Kedgeree: British-ish fish curry-ish

Is this bowl of rice with curried fish and onions Indian? English? American? Anyway, it's utterly satisfying


Julia Beynon
March 22, 2011 4:30AM (UTC)

This is an English dish. Or an Indian dish. It's an Anglo-Indian dish, or maybe an Indo-Anglican dish. There are all sorts of tales about the origin of Kedgeree -- the Indians presented it to the British colonists, the Scots introduced it to the Indians ... who knows? And there are probably as many variations of the ingredients as there are of the origins.

When I first began to teach myself how to cook at the overripe age of 25, my English then-boyfriend -- now husband -- threw out this dish as a suggestion for me to tackle. It was difficult to find the ingredients for the recipe I had at the time. I did my best, tweaked it, then continued tweaking and tweaking until it became an Anglo-Indo-American (or Indo-Anglo-American) dish.

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A curry-scented sauté of onions, fresh fish and rice, I love it and it is easy as anything to make. And when I make it, as soon as the curry wafts into my nostrils I think about my husband as a little boy peering under his mum's arm as she created this same aroma in her kitchen, just as my 3-year-old son peers under my arm asking, "Mommy, what's that you're making? I think I like that."

The following is my version.

American Kedgeree

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fleshy fish, cut into 1-inch chunks (I like using cod, scrod, haddock or salmon; they tend to remain nice and chunky. But you can use skinny fish like flounder and such. No biggie IMO, it's your dinner. Do what you like.)
  • 1 tennis ball-size yellow onion, chopped (or a smaller onion and 4 scallions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 cups hot, cooked rice (About 1½ cups raw. I like to use long grain brown rice, much to my husband's dismay, but I do what I can to get whole grains into our diet.)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 bunch cilantro, or to taste, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh lemons, to taste, quartered

Directions

  1. Season fish with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover the bottom of a large sauté pan with oil and heat over medium heat.
  3. Add onion to the oil and let it sizzle up a bit. Don't brown it, but cook, stirring, until it's translucent. Add garlic and curry, stir until you can smell it being nice in there and everything is a golden-orangey color.
  4. Add fish and stir occasionally until the fish is just about cooked through and beginning to flake up. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat but keep the pan on the burner.
  5. Add the rice, tomatoes and cilantro, and stir gently to combine. Add a little more oil if it seems dry, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Add 3 of the quartered eggs and carefully stir (don't worry if they break up, that's why you kept one behind).
  7. Serve in a bowl garnishing with remaining egg quarters and wedges of lemon (maybe a bit more cilantro too).

Julia Beynon

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