Traditionally a breakfast dish from the days of the Empire, kedgeree makes a lovely tasty lunch or supper dish. If you’re passing the fish counter and pick up a bit of (preferably undyed) smoked haddock, apart from the fresh parsley (and I’ve usually got a pot of that growing on the windowsill), you’ve probably got the rest of the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard at home. And it takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish.
One onion – finely chopped
3 cardamom pods – slightly crushed
¼ teaspoon turmeric
One inch of cinnamon stick
One bay leaf
450g basmati rice – washed and drained
One level teaspoon of salt
750g un-dyed fillet of smoked haddock
Three tablespoons of fresh parsley – chopped
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
One lemon – cut into wedges
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently saute the onion until soft, but don’t allow to brown, before stirring in the cardamom pods, turmeric, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and cooking for another minute or so. Stir in the rice until it’s well coated with the butter and then pour in one litre of water and add the salt. Stir well, cover the pan with a well-fitting lid and turn the heat down very low. Allow to simmer for exactly 12 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, boil the eggs for eight minutes, drain, allow to cool a little before peeling and roughly chopping.
At the same time, place the fish in a pan wide enough to contain it in one layer (such as a large frying pan), pour in enough boiling water to cover and simmer for four minutes. Remove and drain, allow to cool a little and then flake the fish removing any bones and skin as you go.
Add the fish and the eggs to the rice, combine gently so that you don’t smash up the fish and place over a low heat for a minute or two to make sure it’s all warmed through.
Stir in some of the chopped parsley along with some black pepper and salt if needed.
To serve, pile onto warmed plates and garnish with a little more parsley and lemon slices.