The Anglo-Indian Kedgeree is a one pot dish that’s dead easy to make and infinitely versatile. Originally a vegetarian rice and lentil dish ,Khichari, hailing from India, the Anglo-Indians brought it to Britain and adapted the dish to include fried onions, fish and hard boiled eggs as it was served for breakfast. According to Lizzie Collingham in ‘Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerers’, the aristocracy then made the change to include smoked fish instead of fresh fish. The dish gets a mention in the Scottish National Trust Cookbook in the 18th century and eventually grew in popularity. Both the Indian and Anglo-Indian versions are ultimate comfort foods that have their legion of die-hard fans.
For my take, I’ve spiced up the Anglo-Indian version and brought it closer to its origins. To add more depth, I use a basic prawn stock to flavour the basmati rice. On occasion when hot smoked haddock or salmon aren’t available, I use leftover fish pieces from another dish or sometimes gently poach a salmon fillet in prawn stock before it’s added on top of the cooked rice. I’ve even bulked up the one-pot meal with cooked lentils and omitted the smoked fish. I’ve added petit pois as I like its pop of sweetness against the smoked fish flavour. As mentioned earlier, this dish is easily adaptable and has so much flavour for something made in under an hour.
- I use 1.5 cups liquid for every cup of basmati rice. This ratio may vary according to the hardness of your water and the type of basmati rice. Just follow your rice packet instructions. I always add 1/2 cup lesser water than required as soaking the rice reduces the liquid needed and too much liquid makes the rice mushy.
- I’ve also used water to replace prawn stock on occasion and increased the amount of curry powder to compensate. It tasted good.
- This recipe can be halved or scaled up depending on the serving size required. Just adjust the ingredients as needed.
- If you using water instead of prawn/seafood stock, increase the amount of curry powder.
- Use any curry powder you fancy. I’ve used Caribbean curry powder, madras curry powder and fish curry powder. They all work great. If you like a strong curry flavour, add more curry powder.
- Hot smoked salmon can be replaced with poached salmon.
- For a vegetarian version, you can add cooked red lentils instead of salmon and vegetable stock instead of prawn. It tastes great as well.
Hot Smoked Salmon Kedgeree
Recipe by: Vasun
- 300 grams (1.5 cups) basmati rice
- 750 millilitres simple prawn stock or any seafood stock (see note above)
- a big knob of butter, about 1-2 tablespoons
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1/2 spring curry leaves (optional)
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1-2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste , about 1 large garlic clove + 1/2 inch ginger grated
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon curry powder (see notes above)
- 2 tablespoons frozen petit pois/ baby peas (optional)
- 350g hot smoked salmon, or as much as you like.
- 3-4 hard boiled eggs, halved
- lemon juice
- coriander and dill leaves
- Throughly wash basmati rice till water runs clear, about 3-4 rinses. Soak rice in stock for 30 mins. Set aside.
- In a wide skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add cardamoms, cinnamon, indian bay leaf and curry leaves. Saute for about 1 minute or till aromatic.
- Add diced onions and a pinch of salt. Saute till softened. Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for another 30 seconds.
- Mix turmeric and curry powder with 2 tablespoons of stock and make a paste. Add spice paste to skillet with spices and onions. Reduce flame and saute for about 30 seconds. Saute till onions are suffused with the the spices.
- Add soaked rice with stock, baby peas and pinch of salt. Cover skillet with lid. Cook rice for about 20 minutes on low flame till all stock is absorbed and rice grains have started to curl up.
- Remove lid once rice is cooked. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed. Gently flake hot smoked salmon and place on rice. Cover with lid for the salmon pieces to gently steam for about 5 minutes.
- Remove lid and let the rice dry out, about 10-15 minutes.
- Check for seasoning. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Scatter coriander and dill leaves. Arrange halved boiled eggs.