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Kedgeree - The Traditional Breakfast Curry Recipe

Updated on January 1, 2012
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

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.

Kedgeree - The Breakfast Curry
Kedgeree - The Breakfast Curry
Principal Ingredients of Kedgeree
Principal Ingredients of Kedgeree

The Ingredients for Making Kedgeree

1/2lb smoked haddock fillet(s)

4oz basmati rice

1/2 small onion (very thinly sliced)

3/4 pint of milk

2 eggs

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground coriander seed

2 tsp freshly chopped basil (parsley is the traditional herb used)

Salt and pepper to taste

Smoked Haddock, Milk and Spices
Smoked Haddock, Milk and Spices
Flaked Smoked Haddock
Flaked Smoked Haddock

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.

The Rice and Onion should be added to the Milk
The Rice and Onion should be added to the Milk

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.

The late addition ingredients of the Kedgeree
The late addition ingredients of the Kedgeree

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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