Kedgeree - The Traditional Breakfast Curry Recipe
The Origins of Kedgeree
Kedgeree is a rice and smoked fish curry. It was designed and originally served as a breakfast dish but is now commonly enjoyed at any time of the day. The origins of kedgeree are often subject to argument. No one disputes the fact that it was widely introduced to the United Kingdom from India in Victorian times but its earlier origins are less defined. There are some who say that goes as far back in an earlier form as the 14th Century in India but there is also a theory that the dish was invented in Scotland in the late 18th Century by Scottish soldiers who had served in India, who then introduced it to the sub-continent upon their return. This version is borne out by the verifiable fact that the recipe was first published in Scotland circa 1790.
Cooking the Smoked Haddock
The smoked haddock should be added to a large pot along with the three different spices and the milk. No salt or pepper should be added at this stage. The mixture should initially be put on a high heat and brought to a simmer. The heat should then be reduced and it should continue to be simmered gently for around seven or eight minutes. The smoked haddock should then be removed from the liquid with a large slotted spoon to a plate.
When the haddock has cooled sufficiently to be handled, it should be carefully flaked by hand. Care should be taken at this time to remove and discard any stray bones or pieces of skin.
The haddock will be re-introduced to the pot at a later time.
Cooking the Rice and Onion
The rice should be washed prior to being cooked, by placing it in a sieve and holding it under some running cold water, swirling it around for about thirty seconds. As soon as the smoked haddock has been removed from the milk, the rice and sliced onion should be added and the liquid returned to a simmer for around ten minutes, until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid and is cooked.
Cooking the Eggs and Bringing the Kedgeree Together
When the rice has been added to the milk, the eggs should be placed in a pot and enough cold water added to cover them completely. The water should be brought up to a boil and then the heat reduced to allow the eggs to simmer for six or seven minutes. The pot should then be placed in the sink and cold water run in to it. The eggs should then be removed, shelled and roughly chopped.
When the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid, the smoked haddock should be re-added, along with the egg and chopped basil. A further minute or two of cooking time will be all that is required.
The Kedgeree should then be tasted, seasoned as required and served hot, with half a tomato and a small sprig of basil to garnish.
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