Friday, 25 September 2015
"The one Indian dish that did make its way among the British, albeit with an English accent, was kedgeree, based on khichari, a simple recipe of rice and lentils. The English started adding smoked fish to it, along with hard-boiled eggs, curry powder and fried onions, transforming it into a popular breakfast dish. It's still around, if not always made with the inventiveness and flair that it once was..." (A History of English Food by Clarissa Dickson Wright)
I haven't tried a kedgeree until my mid-20s when I arrived to Britain as a student of art and design. I knew of it, thanks to literature and films (think Wodehouse and Agatha Christie). It sounded very exotic, and of course, I had to try it. I actually don't quite remember what I thought of it. This recipe epitomizes the old grandeur of the British Empire, and is still quite popular, existing in many versions and variations, cooked with different types of fish and with tofu as a vegetarian dish.
When I was asked to create a recipe for the British Egg Week which takes place on 5-11 October 2015, I immediately thought of kedgeree. The theme for the current challenge is creating a classic egg recipe with a twist.
So, here is my revamped kedgeree nest, celebrating the great British egg.
1 big smoked haddock (about 380g)
200ml semi-skimmed milk
1tbsp olive oil
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 big onion, finely chopped
1tsp curry powder
a handful of raisins
300g cooked rice (e.g. Thai Jasmine rice)
50ml single cream
1tbsp olive oil
eggs (one per portion)
a handful of fresh parsley
In a deep pan melt the butter,add the fish and pour the milk over it. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low for about 5 minutes. Keep warm under the lid.
In a frying pan fry diced celery and finely chopped onion with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the raisins and curry powder, cook until the onion is browned. Add the rice and cream and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring.
Flake the fish and add to the rice, discarding any bones and skin.
Using a cookie cutter ring or cooking ring, make a mould of rice by packing it carefully inside the ring. I used Thai Jasmine rice, which is quite sticky and keeps the shape of the ring well. Add more flakes of fish on top, a bit of torn parsley and top up with a baked egg.
For the eggs, separate the egg whites from yolks. Keep the yolks in shell halves while you beat the whites until all fluffy but not as stiff as you would for a meringue.
Oil the muffin tray inside and pour the egg whites inside each mini-tray. Then carefully slid a yolk into each fluffy mass. Bake at 180C for about 3 minutes. Carefully remove out of the tray with a big spoon and place on top of the kedgeree nest.
My kids don't like the texture of boiled or fried eggs, and my Mum came up with this suggestion of baking egg nests. She said she saw it on the Russian TV. I really liked the idea, and so did my younger son.
In a typical kedgeree you would have hard-boiled eggs or a fried egg. My twist is to serve a fluffy baked egg. It is a bit like a poached egg, as the yolk is still soft and runny. But the texture of the egg white is sponge-like and very light.
Disclosure: As part of #ShortcutEggsperts team, I received supermarket vouchers for the purposes of creating a recipe with eggs on a given theme.
For more egg facts, recipes and information, visit Egginfo