Kedgeree, or what is in a name.

Himself, was on a new learning curve today, caused in part by necessity, as friends were coming round.

It was decided to have kedgeree, something which can be made well in advance and simply thrown into the oven to reheat. But what, exactly is Kedgeree, from where did it originate, and the name? What does that mean?

Apparently, it somehow drifted over from India, during colonial times, but the name or a version of it dates back to the 1300’s. According to Hobson-Jobson, there are various incarnations of Kishri, Kitchri, Kichiris, Kitserye, Quicheri, Cutcherry are just a few of the names used over the centuries. However, it would appear that early on it was more or less a stew of rice, lentils and butter, served to the animals. It was only in colonial times that it became more or less the dish that we know today. Originally, then fish might have been served separately. It was a very common breakfast meal at Anglo Indian tables. Consequently, at the end of the this period, the meal found itself on the tables of Victorian England and beyond.

We consulted several books and decided on a melange, of the found recipes. Some called for basmati rice, whilst others brown rice and yet others lentils. All required fish, some just used haddock, whilst others used a mixture. Absolutely all required chopped boiled eggs and spices including curry powder, cream and butter.

  • For 4+ servings
  • Fillets of fish, smoked haddock, salmon, white fish ( use cod, haddock etc) cut into chunks , lightly dredged in flour and sautéed in either ghee or oil until cooked
  • Prawns cooked (optional)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs peeled and roughly chopped
  • Large onion, sliced and sautéed until brown
  • handful of mushrooms sliced and sautéed
  • A mix of spices including turmeric, cumin,curry powder, salt to taste ( want it spicier, add some chilli powder or harissa)
  • 350 grams cooked basmati rice
  • 200 mls double cream
  • 1/2 tsp tomato purée ( optional)
  • Large knob of butter
  • Knob of ginger peeled and chopped
  • Couple cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 100 mls fish stock ( cube or powder is fine)
  • For the sauce
  • melt the butter, add the garlic and ginger cook gently until softened but do not let burn
  • Add the spices, add the tomato purée if using and the fish stock, boil and reduce it to about half, pour in the cream and let it simmer for about 5 minutes
  • To assemble
  • Mix the fish, onions, rice and mushroom together, pour over the sauce and very carefully mix it all together , along with the chopped eggs. I say carefully as we do not want a MUSH. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Put into a casserole and can be left until ready to use. Can be made and left overnight in the refrigerator. Bake in the medium hot oven until heated through. Eat with salad.

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