Retro remains a theme and what better antidote to dancing the night away than a morning-after-the-night-before nursery food brunch of kedgeree where flakes of smoky fish and hard-boiled eggs nestle in glistening, barely spiced rice and accompanied a huge mug of café crème? Kedgeree gained popularity in England during the 18th century and is the British adaptation of Kadgeri, an Indian (vegetarian) dish of rice with onions, lentils and eggs, the addition of fish being the adaptation. Whilst smoked haddock is traditional and the best choice by far choice, firm fish such as salmon or turbot can be used and likewise the addition of tender green peas before binding with a curry flavoured béchamel sauce with a seasoning of cayenne pepper and nutmeg.

Without béchamel, this is simple version to prepare and an ideal brunch option though if served with a crisp salad, glass of chilled white wine and hopefully in front of blazing fire, kedgeree makes a satisfying wintertime supper too.

This is yet another dish where quantities are discretionary so the amounts below are a guide and likewise servings; for a brunch in my home this would serve 4 though 2 would be most likely as a supper.


Smoked Haddock Kedgeree

Serves 4 for brunch or 2 for supper plus salad

½ cup basmati rice with a good pinch of turmeric cooked according to manufacturers’ instructions and cooled.

4 quails eggs or 2 hens eggs, hardboiled

300g smoked haddock
25g butter, melted
Pinch cayenne pepper
Handful chopped parsley
About 100ml cream

Using a lidded pan, place the haddock skin side down and ‘just’ cover with water; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the fish is opaque. Remove, allow to cool, removing any bones then flake – the tip of a small sharp knife is a useful tool for this.

Preheat oven to 160° C and butter a shallow ovenproof dish about 24x17cm

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the butter, cayenne and parsley with the cooked rice. Gently fold in the fish and sufficient cream to be moist, binding the rice without being too runny then spoon into prepared dish. Peel and half the quail’s eggs (quarter hens) and tuck into rice mixture.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until piping hot.