• Helen Phillips

Kedgeree ... for Dad!

I was having a random conversation yesterday about my father, who turned 80 last year. Somehow I was reminded of the one and only time dad tried to cook a meal.

My father, like a lot of men his generation, spends more time in the garden shed than in the kitchen. Despite that, he sees himself as an armchair critic of what’s put in front of him. Mum cooks great food, but her repertoire is limited. And one dish she has never cooked, which apparently my grandmother cooked, was kedgeree.

High days and holidays dad was always asking for kedgeree and recalling stories of how his (dutiful) mother made it for him. So one Christmas I bought him a student cookbook, made sure we had rice, eggs and smoked haddock and Boxing Day I challenged him to make us both breakfast. Needless to say dad had no idea. I think he thought he would deliver food to the table in minutes, not realizing he had to boil the eggs, cook (to perfection) the rice and poach the fish. We ate breakfast around lunch time that day. I’ve not heard about kedgeree since!

After recalling dads cooking I was craving spicy rice for supper and luckily had some smoked haddock in the freezer!

I think dads kedgeree was British bland, but I prefer a bit of spice in my life, so my version includes warming Indian spices to perk up a winters evening.

You start with the rice. Finely chop an onion and fry gently in a little oil until its soft. Then add 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp curry powder and 1 tsp of salt. Give everything a good stir then add in 300g of basmati rice (that has been pre rinsed) and 600ml water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, don’t lift the lid, but turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam for a further 10 minutes. If you’d like some veg in your kedgeree you can add a few handfuls of frozen peas to the rice.

Whilst the rice is doing its thing poach the haddock in milk, gently for 10 minutes. Once the fish is cooked, remove to a plate take the skin off and flake.

Then move to the eggs. Boil eggs in gently simmering water for 4-5 minutes. I like to have my boiled eggs just set, but if you like them a little firmer then cook for a minute or so longer. Once the eggs are cooked drain off the hot water, refresh under cold water, peel and cut into 4.

Now to assemble. Mix the fish through the rice then ladle into bowls and adorn each portion with eggs, a sprinkling of finely chopped red chili and a little coriander to garnish.

Delicious, as breakfast, lunch or supper!

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#Egg #Rice #Fish

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