ME and Ophelia

Sunday, April 18, 2004

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Sunday breakfast or brunch
Cheat's Kedgeree - a classic Anglo-Indian dish

This classic Anglo-Indian dish was not always an indulgence for toffs. It was originally made with rice and lentils - and its old Bengali name is kichiri. It was the Brits who first added smoked fish and eggs, for some mysterious reason. It may not be the most obvious candidate for a breakfast dish, but historically, kedgeree was served in the wee hours after long decadent parties in officers' messes or colonial clubs.

The Sunday Times' recipe involves cooking the fish and rice separately. The first part could be done in advance and kept in the fridge overnight:

3 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 level tablespoon mild curry powder
500g smoked haddock (about 1 large fillet), skinned and boned
100g peas (frozen are great, but thaw first)
1 level teaspoon salt
300g (uncooked weight) basmati rice
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
Handful of parsley, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a wide pan and when it's hot, throw in the onion.
Fry fairly gently for a good 5-10 minutes. It should be soft but not browned.
Add the curry powder, fish, peas and salt.
Lower the heat to a gentle flame and cover the pan with a lid.
Let the ingredients sweat for at least another 10 minutes and then set them aside in a bowl.
(You could store this mix if making it in advance.)

If not making in advance:

Add the rice to the pan you cooked the fish in, plus 400ml cold water.
Stir just once and raise the heat.
As soon as the water starts to fizz against the side of the pan, reduce the heat, cover and simmer very gently.
It should cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.
Check it after that time.
All the liquid should have gone and the rice will be cooked.
If not, just cover it and leave for another few minutes - it will happen.
When the rice is cooked, stir in the fish, pea and onion mix. Use a fork so that you don't smash up the rice.
Add the remaining butter last and check the seasoning again before serving garnished with the egg and plenty of parsley.
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Note to self: Must remember to have this made and frozen into portions for breakfast or lunch. After defrosting, I'd just need to add freshly boiled eggs - which I often keep to hand in the fridge anyway. Tip: older eggs boil better than newly laid eggs.

I've enjoyed a great Kedgeree over at friend's house at a sit-down luncheon party. For starters we were served fresh half of a grapefruit, hot toast and a selection of jams with plenty of good tea to drink. Followed by kedgeree served with glasses of Indian beer. And a great dessert (see above recipe for Muesli Brownies + ice cream) with fresh coffee and biscuits.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 4/18/2004
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