|Place of origin||Philippines|
|Main ingredients||glutinous rice, rice|
|Variations||arroz a la valenciana, bringhe, paella negra|
Paelya, also spelled paella (Tagalog: [paˈɛlja]), is a Filipino rice dish adapted from the Valencian paella. However, it differs significantly in its use of native glutinous rice (malagkit), giving it a soft and sticky texture, unlike the al dente texture favored in original paella. It is also characteristically topped with sliced eggs. Filipino paelya also does not use saffron, but instead use achuete (anatto), luyang dilaw, (turmeric), or kasubha (safflower).
Paelya is a general term for similar dishes in the Philippines, regardless of the ingredients used. It includes arroz a la valenciana (usually made with chicken and chorizo de bilbao), bringhe (made with coconut milk), and paella negra (made with squid ink).
The name is derived from Spanish paella, but it is pronounced differently. Like most occurrences of the ll digraph in Philippine languages, it is pronounced with [lj] rather than the Spanish [ʎ]. Hence the nativized spelling of "paelya".
Paelya is prepared similarly to its ancestors, the Valencian paella and the Latin American arroz a la valenciana, but it uses more indigenous ingredients. Instead of arroz bomba, Filipino paelya favors heirloom high-quality local rice varieties, like the Ifugao tinawon rice, which has similar characteristics to arroz bomba. Imported long-grain rice (like jasmine rice) are also used. This is mixed with glutinous rice (malagkit) at various ratios, ranging from a fourth of the regular rice to equal parts, depending on how sticky the final product is desired to be.
In place of saffron, paelya uses achuete (anatto), luyang dilaw, (turmeric), or kasubha (safflower). Sometimes, a knot of pandan (screwpine) leaves is even added, which imparts a vanilla-like fragrance to the dish. Some variations will also use tomato sauce in the sofrito (ginisa) to color and flavor the dish.
Meat paelya typically use chicken, pork, beef, and smoked spicy sausages. The sausages used in paelya can be any of the native smoked longganisa, but it is usually chorizo de bilbao (which despite its name, is a native Filipino sausage). Seafood paelya typically include mussels (tahong), blue crab (alimasag), large prawns (hipon), clams (kabibi), and calamari (pusit). The meat and seafood versions are commonly mixed together. The typical vegetables and spices used include bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, ginger, carrots, green peas, black pepper, scallions, paprika, and raisins. It is usually garnished with calamansi and sliced hard-boiled eggs. Other native condiments and ingredients can also be added, like tanglad (lemongrass), patis (fish sauce), and bagoong alamang (shrimp paste).
Paelya is usually cooked in a paellera, a shallow and wide pan with two handles. Though it can also be cooked in a kawali (wok). Due to the complexity of the dish and its ingredients, paelya is rarely served in everyday meals. It is considered a "luxury meal" and is usually reserved for special occasions. Paelya are commonly served during the Nochebuena (Christmas dinner).
Because the dish is easy to modify, there are numerous variants of paelya, depending on the ingredients at hand. They include the following:
Arroz a la valenciana or arroz valenciana is sometimes regarded as a separate dish. It originates from the Latin American adaptation of paella. But like other Filipino paelyas, it uses glutinous rice. It primarily uses chicken and chorizo de bilbao, but can also include pork or beef.
Bringhe (also known as bringhi, beringhe, biringye, biringyi or kalame manuc) is a paelya variant from the province of Pampanga. It similar to the original Valencian dish, but use rice and glutinous rice mixtures cooked in gata (coconut milk) with saffron or turmeric (ange in Kapampangan), giving it a distinct flavor and color. It typically uses chicken, along with bell peppers, green peas, carrots, raisins, and chorizo de bilbao. However, it can also be made with seafood and other meats. It is also characteristically topped with sliced boiled eggs. It is sometimes cooked in banana leaves for the added aroma.
Bringhe is pre-colonial in origin and the name is a cognate of the South Asian biryani dishes, but it has merged with the Spanish paella. The original version made without the chorizo, eggs, or other paelya ingredients is differentiated as nasing biringye or nasing biringye, which is more similar to nasi briyani of Malaysia and Singapore.
A relatively modern adaptation, developed in the Alba Restaurante Español, a notable Spanish-Filipino restaurant in Manila first established in 1954. It is a fusion dish, combining the Spanish paella with the Filipino adobo.
Paelya topped with grilled or barbecued meat or seafood.
Paella negra, also called arroz negro, is a variant that uses squid ink and calamari. The dish is characteristically black, hence the name. It is most similar to the Valencian and Catalan dish arròs negre, but like other Filipino paelyas, it uses glutinous rice.