Arroz Negro, or Black Paella, is a classic Spanish dish originating from the Valencia region. It’s a tantalizing combination of seafood, rice, and squid ink, giving it a striking black color and a unique flavor profile. This dish has gained popularity not only in Spain but also internationally, thanks to its rich taste and visually striking appearance.

The mastermind behind this delicious creation, Omar Allibhoy, is a renowned Spanish chef known for his passion for traditional Spanish cuisine with a modern twist. Born in Madrid, Allibhoy’s culinary journey began at a young age, inspired by his family’s love for food and his Spanish heritage. After training under some of Spain’s finest chefs, Allibhoy embarked on a mission to share his love for Spanish cuisine with the world.

Arroz Negro is one of Allibhoy’s signature dishes, a testament to his creativity and dedication to preserving traditional Spanish flavors while adding his own innovative touches. In this recipe, he combines the freshest seafood with the deep, savory taste of squid ink-infused rice, resulting in a dish that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious.

To start, Allibhoy emphasizes the importance of using high-quality ingredients. Fresh seafood, including squid, prawns, and mussels, forms the heart of the dish. The squid ink, a key ingredient that gives the rice its distinctive black color and rich flavor, should also be of the finest quality.

The cooking process begins with preparing a flavorful base, typically consisting of onions, garlic, and ripe tomatoes, sautéed until they release their aroma and create a fragrant sofrito. This aromatic base serves as the foundation for building layers of flavor in the dish.

Once the sofrito is ready, Allibhoy adds the rice, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the sofrito while gently toasting to enhance its nutty aroma. Then comes the star ingredient: squid ink. This jet-black liquid is added to the rice, transforming it into a striking shade of black and infusing it with a deep, umami-rich flavor that is characteristic of Arroz Negro.

As the rice cooks, Allibhoy carefully arranges the seafood on top, allowing it to steam and release its juices into the rice, imparting it with even more flavor. The dish is then covered and left to simmer gently until the rice is cooked through and has absorbed all the delicious flavors of the seafood and squid ink.

Finally, Allibhoy garnishes the Arroz Negro with freshly chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice, adding a touch of brightness to complement the rich, savory flavors of the dish. The result is a masterpiece of Spanish cuisine—a vibrant and flavorful celebration of the sea that captivates both the palate and the senses.

Arroz Negro by Omar Allibhoy is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary experience that transports diners to the sun-drenched shores of Spain with every bite. Through his innovative interpretation of this traditional recipe, Allibhoy continues to share the rich tapestry of Spanish flavors with the world, inspiring food lovers everywhere to embrace the beauty and diversity of Spanish cuisine.