Updated: Nov 11, 2019
This beautiful dish features freshly caught tilapia from Lake Victoria as well as local greens and vegetables.
This corrupted chorizo paella is perhaps my only original recipe. I am always in search of good tilapia recipes because we have a fish monger who delivers fresh tilapia from Lake Victoria to our house each week. Paella is a beautiful dish and as a rice farmer’s daughter, I can’t resist a good rice dish. Adding Mexican chorizo to the paella takes the flavor to another level. I love that this dish incorporates so many colorful vegetables that are easy to find here. You can adjust the vegetables to your tastes, but let me warn you that I have not had good luck with using local peas in this recipe.
You will need a big pot with a well-fitting lid, to trap steam so the rice fully cooks. I use a big non-stick pot so I can do all the steps with the same pot. When it comes time to reduce the heat and let the dish cook, do not stir it! If you are using a non-stick pot, you have no need to stir and it will disrupt the dish.
Cost – Benefit
Cook time: 45 minutes
1 pound (450 g) Mexican chorizo
2 tablespoons (30 mL) cooking oil
1 medium (Kampala) onion
1 medium carrot, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch spinach, rinsed well, de-ribbed, and finely sliced
70 grams tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dried thyme
1 and 1/2 cups (225 g) rinsed uncooked medium grain rice, such as supa rice, Kibimba, or kayiso
3 cups (700 mL) water
4 tilapia fillets
Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves (for garnish)
Half a lemon (for garnish)
Brown the Mexican chorizo in a skillet over medium heat and set aside in a bowl. Scrape the skillet clean and sauté the onion, carrot, and bell pepper in cooking oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until carrots are starting to become tender.
Stir in tomatoes and spinach and sprinkle with salt. Cook another 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Transfer the vegetables to a sauce pan and add in tomato paste, thyme, rice, water, and cooked chorizo. Stir to combine well and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once the mixture is boiling, cover the pan and reduce heat to as low as the flame will go. Try to make sure that no rice kernels are stranded on top of other ingredients, because they need to be submerged to fully cook. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes without stirring. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and arrange the tilapia fillets over the rice mixture. Do not stir.
Return the lid and cook an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves and drizzle with juice from half a lemon.