Thursday, 7 February 2013


Kedgeree is a dish that dates from the era of the British Raj. It was popular among British families living in India, and also as a breakfast dish in big country houses back in the UK. It is said to originate from the Indian dish kitchari (the spelling varies according to where and when it was Anglicised) which is a mixture of rice and lentils.

The ingredients vary but constant among them are rice and smoked fish. Generally smoked haddock in the UK, although a posh version with smoked salmon is also popular. And it's jolly good made with kippers! There are as  many recipes for Kedgeree as there are for beef stew - none is "correct" or "authentic" because it is an evolved dish, not a classic one,so find out what suits you and enjoy it.

As Mark can't eat any fish or seafood, I often have it as a quick and easy meal for one when he is away from home. The ingredients I use for one (just multiply them up for more) are

75g basmati rice
75g frozen petits pois
1 medium egg
1 fillet smoked haddock
a knob of butter
a handful  of salted peanuts

Boil the egg, cool, peel and slice.
Boil the rice in plenty water, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Place the haddock in a steamer and steam it over the rice until it flakes easily.
Drain the rice and peas and return to the pan with  knob of butter (you can be all health-conscious and leave it out, but it seems to bring everything together with its delicious richness). Flake the fish and add to the rice and peas with plenty black pepper. Smoked fish is usually pretty salty so you probably won't want to add salt - bear in mind you are going to scatter salted peanuts over it.

Serve topped with the sliced egg and peanuts.

You can vary this  in a myriad of ways - adding a fried onion and/or spices to the mixture - turmeric or a good curry powder work well. Leave out the peas, add raisins, chop the egg and  mix  it in to the rice, use other fish or add some seafood, replace the peanuts  with flaked almond - it is a simple canvas that you can paint in your own colours.  Just make sure you have the two wonderfully fragrant items, basmati rice and smoked fish, and you'll still end up with your own form of Kedgeree.

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