added cayenne as if it were paprika and the flavour and spiciness was awesome, so don’t be afraid to add more heat if you can handle it.  Add the mussels and slices of carrot, green and red pepper to the oil and let them sit in the oil for minute.

Make a cup of roobis tea and mix the hot tea and tomato paste together in a bowl.  Add this mixture to the pan and stir.  When the rice is fully cooked, add the cooked rice to the frying pan mixture and stir in all the flavours together on a low heat.  Add the artichoke hearts and the fresh parsley for garnish and serve hot.  If there are left-overs be prepared for delicious marinated flavours dancing on your tongue-so much yummier than cold pizza…

Tip 1: If you can’t find little cans of smoked mussels, subsitute with smoked oysters, smoked sausage or smoked tofu.

Always consider flavouring your water when making rice.  Try jasmine tea or cinnamon sticks, anise or fennel!

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