Paprika Key facts Paprika is popular in central and Eastern Europe, where it is used in dishes such as goulash, to add heat and warmth. Smoked paprika, or pimenton, is a Spanish ingredient that adds plenty of warmth and spice to paella, braised dishes and chicken.

This is a spice that's ground from dried sweet red peppers – both mild and hot – and comes labelled as such. In this case hot does not really mean chilli-hot, but more piquant, so have no fear.

It is made in Hungary and used extensively in Hungarian and Austrian dishes (in wonderful pepper-scented stews such as goulash or chicken paprika). The Spanish also produce paprika and it turns up in many of their recipes – the famous chorizo sausage is made with it. Recently Spain has been producing smoked paprika from dried smoked peppers, and this has added a whole new dimension to this particular spice.

Once again, remember the rule: buy in small quantities and replace frequently. If you can't find it in supermarkets, smoked pimentón is available from two of Delia's favourite stockists, The Spice Shop and Brindisa.

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