I was craving fish for breakfast this morning. This is not unusual for my eccentric taste buds. My fish desire, quickly ignited me to think back to my beloved British Breakfasts, where a hearty bowl of kedgeree would be the cure to grey-sky days.
Americans will be less familiar with Kedgeree, because, well, it quite simply doesn’t exist here. It is a well and truly traditional British dish from Colonial India, and I believe, Britain’s best kept breakfast secret! Having said that, Kedgeree is no longer solely reserved for the morning hours by any means, it makes a great lunch or light evening meal…especially as you can use up leftover rice and bits and bobs from your pantry.
So just what is it? Kedgeree consists of cooked flaked fish, (more commonly haddock or cod), cooked rice, hard boiled eggs, curry powder, butter, parsley, and sultanas.
There are several concepts as to where this dish came from. Some say it traces back to the 1340’s, believed to have been brought back to the UK by returning British colonials who had enjoyed the dish in India, and who re-introduced it as a breakfast dish in Victorian times. Kedgeree comes from the hindi word Khichri (a rice and lentil Indian dish). Others say it originated in Scotland and was taken to India by Scottish troops during the British Raj, where it was adapted by the Indian cuisine and then returned to back to the wider UK.
Unfortunately, Kedgeree is no longer so easy to find on every British Breakfast menu; the traditional fry up leading the demand of British tastes, however, some of the more exclusive hotels and traditional British restaurants, still serve up versions that are exquisite.
I decided to give Kedgeree a Travelista Face-Lift and add some more exciting touches to the traditional dish; using Black Japonica Rice or Forbidden Rice for a nuttier, more intense flavor. This is a great dish to experiment with, simple yet bold and flavorful. It will certainly make for an unexpected and talked about dish, that will knock the socks of all your guests at your next Brunch!
Kedgeree can be eaten hot or cold and other fish such as salmon or tuna could also be used if you prefer.
2 Large Hard Boiled Eggs (boil eggs for 10 mins and hold under cold running water)
8 ounces or 2 undyed filets of smoked Haddock, or other white fish of choice
1-2 Cups of Milk
1 Bay leaf
1 Cup of Forbidden Rice or Black Japonica Rice
2 Cups of Water
1 knob of butter/ghee
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and frated (you can also use 1 teaspoon of minced ginger)
1 small yellow onion finely chopped
2 Green onions finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of Fresh Parsley leaves
Handful of Fresh Mint, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of natural yoghurt
1/8 cup of Sliced almonds
1/8 cup of sultanas or golden raisins
- Combine 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low-simmer, and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from heat (with lid on) and steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork. Set aside.
- Place fish in a large skillet with the bay leaf. Pour over enough milk to just cover the tops of the fish. Cover, and simmer for 4-5 mins. Take off the heat and let stand ten minutes to finish gently cooking the fish. Set aside.
- Melt the Ghee/Butter in a pan over a low heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Soften for about 5 mins then add the curry powder, turmeric, mustard seeds, 1/2 of the lemon juice and green onions. Cook for another 2-3 mins.
- Add the cooked rice, fish and sultanas to the pan and stir gently until heated through.
- Add most of the fresh parsley and slivered almonds to the pot. Gently stir.
- Quarter the hard boiled eggs, and add to the pan, transfer onto a warm serving dish.
- Mix natural yoghurt with a sprinkling of parsley and the other half of the lemons juice. Mix and serve with Kedgeree.
Black Japonica Rice