Dhaka, Bangladesh
Smoked salmon kedgeree

Smoked salmon kedgeree

Eating it is a real pleasure. Nestled among the golden creamy rice, heady with spices and herbs, are chunks of smoked salmon, coral bright and tender. Kedgeree evolved during British colonial rule in India - a result of the interaction between the wives of British officers stationed there and their Indian cooks. Khichri, a spicy Indian dish of rice and lentils was added to the British breakfast table. Flaked or smoked fish was incorporated into the dish and gradually other adaptations occurred. Both the lentils and the fresh fish were dropped, the spices were muted and parsley, hard-boiled eggs and cream were added. This transformed dish, kedgeree, became famous as a British breakfast specialty and was frequently served at Victorian breakfast tables. Kedgeree has at times been a vehicle for any left over bits and pieces and its reputation has been sullied. As rice plays a dominant role in this dish, it is best when it is cooked in a highly flavoured, well-spiced stock. Boil it in water and it will be boring. Yesterday's left over rice is not an option. I have made this many times over the last few months, varying it each time and this is the best by far. To my surprise the fish stock is important. Suffusing the rice with favour is such a priority and while the kedgeree is quite nice made with vegetable stock it is so much better when made with fish stock. You can freeze any remaining left over stock to use next time. Smoked salmon kedgeree Serves 6 Ingredients 400g hot-smoked salmon 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced into thin half circles 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tsps mild curry powder 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp ground cumin 300g basmati rice, approx. one and a half cups 750mls fish stock (I use Campbells) ½ cup coconut cream or coconut milk (I use light) 3-4 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley zest of one lemon 3 Tbsp lemon juice salt to taste 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into quarters lengthways lemon wedges to serve extra parsley to garnish Method Remove skin and bone from the salmon and minimally flake with a fork or your fingers. You want chunky pieces. Set aside. In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over gentle heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 to 6 minutes until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the remaining Tbsp of oil, the curry powder, turmeric and cumin and cook, stirring for a minute or two. Tip in the rice and stir until each grain is coated with the oil, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high. Pour in the fish stock and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to very low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 14-18 minutes. Do not lift the lid during this time. The rice should be tender and all the stock absorbed. Replace the lid and cook for a few minutes longer if necessary. To stop the rice from continuing to cook in the heat of the saucepan, tip it into a large bowl. Fluff up the rice with a fork. Add the coconut cream or milk, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice then gently fold in the smoked salmon. Taste for seasoning adding salt if necessary. To serve Spoon on to a large flattish serving dish and top with quartered eggs and lemon wedges. Scatter with extra chopped parsley and garnish with parsley sprigs. I usually serve kedgeree for lunch or a light dinner with a side of mango chutney and a salad. Although delicious hot, I think the flavours are at their best when warm or at room temperature.

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