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Recipe of the week

Kedgeree

Adapted from kichri, a humble Indian lentil and rich dish, and brought back to this country by the British Raj, kedgeree was enjoyed by the Victorians and Edwardians as an essential part of their sumptuous breakfasts. Eliza Acton wrote a recipe for it in 1845, and hers was one of the first examples to include eggs. This recipe, sent in response to Home and Country magazine’s editor’s plea for properly tested recipes, is simple in its approach but includes key ingredients we still recognise today. With a little enhancement, it is an excellent simple supper served with a salad. Make it with good-quality smoked haddock and buy a top brand curry paste for a well-balanced flavour.

Serves: 4
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes

350g smoked haddock fillet
1 bay leaf
50g butter
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp good-quality medium curry paste
200g basmati rice
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaved parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
4 tbsp single cream*
2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and chopped
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and a large pinch of cayenne
Coriander for garnish

1 – Place the haddock in a wide shallow pan and pour over 650ml cold water to just cover the fish. Bring to the boil, add the bay leaf, and simmer very gently for 8-10 minutes until the flesh is firm and flakes easily. Lift the fish out of the water and flake the flesh, removing any skin. Keep the fish warm and reserve the cooking liquid.

2 – Heat half the butter in a heavy-based pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook very gently for 5 minutes until soft, then stir in the curry paste and cook for a minute. Add the rice and stir to coat in the juices. Pour in 450ml of the fish cooking liquid, bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the rice is just tender.

3 – Fork through the flaked fish, remaining butter, parsley, lemon juice and seasoning. Drizzle over the cream* and top with the chopped eggs, then cover the pan and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with a salad.

*Instead of cream you can alternatively use low fat natural yoghurt, served on the side as an accompaniment.

Recipe taken from ‘The WI Cookbook, The First 100 Years’ by Mary Gwynn. Published by Ebury Press, 2015.