Kedgeree is curried rice dish made with smoked fish and served with an egg on top.
There all definites end.
Some say you must have boiled egg, others champion the delicious ooze of a runny poached egg. Type of fish can be an issue too, with one camp swearing it must be haddock and the other saying that’s nonsense. Some believe parsley is a must, others say it has to be coriander. Many people demand peas in a ‘proper’ kedgeree, others recoil in horror at the thought. In these days of poshing-up everything, there are some who feel basic shop bought curry powder is too ’70s and that a select few spices are better, while others insist that the basic curry powder is necessary for ‘authentic’ flavour. Debates rage about the matter.
Well, I say debates rage…it’s probably more like an occasional cluck of annoyance, as Mildred and Henry order kedgeree for Sunday brunch then exchange tuts and outraged whispers about the inclusion of poached egg rather than boiled, and the complete absence of peas in the dish. But still…
I’m not too fussy myself – I like a dry kedgeree, not a wet, sauced version, which is too porridgey for my tastes – apart from that I’m willing to ring the changes a little. This was a convenient attitude to be sporting when it came to making this particular kedgeree – we’re having a mini cupboard challenge right now and so needed to use what’s already available in our stores.
This is another imprecise recipe as it’s so easy to scale up or down according to number of servings required; tweak the recipe according to your own requirements, tastes and available ingredients.
Cooked rice – as many servings as are needed
1 small/medium sized piece of smoked haddock fillet per person
2 red onions, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 green chillies, sliced
2 teaspoons Very Lazy Garlic or 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-3 teaspoons curry powder, according to strength of powder and taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A large chunk of butter – use proper butter and use lots! I had some lemon, garlic and herb butter left over from a previous meal so I chucked that in, with about the same amount again in ordinary butter – luvverly.
A good fistful of fresh parsley, chopped
A couple of spring onions, sliced
A couple of lemon wedges and few spoons of mango chutney to serve – not compulsory
To prevent constant harassment, it’s a good idea to shut any cats out of the kitchen before you get started with this recipe.
Kitty excluded? Ok then…Hard boil your eggs by putting them in a pan of cold water, enough to cover the eggs. Bring the water to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes.
As soon as they’re done drain off the hot water and place the pan under a running cold water tap for around 1-2 minutes – this helps stop that horrid black layer developing around the yolks. Peel off the shells and set to one side.
To poach your fish bring a shallow layer of water (a couple of cm) to the boil, in a pan that has a lid; turn off the heat. Pop in the fish, skin side up in a single layer, put the lid on and leave for around 5-6 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done because the skin will easily peel away.
Don’t over cook it. Don’t overcook any fish 😉
Drain and discard the fish poaching water. Remove skin from fillets, feed to cat, who Houdini like, has found a way out of exile and into the kitchen. Flake cooked fish and set to one side.
Melt butter (in that same lidded pan), add diced onions and celery and cook with lid on, over a low heat until soft.
Add curry powder, green chillies and garlic and cook, stirring, for minute or so.
Stir in the cooked rice, salt and pepper, making sure everything mingles properly.
Add flaked fish and most of the chopped parsley then stir gently to combine.
Serve bedecked with boiled egg halves and scattered with chopped spring onion and remaining chopped parsley. Finish with a spoonful of mango chutney on the side and a lemon wedge to squeeze over the top.