How to make Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams’ pretend paella

“I wanted Nadia to devise me a recipe for something like a paella, but not a paella, because that would be far too much faff,” explains one half of Disaster Chef team, Kaye Adams.

“There’s still a lot of chopping in this, but that’s what 10-year-olds are for. We wouldn’t want a new generation of Disaster Chefs, would we?”

Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams (Mark Adderley/PA)


(Serves 4)

2–3tbsp olive oil

2 onions, sliced

3 medium tomatoes, cut into 8

3–6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

300g basmati rice

Pinch of saffron threads

1 heaped tsp smoked paprika (optional)

150ml dry sherry or white wine

400ml hot fish stock (from a cube is fine)

400g pack of frozen seafood mix

100g frozen peas

Lemon wedges, to serve

Handful of chopped parsley leaves, to serve

(Mark Adderley/PA)


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for two to three minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the tomatoes and stir.

2. Add the rice, saffron and paprika (if using), and stir for one minute.

3. Pour in the sherry or wine. Increase the heat to bring up to the bubble for one minute, stirring to burn off the alcohol, then reduce the heat to medium.

4. Add the stock and seafood mix, cover, and simmer very gently for 15 minutes over a low heat, or until the rice and fish are cooked. Add the peas three minutes before the end. Don’t stir.

5. When the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, you’re ready to go, with a good squeeze from the lemon wedges, and a flourish of chopped parsley.

Tip: Feel free to add chunks of fried chorizo, if you eat meat.

Nadia And Kaye Disaster Chef by Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams, photography by Mark Adderley, is published by DK, priced £20.  Available now.

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