Kedgeree is something I've been meaning to make for a while; I'd never pass up an excuse to eat rice for breakfast. It is said to have been derived from the Indian dish, Kitchuri, dating back from the days of the Raj. Back then, breakfasts were far grander affairs - no sad little bowls of muesli, nor cardboard-like pieces of toast munched solitarily at your desk. Instead, fish caught that morning was often used since it was so hot in India, it would turn bad by evening. Ingredients like egg were added to cater to British tastes.
The subtle spicing coats each grain, with a delicate, smoky flavour of the fish in the background. Traditionally the dish is made with hard boiled eggs to garnish, but I prefer a soft-boiled. Cutting into the egg, the yolk seeps nicely into the rice, enriching the grains already glossy with butter. A scattering of parsley freshens it up some.
180gr basmati rice
1 large undyed smoked haddock fillet
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 level tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
A pinch of chilli powder
1 small onion, diced
1 bay leaf
A handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Half a lemon
Salt & pepper
In a saucepan or large frying pan with a lid, place the fish and bay leaf and add the milk, which should cover it. Bring to the boil and then immediately take off the heat, leaving the fish in the milk. In a non-stick frying pan, add half the butter. Once it's foaming, add the onion and fry slowly until translucent and soft. Add the spices, stir well and then add the rice with plenty of black pepper. Lift the fish & bay leaf out of the milk. Reserve half the milk, diluting it with enough water to cook the rice, and add to the pan. At this point I transfer it all the the rice cooker, but if you don't have one, just carry on cooking your rice in the pan as you normally do. Flake the fish and set to one side.
While the rice is cooking, place the eggs in a small saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. As soon as the water boils, take the eggs out and plunge in cold water. Add the flaked fish and the remaining butter to the rice, stirring carefully. Add the parsley and peel the eggs, which should be soft-boiled, and place on top. Season, and garnish with a quarter wedge of lemon.