The origins of Kedgeree are much disputed, was it an Indian dish, an Anglo-Indian dish, or was it originally Scottish and re-adapted by Scottish army wives in India? Who knows, but growing up in Scotland I cannot recall eating kedgeree that used curry spice, as lots of recipes seem to suggest, but that might just have been “our” particular take on things…and we did not eat this for breakfast either, it was a main meal.
The smoked fish, usually smoked Haddock, that we made this with was so full of flavour I cannot even imagine using curry spice alongside that taste.
I am also not fond of squidgy rice and spotted a pack of long grain + wild rice in the supermarket. Wild rice grains are dark and thin, with a distinct but very subtle flavour of their own, which would be lost if swamped in curry spice. The great thing about this dish, other than its wonderful flavours, is that it takes less than half an hour to make.
Kedgeree Ingredients (Serves 4):
- Smoked Haddock, boneless, around 400g or 1lb. Smoked mackerel is not a substitute, it is too oily and heavy. I have seen this done with fresh salmon, but not tried it myself.
- Milk, bay leaf, a few peppercorns and a few cloves to poach the fish
- Long Grain Rice with Wild Rice, they say 75g per person, I usually increase this to about 100g per person, maybe we are just greedy.
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- Couple of handfuls of frozen Peas
- Small tub of single cream, around 1/4 pint
- Small Bunch Parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
First, set the rice to cook according to the pack. Any rice mixed with wild rice takes longer than regular white rice and I would be sure to rinse the starch off first too so it avoids being a big stodgy mess. I tried cooking this in the microwave, it takes a few minutes less time than on the stove, but it is a pain to keep checking it and it can overspill the bowl.
Cut the fish into a few large pieces to fit a wide pan, I used my biggest frying pan. Add the milk, peppercorns, couple of cloves and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Switch the heat off after two minutes simmering, cover with a lid or a tea towel, and leave to poach gently in the warm liquid. Boil your eggs for around 5-6 minutes (depending on size and whether you keep them in the fridge). Remember to plunge the eggs into cold water once they are done to stop the whites going green, and warm up the frozen peas. Chop the parsley for the garnish.
The fish is cooked when there is no “glassy” transparency to the deepest flakes. It does not take long to cook, just a few minutes, but it depends on the thickness of your fish. Take the fish out of the cooking liquid and place on a chopping board once done, but do not discard the flavoured milk. Use a small, bluntish knife to remove the fish from its skin into large flakes.
Once the rice is cooked, drain it — I also poured a kettle of boiling water through the rice in a sieve to take off any remaining starchiness. Chop the eggs, and place all the ingredients apart from the cream in a large pot over a very gentle heat. Fold rather than stir the ingredients and add in a tablespoon of the flavoured milk, along with as much single cream as you like, depending on how creamy a texture you would like to eat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
I have seen recipes that use curry spice mix, onions and chutney and powder the whole thing in paprika. I don’t think this dish needs any of that, but hey, that might just be me. Enjoy!