Kedgeree is a dish with a remarkably wide-ranging heritage. The concept and the word started out in India, where a dish called kichri combined rice with lentils and spices. The dish followed Arab trade routes early on, and is now an almost iconic dish in Egypt, where it’s called koshry. (If you’re interested, I posted a recipe for Egyptian koshry back in 2008.) There are various stories about when and where fish might have been added, but it was the British who added smoked fish and dropped the lentils. This is what became known as kedgeree.
Kedgeree is most commonly made with smoked haddock, also known as finnan haddie or finnan haddock (from the town in Scotland, Findon, most famous for preparing smoked haddock). However, I’ve seen versions that suggest substituting other smoked white fish. Smoked haddock is not always widely available in the U.S. (except perhaps in New England, where it became as important as it was in Scotland), so you may choose to experiment with substitutions. Be sure to pick something that has a fairly thick fillet and that is pretty heavily smoked.
The first time I had this dish, I was at the White Horse Pub, in Shere, England, though I was enjoying it more as a brunch than breakfast dish. (And I loved the charming town.)
There is nothing subtle about this dish. The flavors are all really big: smoked fish, onion, curry powder. The recipe calls for hot curry powder, but you can us mild if you prefer–or, if all you have is mild, you can boost the heat by adding red pepper flakes or a chopped fresh chile when you stir in the curry powder.
1 cup long grain rice
About 1 lb. smoked haddock fillets (thick)
5 Tbs. butter
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. hot curry powder
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
3 heaping Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbs. lemon juice.
Salt and pepper to taste Continue reading