Arroz negro (black rice)

by Jenny Chandler

A traditional Spanish seafood dish from Jenny Chandler

For more on rice, read Jenny’s latest blog on the many varieties available and what to do with them


For the alioli:
2-6 cloves of garlic (up to you and how much you love garlic), crushed
2 egg yolks
250ml olive oil (½ extra virgin), or to taste

750g fresh squid
4-5 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 red peppers, sliced
1 clove of garlic, diced
3 fresh tomatoes, skinned and seeded or 200g tinned tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp chopped parsley (1 reserved for garnish)
350g Spanish round grain rice—calasparra is wonderful
800ml hot fish stock
4 sachets of squid /cuttlefish ink
125ml white wine
1 lemon cut into wedges, to serve


For the alioli, take a large bowl and add the yolks, garlic and ½ tsp salt.

Now slowly add the oil, bit by bit, whisking to emulsify it as you go. This is just like making a mayonnaise although the absolutely authentic alioli, very seldom found today, has no egg at all. Add lemon juice or vinegar to taste if you like.

Prepare the squid—all you want to keep are the tubes, wings and tentacles. Cut into slices and only chop up the tentacles if they are really large—they make a beautiful garnish later.

Take a large frying pan, paella or sauté pan that you’re happy to transfer to the table, and fry the squid in the olive oil until it becomes opaque—literally about 30 secs—and set aside.

Now, in the same oil, fry the onion and peppers until they are soft (10-15 mins). Add the garlic, tomatoes, lemon juice and parsley and cook for 2 mins before adding the rice.

Add 750ml of stock, the squid ink and wine to the rice pan, stir through once and bring up to the boil.

Return the squid to the pan (placing the tentacles on top) and cook gently for about 25 mins, uncovered, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked through.

Cover the dish (traditionally with newspaper) and allow to stand for 5 mins before serving. Sprinkle with parsley and serve up with lemon wedges, a bowl of alioli and some good bread.

Recipe: Jenny Chandler