A kedgeree (or kidgeree) is an anglo-indian breakfast dish of spiced rice, eggs and leftover fish, dating back as far as the early 1800’s. This Victorian dish comes from a variety of old Indian recipes, altered and adapted for the British tastes, which has continued to alter from the 1800s to today’s classic recipe. Although compared to most breakfasts this one takes a little bit of work, try it for breakfast on a weekend, and after enjoying it, see how it makes the weekend go that little bit slower*.
* terms and conditions apply, eating Kedgeree might not make your weekend relaxing all by itself, but it is a good start.
Eliza Acton 1845
Kedgeree Or Kidgeree, An Indian Breakfast Dish.
Boil four ounces of rice tender and dry as for currie, and when it has cooled down put it into a saucepan with nearly an equal quantity of cold fish taken clear of skin and bone, and divided into very small flakes or scallops. Cut up an ounce or two of fresh butter and add it, with a full seasoning of cayenne, and as much salt as may be required. Stir the kedgeree constantly over a clear fire until it is very hot: then mingle quickly with it two slightly beaten eggs. Do not let it boil after these are stirred in; but serve the dish when they are just set. A Mauritian chutney may be sent to table with it. The butter may be omitted, and its place supplied by an additional egg or more. Cold turbot, brill, salmon, soles, John Dory, and shrimps, may all be served in this form.
- 300g undyed smoked haddock
- 300g basmati rice
- small onion (finely chopped)
- 50g butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp curry powder (mild or hot your preference)
- 1 green chilli (deseeded and sliced fine)
- 2 crushed cardamom pods
- pinch cayenne chilli pepper
- 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- a little freshly grated nutmeg
- 200ml milk
- 100ml double cream
- 250ml water
- freshly ground black pepper
- small bunch parsley (chopped fine)
- 4 hard-boiled eggs (shelled & halved)
- knob of butter
- wedges cut from 1 lemon
Prepare the smoked haddock: Put the smoked haddock, skin-side up, in a shallow pan over a low heat, and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then take it out of the water, leave to drain, and when cool enough to touch, pull the skin off and break the flesh into large flakes, being careful not to include any bones. Reserve the flakes.
Prepare the hard-boiled eggs: In a small saucepan boil 4 eggs in salted water (which covers them by 1 cm) for 7 minutes once the water is simmering. Straight away cool them under cold running water, shell and reserve. Before serving cut them in half.
In a tall non-stick pan melt the butter and then add the vegetable oil and fry the chopped onion, the cayenne, and green chilli gently on a low heat for 7 minutes, gently browning the onion, then add the rice and crushed cardamom pods. Stir.
Continue frying gently and stirring – add the curry powder and a little grating of nutmeg. Coat everything in the oil and spices. After a few minutes, add the milk, cream and 250ml water. Stir this well. Turn the heat slightly up.
When the mixture begins to simmer, add the fish flakes, and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and continue simmering – stirring occasionally, very gently, until the rice is cooked – if drying out as the rice swells add a little more water, but only a little bit. You want the dish to have very little liquid left in it before serving, just make sure the rice softens.
Remove the cardamom pods, season with a little sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finally add the chopped parsley and gently stir – do not break the rice or fish up too much. Spoon into a serving dish, fluff the rice up with a fork – add the hard-boiled eggs. Serve topped with a knob of butter, wedges of lemon and a spoonful of chutney (mango chutney is recommended).