Sunday, 24 January 2010

Kedgeree - The Totally Scottish Curry!

Kedgeree - The Scottish CurryThere are those who will claim that Kedgeree was brought back from India by His Majesty's Forces serving there and made in to a British breakfast dish. In a sense, these people are not wrong, but they are missing out the previous history and creation of Kedgeree and creating an entirely false impression. Kedgeree was devised in Scotland in the late Eighteenth Century by a number of soldiers who had served with His Majesty's Forces in India. They in turn took the dish to India, where it became popular, and was re-introduced to Great Britain as that famous breakfast dish. The recipe for Kedgeree was first published in a Scottish Recipe Book as far back as 1790 - so it is by no means impossible that The Bard himself enjoyed a plate of it at some point!

Kedgeree is a dish like so many in that the way in which it is made and the ingredients which are included in it have both been "improved" over the years by a variety of cooks and chefs. The recipe which I have prepared is as simple as I could reasonably make it to be and is for two people.


4oz basmati rice
1/2lb smoked haddock fillet (undyed)
3/4 pint of semi-skimmed milk
2 eggs
1/2 small onion (very finely sliced)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


It is important in the first instance - as always when cooking eggs - that the eggs be removed from the refrigerator and allowed to reach room temperature a couple of hours in advance. Eggs which are cooked straight from the refrigerator, in whatever way, will not produce quality results.

The smoked haddock should be placed in a large pot and the cold milk and spices added. The milk should be brought to a simmer and the smoked haddock cooked for around seven or eight minutes. After this time, the fillet should be removed from the pot with a spatula and sat on a plate to cool enough for handling.

The rice should be washed thoroughly and added to the spiced milk along with the onion. The milk should be brought back to a simmer for a further ten to twelve minutes. The eggs should now be added to a pot and enough cold water added to comfortably cover them. The water should be brought to a rolling boil and the heat then reduced until the water is gently simmering for about eight minutes.

The skin should now be removed from the smoked haddock fillet and discarded. The fillet should be very gently broken in to flakes, feeling for any stray bones which should be removed and discarded with the skin. The flakes of fish should then be re-added to the pot with the rice for the last couple of minutes of cooking time. The milk should by this stage be almost totally absorbed and care is required to ensure that the Kedgeree does not dry out completely and burn.

The eggs should be run under cold water and carefully shelled before being quartered as shown in the picture. The parsley and required seasoning should be stirred through the Kedgeree only at the very last minute prior to serving.

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