Kedgeree – an Anglo-Indian breakfast

A Hindi dish of rice or lentils combined with meat or fish is known as khichri. As happened frequently at the time, the Victorian British in India came up with their own version of the dish and originally served it at breakfast so that, in the days before refrigerators, early morning-caught fish could be eaten while still fresh. Nowadays usually made with smoked fish, Kedgeree is rarely eaten at breakfast in homes anymore but I sometimes see it on hotel breakfast menus and was served a pleasing plate of it recently on the early morning train. If you don’t wish for it at breakfast, it makes a great supper dish, starter or light lunch.

Instead of smoked salmon, kippers make a delicious kedgeree as do mussels, using their cooking liquor to flavour the rice.

Serves four

  • 500g smoked haddock
  • Olive oil
  • One onion – finely chopped
  • 175g basmati rice – well rinsed
  • One teaspoon curry paste
  • Butter
  • Three hard-boiled eggs – cut into wedges
  • Chopped parsley

Poach the smoked haddock in a pan of gently simmering water for three to four minutes, remove from the heat and allow the fish to cool in the liquid. Remove the fish, discard the skin and bones and flake the fish. Tip the cooking liquid into a measuring jug up the 600ml line or top up with water if you don’t have enough.

Meanwhile, using a little olive oil in a large saucepan, sauté the onions over a medium heat until they begin to brown. Tip in the rice and stir for a minute or so before adding the curry paste, still stirring. Pour the liquid from the measuring jug over the rice and cook gently until absorbed and the rice is cooked, topping up with water if necessary and checking the seasoning to see if it needs salt.

To serve, add the flaked fish to the pan along with a slice of butter and a handful of chopped parsley, stirring gently. Spoon onto warmed serving dishes and top with the boiled egg.

Previously published in The Northern Echo as Bill’s Bites


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