Friday, 13 February 2015


Kedgeree is a favourite in our house and is one of those dishes that is great for people who aren't the biggest fishy fans in the world as it is not overpowering; the flavours are subtle and fragrant.  It's not secret that I love my rice dishes - Jambayala is another firm favourite and a friend instagrammed a Bibimbap the other day that got me drooling - expect a version in the near future!
Kedgeree though is always one I fall back on, probably because it is so versatile!  It is traditionally an Anglo-Indian breakfast dish, but we normally serve it for dinner in our house.  I am in no way organised enough in the mornings to sort out breakfast; the best I can do is some fruit or a couple of breakfast biscuits with a cup of tea at my desk while I blearily check emails on any given weekday!  The leftovers however make a brilliant lunchbox meal that gets the rest of the office staring jealously over your shoulder as you chow down.

I was particularly stupid with this dish.  I used to think it was Scottish (probably due to the smoked fish) and it never occurred to me that it wasn't until a few years ago when I started cooking it myself.  It wasn't until I adapted a version from The Spicery into this recipe and noticed all the Indian spices that everything clicked into place.  I'm an idiot.

As I mentioned, this recipe is originally inspired by the one that you get with The Spicery boxes and full credit goes to them, but I have adapted it slightly.

Make the spice mixes first - you will have more than you actually need to use, so pop the leftovers into a little food bag, label it and stick it in the cupboard somewhere dry and dark.  It makes a great rub for chicken or fish or add it to a curry when you are frying the onions for some extra depth of flavour.  Try sprinkling the leftover herb mix through cooked rice and frying it off in a pan for some added interest.  Use it within a few days (a couple of weeks at the most) so that the flavours don't deteriorate too much.
  • 2 onions, 1 finely chopped, 1 cut in half
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 250g basmati rice
  • 300g smoked haddock
  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 250ml water
  • 4 eggs
  • 60g butter
  • 2 lemons
  • Whole spices: 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon quill, 1 tsp green cardamon pods (available at the supermarket)
  • 2 tsps Spice Mixture  (1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground cardamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1.2 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves -grind it in a pestle and mortar and mix it all together into one spice medley).
  • 2 tsps Herb Mixture (1/2 tsp ground coriander leaf, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp toasted mustard seeds, 1 1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds, 1 tsp parsley leaf, 1 tsp garam masala and grind together in a pestle and mortar.
Note: you need to toast the spices yourself, just chuck them into a dry frying pan and heat gently for about 30 seconds.  The second you start to smell them, whisk them out and straight into the mortar.
Boil the eggs for 8 minutes and leave to cool

Combine the water, milk, halved onion, sliced garlic, whole spices and 1/2 tsp salt in a large shallow pan.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  The smell from this milk bath is just divine!

Add the fish, cover and leave to simmer on the lowest heat for 10 minutes

Remove the fish and leave to cool, keep the scented milk mixture in the pan
In a separate large shallow pan with a lid melt the butter and cook the chopped onion until translucent

Add the rice, raisins and spice mixture to the onions.  Stir until it is all evenly covered

Strain the milk over the rice, discarding all the bits left in the milk pan

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice has absorbed all the milk and is cooked and fluffy.  Add a bit more water if needed

Flake the fish into bite size pieces and add to the rice with the cooked lentils and the herb mix, with 1/2 tsp salt and the juice of 1 lemon.  Stir and recover for a further 5 minutes.  The liquid should have all evaporated and the whole dish be fairly dry.

Chop up 2 of the eggs and mix them through the rice, then halve the other two and lay them on top

Serve with lemon wedges and Asian chutney.  Sambal Assam works particularly well!  You can also add cooked green lentils and raisins to the rice during the final cooking stage.  Steve doesn't like them, so I didn't. 
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