Kedgeree (or occasionally kitcherie, kitchari or kitchiri) is a dish consisting of flaked fish (usually smoked haddock), boiled rice, eggs and butter. It originated amongst the British colonials in India hence was introduced to the United Kingdom as a popular English breakfast in Victorian times, part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine. During that time, fish was often served for colonial breakfasts so that fish caught in the early morning could be eaten while it was still fresh. It is rarely eaten for breakfast now, but is still a popular dish.
- 500 g (1 lb) smoked haddock (Haddock is traditional. Smoked anything will substitute.)
- 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped fairly fine
- 1-2 cups Basmati (preferably) or long-grain white rice
- 2-4 cups decent chicken stock, canned low-sodium at a minimum, cartoned organic is much superior, but home-made still beats all comers.
- 1 bay leaf
- Liberal amounts of unsalted butter
- 3 medium shallots, or a medium onion, chopped fairly fine
- As much garlic as you can handle, chopped very fine or squished through a garlic press
- At least 3 tsp of prepared English mustard (1½ tsp of dry mustard).
- Enough finely-chopped parsley or cilantro (coriander) to add interest and colour.
- Heavy cream
- Salt, at the final stage
- Fresh-ground pepper, plenty.
- Curry powder (alternatively mustard and pepper);
A rice cooker is not essential, but makes the whole thing brainless. One cup of rice will yield a dish that is dense with egg and haddock; Two cups will give you a dish with a more Asian proportion of rice.
- Cook the rice in one and a half the amount of chicken stock with the bay leaf. When it is done and keeping warm, toss out the bay leaf, fluff the rice with chopsticks and place the raw smoked haddock slab on top. Close the lid and let the haddock steam on warm for 15 minutes.
- Remove the haddock, and flake with forks to get rid of every last trace of bone. Place the haddock back in the rice cooker.
- Sauté the shallots until light brown, in excess butter. Add the garlic for one minute more, making sure to not brown it. Place it all in with the rice.
- Add the chopped-up eggs, mustard, parsley, pepper, and throw in enough cream to make everything just slightly creamy. Mix it all up, gently and thoroughly (chopsticks are perfect for this). Add salt.
- Serve, now or later — it keeps well. Leftovers may be served in kedgeree omelettes with a dribble of soy sauce or Worcestershire Sauce (Lea and Perrins)
The addition of 3 or 4 Cloves (depending on quantity of rice) and a few Cardomam seeds to the rice whilst it is cooking and the addition of a level teaspoon of Cumin powder to the finished product gives the rice a wonderful and authentic aroma.