Wonderfully simple, I was introduced to kedgeree by the Two Fat Ladies. Using boiled rice, cooked flaky fish, hardboiled eggs, and seasoned with curry powder, it is a filling and satisfying meal that can be put together in minutes. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers.
Once served as breakfast in nineteenth century Britain (part of the then-fashionable Indo-Anglo cuisine), nowadays it is commonly eaten as brunch or dinner. A widely held belief is that returning British colonials brought it from India (tracing back to an Indian rice and beans or lentils dish called Khichdi; Clarissa and Jennifer from the Two Fat Ladies humorously relate this story). Another possibility is that it was taken to India by Scottish troops and incorporated into Indian cuisine. Either way, smoked haddock (the fish traditionally used, although any flaky fish works) is definitely a British addition.
Hardboiled eggs are included in kedgeree – usually. I was going to put them in but my Mum said it was good just as it is and I had to work fast to get the plate shot above. I wasn’t as fast for the pan shot, though. My Mum just helped herself.
For your personal entertainment, here’s the Two Fat Ladies doing breakfast. On the menu is huevos rancheros and the aforementioned kedgeree; part two (click here) sees them making corn griddle cakes (something I’d love to try) and deviled kidneys.
While I did watch the Two Fat Ladies make kedgeree and looked at a number of recipes online, none in particular did I specifically adapt from. Kedgeree is a very simple dish – it is more of an idea than a set recipe and many variations exist, so I felt free to play around with it. You should, too.
Though smoked fish, especially haddock, is traditional, I used the tinned salmon that I had on hand and it works beautifully. Besides salmon, you can use any flaky fish that you like. I’ve listed the hardboiled eggs as an option since my family also quite liked it without. You can cook the eggs and put them on the side for anyone who may like some with their kedgeree.
About 37 grams unsalted butter (you may need/want more)
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 tsp. curry powder
3 to 4 cups freshly cooked rice (leftover rice is also fine)
1 tin salmon, drained and flaked (remove bones or skin, if any)
A good fistful each of fresh parsley and cilantro, chopped finely, plus extra for garnish
4 hardboiled eggs, sliced or cut into wedges (optional)
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Melt the butter in a large fry pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and cook until softened. While cooking, the onion may brown a bit. Sprinkle in the curry powder, cooking for about 2 minutes to let the spice brown and until you smell its aroma.
Put the rice into the pan and stir to evenly coat it with the curry, adding the salmon and herbs. If using the hardboiled eggs, gently stir in 3 of the eggs and saving the last for garnish.
Serve the kedgeree with some extra parsley or cilantro and egg for garnish and squeeze a little lemon juice over it. Serve and enjoy!