Kedgeree is one of those curious dishes to come out of colonial India, with European ingredients (in this case smoked fish, usually haddock) alongside Indian spices and rice. There’s an Indian dish called Khichri which is a close cousin of our kedgeree, made from rice, lentils, onions and spices.
Here in the UK it’s a (now rather uncommon) breakfast dish. When I was a kid, our neighbours used to invite the whole street round for a New Year’s breakfast, in which kedgeree played a starring role. Kedgeree is a good idea if you’ve a lot of people staying in the house; you can prepare it the day before and microwave it for a very rich and delicious brunch.
This kedgeree is a bit more delicate than the traditional smoked haddock version. It uses barely cooked smoked salmon and fresh, sweet and juicy king prawns, and instead of strong onion, I’ve used spring onions. The salt used in curing the salmon is sufficient for the whole dish; you will not need to add any extra.
It’s important that the rice is chilled before you cook; if it is warm or hot, the grains are prone to break up and become mushy in cooking.
To serve four, you’ll need:
100g basmati rice, cooked and chilled
10 spring onions, chopped
1 inch of ginger, grated coarsely
1½ tablespoons Madras curry paste (I used Patak’s)
10 raw, peeled king prawns
1 pack smoked salmon, torn into shreds
1 egg per person
½ pint chicken stock
¼ pint double cream
1 handful coriander, chopped
1 knob butter
Stir fry the ginger and spring onions in a wok until soft, then add the curry paste and prawns and stir fry until the prawns have turned pink. Add the rice to the wok and stir fry. After five minutes, add the stock and salmon, and continue stir frying until the salmon has turned opaque.
Remove the wok from the heat and add the cream and coriander. Stir well, and serve with a segment of the soft, creamy egg.
This dish is inextricably associated with New Year in my head, so I served it this evening with a glass of toasty, nutty champagne. Delicious.