Valentine Warner’s special kedgeree
- April 2016
- Serves 4
- Hands-on 55 min, plus cooling
A dish that can be eaten for brunch, lunch or dinner – Valentine Warner’s kedgeree recipe combines smoked haddock, soft boiled eggs and rice that’s flavoured with Indian spices.
- Gluten-free recipes
- 21.2g (10.7g saturated)
- 31.2g (5g sugars)
- 200ml whole milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 400g undyed sustainable smoked haddock, smoked pollock or smoked coley (ideally use the wide end of the fillet to get bigger flakes)
- 60g butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 green cardamom pods, crushed and seeds reserved
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 scant tsp mild curry powder
- 125g basmati rice (measured up to the 125ml mark of a measuring jug)
- Pinch saffron strands (optional)
- 4 free-range eggs
- 1 tbsp Patak’s Lime Pickle (optional but highly recommended)
- Handful fresh curly leaf parsley or coriander, finely chopped
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Put the milk, 150ml water and 1 bay leaf into a large saucepan with a lid over a low heat and bring it to a gentle simmer.
- Put the haddock in the saucepan, skin-side down. Once it returns to a simmer, poach it gently with the lid on for 3-4 minutes, ensuring the fish doesn’t lose its translucence completely. Turn off the heat and lift the fish out very gently. The fillets should easily separate into large chunks. Flake the chunks into bite-size pieces with a fork onto a plate. Discard any bones and skin, then set aside.
- Pour the poaching liquid into a jug to cool, adding extra water to make it up to 250ml, if necessary.
- Melt the butter in a medium pan with a lid over a medium heat, then add the onion with the remaining bay leaf and the cardamom seeds. Fry for 10 minutes or so, stirring regularly, until the onion is very soft and a deep golden colour. Sprinkle in the turmeric and curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a plate.
- Tip the rice into the pan, pour in the 250ml poaching liquid and add the saffron, if using. Put a lid on the pan and bring it up to a brisk simmer, then turn down the heat so it’s barely simmering with the lid on. Cook the rice for 11 minutes without removing the lid. Turn off the heat, lift off the lid and put a once-folded napkin or tea towel over the pan before returning the lid as snugly as possible for 8 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, cook the eggs in a medium saucepan of water at a gently rolling boil for 6-7 minutes (for a soft set). Drain, then briefly rinse under cold running water before peeling.
- Remove the lid and napkin/tea towel from the rice pan, then fluff up the rice gently with a fork. Put the pan over a low-medium heat. Add the onions and stir in thoroughly. Do the same with the haddock, lime pickle (if using) and chopped fresh herbs, taking care to keep the fish flakes as large as possible.
- When everything is warmed through, season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the kedgeree among 4 plates, then crown each with a soft egg cut in half and well seasoned. Garnish each plate with a lemon wedge and drink a strong gin and tonic alongside.
Using milk as well as water to poach the haddock gives the dish added richness.
Cooking the rice with a cloth beneath the lid absorbs steam from the rice, helping to make it dry and fluffy.
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