Sunday, June 12, 2011


Kedgeree is a wonderful thing: so easy to make, so satisfying, comfort food and exotica all in one fragrant package. My mum used to make it, and it still ranks amongst my all-time favourite dishes. Whenever I think of kedgeree I always have a faint image in the back of my mind of a bejewelled Indian servant offering a platter to a mustachioed colonial type - breakfast in the Raj - although apparently the dish may actually have originated in Scotland; haddock being much more popular in Scotland than cod, it's certainly plausible.

I made this recipe recently and was delighted anew with it (the original recipe, © Readers Digest Association, had tomatoes in it, but that would be non-standard and was thus ignored).

275 g smoked cod fillet
1 bay leaf
2 cups (500 ml) diluted salt-reduced or homemade vegetable stock, hot
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1½ cups (300 g) basmati rice, rinsed
small strip of lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup (150 g) shelled fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2 eggs, hard-boiled and quartered

Put the smoked cod in a deep frying pan. Add the bay leaf, then pour over the stock. Heat to simmering point, then reduce the heat, half-cover the pan with a lid and poach for 6–8 minutes until the flesh flakes easily when tested with the tip of a knife. (If you prefer, the fish can be cooked in a microwave.)
Lift the fish out of the cooking liquid and set aside. Make up the volume of the cooking liquid/stock to 600 ml with water and reserve with the bay leaf.
Rinse out the pan, then add the oil and heat over a medium heat for a few seconds. Add the shallots and cook for 4–5 minutes until softened, then stir in the spices, followed by the rice. Stir for a few seconds to coat with the oil and spices, then add the reserved cooking liquid and bay leaf and the strip of lemon zest. Bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas, cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the rice is tender and nearly all the stock has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, flake the fish, removing any skin and bones. Reduce the heat under the pan to very low, then gently stir the fish into the rice together with the lemon juice and chives.
Season to taste, bearing in mind that smoked cod is quite salty, then transfer the kedgeree to a warm serving dish and garnish with the egg quarters.


Kate said...

That was always a speciality of my dad's and I'm fond of it for that reason as well as its utter deliciousness.

LottieP said...

it's the ultimate comfort food!

Anonymous said...

The kedgeree you remember from childhood was a good deal simpler! Cook smoked haddock in water, flake and add to cooked rice with peas and chopped hard-boiled egg, proably a little stock to moisten. It's so long since I made it, but I think that's more or less it.