How about kedgeree for New Year’s Day breakfast? I guess we all have our own recipes, and some people have it more spicy than others, different smoked fish is used, sometimes there are extras like prawns or scallops, some people have it very spicy, some people have the old style curry-powder to just add a background flavour, different things are done with the eggs… It’s origins are from the Indian subcontinent, but it became its own thing in the late 1700’s through to the Victoria age when it became popular as a breakfast item.

I guess the key features are rice, curry flavour, smoked fish and hard-boiled eggs, but I’m looking at a couple of 1930’s recipes; one which is just plain ‘Kedgeree’ has the hard-boiled egg whites chopped up and mixed in with the rice and fish, and the hard coiled yolks crumbled up and sprinkled on top with chopped parsley as a decoration – no curry flavour anywhere! The other recipe for Madras Kedgeree does have curry powder as you can guess from the title, but it is blended with chopped fried onions and tomatoes. Once the onion/tomato/curry has cooked the cooked rice and flaked fish are stirred in (reserving a little rice to serve on the side) and to me it seems more like a fish curry than a kedgeree.

This is my recipe:

  • whatever quantity of rice you need for the number of people eating
  • smoked fish (probably equivalent weight to that of the uncooked rice) and milk to cook it in
  • curry powder – for an authentic retro flavour you need basic old-fashioned yellow curry powder – but of course you can use whatever spice mixture you like, as hot or not as you like
  • eggs – as many as you have people plus a few extra
  • optional chopped onion
  • optional sour cream/mayonnaise (this might sound horrid to you, but it’s totally optional!)
  • butter (or you can use whatever oil you like but it won’t have the same flavour – you can use ghee but I find its flavour too strong for this)
  • chopped fresh parsley/coriander
  • paprika
  1. while the rice is cooking, cook the smoked fish and boil the eggs
  2. melt the butter and gently fry the onion if you’re using it, when it’s cooked, add the curry powder/spices and cook them very, very gently
  3. strain the rice when it’s cooked and add to the onion/curry mix – you might need more butter
  4. you only need to mix everything through then pour into a warmed serving dish or into individual bowls
  5. carefully stir through quarters of boiled egg (or eighths if you prefer) and you might like to save an egg to slice and decorate the dish
  6. put a spoonful or two of cream/mayo on the top, or serve separately
  7. sprinkle with chopped herbs and paprika

This is nice with crusty bread – a lot of carbs maybe, but sometimes it’s just really satisfying! Bon appetit!


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