Historically, kedgeree was a rice and bean dish that the British came across on India, known as khichari. By the time it had been transported back home kedgeree had changed dramatically and now consisted of flaked fish (traditionally, haddock), boiled rice, parsley, curry powder, boiled eggs, and, occasionally, sultanas. Which is why the Victorians preferred kedgeree as a breakfast dish, as they developed a taste for Anglo-Indian cuisine.
There are numerous variations on the recipe, and it can be made with fish such as tuna or salmon. Kedgeree can also be served hot or cold.
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 2 teaspoons of curry powder
- 7 ounces / 200g long grain rice
- 6 eggs
- 14 fluid ounces / 400ml milk
- 14 fluid ounces / 400ml water
- 10½ ounces / 300g smoked haddock, not dyed
- 2 bay leaves
- small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
- small bunch of parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper, to season
Heat the oil in a saucepan that has a well-fitting lid.
Meanwhile, rinse the rice under cold running water.
When the oil is hot enough, cook the onion until soft but not coloured.
Add the turmeric, ground coriander, curry powder, bay leaves, and some salt. Continue cooking for about another four minutes until golden and fragrant.
Sprinkle the rice into the pan, stirring well so that all the grains are coated.
Stir in the 400ml of water, increase the heat, put on the lid, and bring to the boil.
Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat but keep the well-fitting lid on allowing the rice to steam for another 20 minutes. Provided you resist the temptation to lift the lid the rice should be well cooked after that time.
Meanwhile, boil the eggs. Put them in another saucepan and cover with cold water. Use a high heat to bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer the eggs according to taste – 3 minutes for soft boiled, 5-6 minutes for hard boiled.
When they are ready, plunge the eggs into cold water until cool enough to peel.
Peel the eggs and cut each into quarters.
Now put the undyed haddock into a shallow pan and pout the milk over it. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer, don’t let it boil.
Poach the haddock in the milk for about 5-8 minutes until it is just cooked through and the flesh flakes away easily.
Remove the haddock from the milk, peel off and discard the skin, then flake the flesh.
Now, gently stir the flaked fish into the rice. Stir in the chopped coriander and parsley and add any seasoning to taste.
Finally, top the kedgeree with the quartered eggs and serve.