Preparation time: ~25 minutes
Calories: ~425 per serving
From English schools and cricket matches to somewhere rather more far-flung. Today’s dish is something that the Brits rather stole from India, although we’ve no doubt modified it no small amount over the years. It’s not common at all anymore – I’ve never personally seen it anywhere except for in my mother’s kitchen, although plenty of recipes do exist. My mother makes it a little differently to me – often without the lemon juice and curry powder – but I think these add valuable different flavours.
So what is kedgeree anyway?
Kedgeree is thought to have originated with an Indian rice-and-bean or rice-and-lentil dish Khichri, traced back to 1340 or earlier. It is widely believed that the dish was brought to the United Kingdom by returning British colonials who had enjoyed it in India and introduced it to the UK as a breakfast dish in Victorian times, part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine.
Indian food has a huge influence on British culture and cuisine. The dish “chicken tikka masala” is often considered as being the national dish of England. While this may be more a claim based on its popularity, rather than it actually being our “national dish”, we have nonetheless absorbed a lot of Indian culture and cuisine, due to the company rule of India during the times of the British Empire.
Smoked herring, or “kipper” is the most commonly used fish in kedgeree. I wasn’t able to find any of these at all, so I substituted it with smoked mackerel which I’ve always found absolutely delicious, as well as cheap. The dish was traditionally eaten for breakfast but is equally not out of place as part of a lunch or light dinner. Feel free to vary the amount of lemon juice or curry powder inside – some people might find the juice of a whole lemon a little overpowering, while others might relish the bit of sourness it brings. Likewise, some people don’t like the addition of curry to the dish, or prefer to replace butter with cream – it’s really up to you! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Join me next time for another English dish and in the meantime, have a good remainder of the week!
- ~140g Basmati Rice
- 200g Smoked Mackerel, skin and bones removed
- 3 Eggs
- 4 or 5 large Spring Onions
- 50g Butter
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 tbsp Curry Powder
- Large handful of Parsley – preferably flat-leaf
- Salt and Pepper
- Start off by placing the rice on to boil as per the instructions. While the rice is boiling, place a new pan of water on to boil and put the eggs inside to boil at the same time. Next, take the herring or mackerel – ensure that all bones have been removed and then break into small chunks or flakes.
- Next, wash and trim the spring onions, before chopping up finely.
- Once the rice is done cooking drain it and set aside. Peel the eggs and chop well and then chop the parsley as finely as possible. Melt the butter in a large pan and add in the onions. Fry very lightly for a couple of minutes, stirring well. You want the onions to still retain a bit of their crunch and onion flavour so don’t cook them too long.
- Mix the buttery onions, the flaked fish, the eggs and the chopped parsley in with the rice. Add in the curry powder and the lemon juice and stir very well to evenly distribute the curry powder.
- Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper and serve still slightly warm or cold.