One of the earliest and best loved Anglo-Indian dishes, this breakfast staple has its origins in the late 17th century, when Britons returning from India attempted to recreate a spiced rice-and-lentil dish called khichri. Eliza Acton was purportedly the first to add fish to the recipe in 1845, and although she doesn’t mention haddock specifically, it was around this time that Scottish finnan haddies had become hugely popular in southern England. The eggs in a kedgeree are typically hard-boiled and quartered, but on occasion they were poached instead—with the runny yolk stirred through the rice. While kedgeree is most often associated with breakfast, it’s not uncommon to see it on lunch or the occasional dinner menu as well.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 lb. 2 oz. smoked haddock fillets, preferably undyed (see footnote)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small bunch parsley (1½ oz.), leaves finely chopped (1 cup), stems reserved
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. mild or medium curry powder
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed in a strainer until the water runs clear
- ⅔ cup peas, fresh or frozen
- 6 large hard-boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
- 6 lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)
Note: Smoked haddock, also called finnan haddie, is available via Amazon. You can substitute an equal weight of rehydrated salt cod fillets (the result will not be smoky) or smoked whitefish (the result will be smokier than the original).
Adapted from The British Cookbook, by Ben Mervis (Phaidon, 2022).