Shadows of my colonial past: kedgeree

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Ingredients
Smoked fish – ideally smoked haddock but smoked cod will do. One good-sized fillet.
Onion
garlic
Rice: long grain or pilau
hard boiled eggs
Curry powder plus turmeric, coriander and cardamon pods. Cinnamon quills.
fresh coriander
Bay leaf
Butter
Ghee or oil
Lemons
Yoghurt

This is quite daggy and old fashioned. In fact it is a colonial dish. Yet I find it extremely comforting and delicious, probably because of the amount of butter involved. And it’s entirely appropriate that I cook it. As an Englishman turned Australian (I still haven’t caught on to the sporty bit though) I’m a bit of a colonial myself.
I cooked this for myself but it just so happens that this also makes an ideal entry to My rasoi#6 hosted by Chef Paz in New York. The theme is “For the love of rice”.
Kedgeree is a spin-off from the indian khichri, made with lentils and onions and spices, according to Wikipedia.
I just know it as something my mother cooked and I have refined. In the old days she’d boil the rice and poach the haddock, boil the eggs and mix it together with curry powder.
I now approach it more like an rice pilaf. I can’t give quantities as I do it all to taste and so should you.
Finely dice the onion. Smash a couple of garlic cloves with the back of a knife and mash with salt. Fry in ghee or oil (I often use olive). Add the curry powder and give it a boost with coriander, turmeric and four or five smashed cardamon pods and a cinnamon quill or two. Add the rice. I usually measure a handful per person and fry for a few minutes. Then I add about 2-3 cm of water and seal the lid of the pan with foil and cook.
Meanwhile, I poach the smoked fish in milk with the bay leaf and hard boil two to three eggs.
When the fish falls apart remove from the milk and let cool and break into small pieces (removing any errant bones as you go). Shell the eggs and slice into four.
When the water has been absorbed by the rice set aside for maybe 30 mins to ensure it’s al gone. then simply mix it all together. At this point I add several massive knobs of butter and cook in the oven until the top of the rice becomes crispy.
Serve with freshly chopped coriander, a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of yoghurt (plain not fruit).
The best bit is the crispy buttery bit. And it improves on heating. Simply add more butter and heat until crispy.
I’ve eaten it from supper, lunch and breakfast this week. And will eat it again before the weekend is over.

4 Responses to “Shadows of my colonial past: kedgeree”

  1. mae

    Oh, yum! Another delicious sounding rice recipe. I’d love to try this one. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Paz

    Very delicious, Ed. I do believe it is good enough to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and once again! Thanks for sharing!

    Paz