According to Albert Jack, author of the very interesting book What Caesar Did for my Salad, Kedgeree is a traditional dish of rice and lentils or rice and beans that can be traced back to the fourteenth century. Kitachari was a staple of the Indian diet and was brought back to England by returning British colonials and evolved into something far more lavish, usually including smoked fish, hard boiled eggs, parsley and curry powder. With it’s name anglicised to kedgeree it became a classic of the Victorian breakfast buffet.
We don’t eat it for breakfast, rather I tend to make an even more substantial version with the addition of vegetables and have it for dinner. I also used hot smoked salmon as an alternative to the traditional smoked haddock. It doesn’t need any preparation other than breaking it into smaller pieces and has a fragrant, smoky flavour. Kedgeree is a flavoursome meal and the leftovers reheat well for lunch the next day.
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped (you could use a bunch of spring onions or a leek if you prefer)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 50g ghee
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 5 cups cooked basmati rice
- 1/2 red capsicum, chopped
- 2 cups chopped mixed vegetables (use whatever you have in – peas, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans work well)
- 2 x 150g portions hot smoked salmon, flaked
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into quarters
- chopped coriander or parsley to serve
Heat the ghee in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until beginning to soften. Add the mustard seeds and the curry powder and stir for about a minute or until the spices are fragrant. Add the capsicum and remaining vegetables and continue to cook until tender but not soft. Add the smoked salmon and heat through gently. Add the cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Continue to heat gently until the rice is warmed through. Stir through the lemon juice.
Serve the kedgeree in bowls or on plates topped with hard boiled egg quarters and sprinkled with coriander or parsley.