Scottish Kedgeree

By • September 29, 2017 10 Comments

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Author Notes: Kedgeree is a dish of rice, smoked haddock, spice, and eggs, and it is one of those dishes whose etymology is surrounded by uncertainty, myth, and legend. Is it Scottish? Is it English? Did it come from British India, or does it predate even that period of history? One thing for sure is that it’s impossible to be certain (and that it's delicious).

*Notes: You can use a medium-spiced curry powder, which is commonly used, but I prefer to make my own spice blend. For this, I mix coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ajwain, fenugreek seeds, black pepper, turmeric, and crushed chiles. I also use poached eggs rather than boiled, the runny yolk oozing onto the sweet, smoky fish and rice is simply joyful. If ajwain is unavailable you can substitute 1/4 of a teaspoon of dried thyme. If smoked haddock is unavailable you can use unsmoked haddock or other white fish such as cod. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the water as you poach the fish, and 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika to the spice blend as you mix it. (They key here is to use something "smokey" to compensate for the unsmoked fish.)
Graeme Taylor

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Serves 2

Spice Blend

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Kedgeree

  • 1 fillet smoked haddock (preferably peat-smoked)*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 350 milliliters (about 1 1/2 cups) cold water
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2-3 tablespoons (a knob of) butter
  • 150 grams (2/3 cup) basmati rice
  • 2.5 teaspoons spice blend*
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt to season and poach eggs
  1. Toast the cumin, coriander, fenugreek, ajwain, and black pepper over high heat for 30 seconds. In a mortar and pestle, or spice grinder, grind the toasted spices along with the crushed chiles to a powder. Add the turmeric and mix well. You can store this blend in a glass jar for further use.
  2. In a saucepan with a lid, poach the haddock uncovered in the cold water with the bay leaf over a medium heat until cooked (4-6 minutes) then remove and set aside. Keep the cooking water in a bowl or jug. (Here's a tutorial on how to poach fish: https://food52.com/blog/9516-how-to-poach-fish)
  3. Add the butter to the same pan and saute the onion until soft. Add the spice blend and rice, and stir once. Add the cooking water, put the lid on and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Check the rice which should be perfect, and correct the seasoning if required. While that cooks, poach the eggs in salted water to your preference. (A tutorial on how to poach eggs: https://food52.com/blog/17285-how-to-poach-eggs-with-less-stress-no-anxiety-dreams)
  4. Add back the haddock and stir through, serve with the poached eggs on top.

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