At a time when the English nation's favourite dish is - allegedly - Chicken Tikka Masala, one of the more traditional Victorian breakfast dishes should not be forgotten.
Kedgeree, this savoury mixture of curried rice, smoked haddock and eggs, is perhaps a little substantial for early morning, but it makes an excellent brunch dish and can easily feed a crowd at lunchtime.
Kedgeree is based on the rice-and-beans dishes that abound in India and is believed to have been brought to England by returning colonials. In India, the dish can be mild or spicy and made with lentils or beans and rice. It doesn't always contain fish, but can be made with fruit and nuts instead. All this makes kedgeree a wonderful dish for the more adventurous cook... with plenty of room to experiment. So once you've found your feet making this dish, why not experiment a bit?
Kedgeree is fragrant, colourful and tasty, and can be made to look very impressive, if you serve it on a large shallow dish and decorate it with sprigs of fresh parsley or coriander (cilantro), hard-boiled eggs cut in half horizontally and flakes of vivid, red dried chilli.
I have a thing for blue and white china and this Spode Blue Italian Handled Serving Dish is just the ticket to make your mouthwatering kedgeree stand out on the breakfast table. As with all things Spode it's sturdily made while looking cool and elegant at the same time, and of course it will offset the creamy yellow of the curried rice to perfection.
Smoked Haddock Kedgeree
© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com
The quantities listed here make enough fragrant rice to feed 4-5 people, but the recipe is easily doubled when cooking for a larger group. Just make sure that you allow one whole egg per person and add a couple extra for decoration.
Heat 600ml (1 pint) of water in a shallow saucepan. When the water is boiling slide in the haddock fillets, turn down the heat and cover the pan.
Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes. Then strain the cooking liquor into a jug, and keep the fish warm.
Melt 50g of butter and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Stir in the curry powder and cook briefly, then add the rice and the water reserved from cooking the haddock.
Stir and bring to the boil. Once the mix is boiling, turn down the heat, cover with a lid and cook very gently for 15 minutes until the water has gone and the rice is tender.
While the rice cooks prepare the haddock. Remove the skins and any bones from the fillets and break the flesh into large flakes.
Turn out the cooked rice onto a large serving dish and lightly mix in the haddock flakes.
Add the parsley, lemon juice and the remaining 50g butter. Stir to distribute the butter and parsley evenly through the dish and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the halved hard-boiled eggs and more parsley.