Lovely comfort supper

I don’t know when I first ate kedgeree, but I remember making it with my mum when I was a teenager and I’ve adapted this recipe ever since to create a lovely comforting smoky, spicy, and buttery supper which is both straightforward and something quite special.

I serve this with roasted tomatoes and some steamed green veg (broccoli or kale are great) to make a traffic-light dish!

This can be adapted to suit your tastes, if you want it hotter up the curry powder; fishier, add a bit more. If you are avoiding dairy swap the butter for another glug of oil at the end.

I like using dyed smoked haddock – it ups the yellow colour of the dish – but unsmoked works just as well. Also, works with frozen fish – cook the fillets according to the packing instructions, flake and add at the end.

Serves 4, takes 40 minutes

For the kedgeree

  • 4 large eggs (or 5 medium ones)
  • 400g smoked haddock fillets
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp mild madras curry powder
  • 2 tsp hot madras curry powder
  • 1¼ cup (300ml) basmati rice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 100g unsalted butter, in cubes

To make kedgeree…

  1. Put the eggs in a small pan and cover with cold water. Put over a high heat and bring to the boil. As soon as they start boiling turn the heat down and simmer for 8 minutes. Once cooked remove the eggs to a bowl and put under running cold water for three to four minutes to cool the eggs.
  2. Whilst the eggs are cooking put the fish and bay leaf in a large pan for which you have a lid. A sauté or chefs pan is ideal, but a saucepan or cast-iron casserole would also work. Fill with boiling water so the fish is barely covered and bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes – if the fillets are thick, they may take a little longer – the fish is cooked when it easily breaks into flakes.  Once cooked strain cooking liquid into a jug and set the fish aside.
  3. Put a tablespoon of oil in the pan you cooked the fish in and fry the onion and ginger over a medium heat till translucent. Once cooked add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the curry powders to the pan and cook for two minutes (you may need to add a splash more oil). Add the rice and stir around the spices. Add 2½ cups (600ml) of the reserved cooking water (if you don’t have enough make up with water). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is done (10 minutes)
  4. While the rice cooks peel the eggs and cut into quarters, and flake the fish into large flakes, removing skin and any bones. Set aside
  5. Once the rice is cooked remove from the heat and gently fluff with a fork, stir in the fish, eggs, a large pinch of salt, a good grind of black pepper, the lemon zest and juice, butter cubes, coriander, and chilli. Give everything a good stir with the fork and if it looks a little dry add a tablespoon or two of boiling water.  Set over a low heat, cover, and cook for 5 minutes to melt the butter and bring everything together.
  6. Give it a final stir and serve with tomatoes and broccoli.