1/4 - 3/8 cup light olive oil (120 -180ml), to taste
1 med.-large onion
2 peppers (capsicum) - 1 green, 1 red (jarred pimiento o.k. for latter)
2-3 cloves garlic (or more, to taste), crushed
400-500g abalone-style seitan (about 1 lb.) - or - white, closed-cap mushrooms - or - mixture of the two
200 g black olives (about 1/2 lb.), de-stoned
2 cups rice
2-3 good pinches of saffron, up to 1/2 teaspoon
2 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon nori flakes (optional, for marine flavour)
5 cups stock (Maggi cubes if available, veg stock otherwise)
The recipe is best accomplishe'd with a traditional paella pan (pallera) -- and a large one, at that! Other flat-bottomed pans will work. Use your largest burner / hob, in order to get the most even heat distribution possible.
Chop onions and peppers small. Chop tomatoes medium. Use olives whole or cut into halves.
Fry onions, peppers, and garlic in the oil for about three minutes; add seitan / mushrooms and olives and fry for a further minute or two; add tomatoes and cook for a further minute. Finally add rice and stir for two or three minutes, mixing in the remaining spices right at the end. (Crush the saffron strands between fingers as you add it.) Salt to taste (probably 1-2 tsp.).
Add stock gradually, continuing to stir and making sure that all the goodies are mixed well and distributed evenly. Once the pan is boiling well, reduce heat and leave rice to simmer uncovered. Do not stir again after this point!
The rice takes about twenty minutes to cook. All the water should be absorbed at the end -- but keep an eye on the pan during the cooking and add hot water if required. Shake the pan from time to time to prevent burning on the bottom (if that's your thing -- many purists like a bit of a light crust). When the paella looks about done, turn off heat, and allow dish to rest and steam for five minutes or so.
Serve in the paellera.
In the end, this recipe is only a template; paella is very flexible, provided you stick with garlic, paprika, and saffron as the main spices. Variations might include any number of veg, garden peas, beans, or tofu.