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Season 2 Episode 24: Hamilton East

Hamilton East

HAMILTON - East of the River

This week on Neighbourhood we head to Hamilton – and the east side of the river. Our guide to the culturally diverse city is Anamika Singh, local lawyer and Miss India New Zealand, 2012.

We’ll taste a genuine Spanish paella, listen to a young violinist whose music connects her to her Hungarian heritage, discover a two hundred year old hand written Quran and join a group of young Muslim women as they gain confidence by tackling physical challenges.


Anamika Singh was raised in Rotorua, but moved to Hamilton to study law at Waikato University. She entered Miss India NZ in 2012 as a way of connecting with her Indian heritage and was chosen to represent New Zealand at the International competition in Malaysia in 2013.



This week on Neighbourhood Hamiton East local, Laura Garcia, shares her recipe for Sea Food Paella that reminds her of the many special family occasions of her childhood in Spain.



  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 tbls Olive oil
  • 2 cups Rice
  • 3 cups of Fish stock
  • 12 Mussels
  • 12 Prawns
  • 250g Squid rings
  • 250g Cockles or pipis
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 lemons quartered
  • 2 tbls parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp Saffron

In a large frying pan or “paellera” sweat the chopped green capsicum, onion and tomato on a low heat.  

Once the onion is clear, add the garlic and stock. Bring to the boil and lower to a simmer.

Add the rice and saffron (if you don’t have saffron add 3 tbls of yellow food coloring).

Add ¼ kilo of cockles and stir. Add the rice and calamari rings then decorate evenly the mussels and prawns.

Cook in a low heat until all the stock is absorbed. Once the stock is absorbed, raise the heat to lightly toast the base of the pan (not burnt). Remove from the heat and let the dish set for five minutes. Garnish with lemon and fresh parsley. Then serve.