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A Voyage To Kedgeree

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 April 2015 at 11:28
Have you ever been to Kedgeree?

The fact is, there is an Indian town by that name. But, in the Western world, “kedgeree” refers to a curried rice and fish dish, usually served as a hearty breakfast.

For a dish as popular as it is, it’s origins are misty; but there’s no doubt it began in India during the days of the British Raj.
Historically, there is an Indian dish called khichari (with various spellings of that word) which combines rice with lentils or other legumes. Versions of this khicari can be traced as far back as the early 1300s. British colonialists added fish to the basic rice dish. More than likely (although there’s no hard evidence of this) it were Scots who first tried that mixture, because the fish of choice is smoked haddock.

“Khicari” sort of tripped on the British tongue, however, and came out as “kedgeree.”

Now we jump ahead to the latter part of the 19th century, when Anglo-Indian food was all the rage in Victorian England. This is the same period when Chicken Tika Masala originated, for instance, along with many of the Anglo curries.

By then Kedgeree had sort of codified in a jambalaya-type dish, consisting of separately cooked rice, smoked haddock, and hard-cooked eggs, tossed together with curry powder and other spices, along with milk or cream. Sometimes sultanas were tossed in as well. Returning colonials brought the dish home with them. So it was a natural.

Kedgeree made an ideal breakfast food for the times. It was hearty and filling. And was a perfect way to use up leftovers from the day before when there was no refrigeration to speak of. It’s remained popular to this day.

Although other fish can be used, it rarely is. Not in the classic kedgeree. But, as stands to reason, there were adaptations and variations on the theme. One of them is Kedgeree Covington, which is a baked savory rice pudding usually combined with cooked, flaked salmon. I’ve made it that way, for sure. But I’ve also used other fish, and It’s all good. Here’s the recipe I use:

Kedgeree Covington

1 ½-2 cups cooked flaked salmon or other fish
1 ½ cups cooked rice
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 tbls minced onion
2 tbls melted butter
2 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp Worcestershire
Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients until mixed well. Transfer to a baking dish (a loaf pan is perfect. Or, double the recipe and use an 8 x 8 inch pan) and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 34-40 minutes, or until golden.

As is, Kedgeree Covington makes a great light dinner or luncheon dish. Or you can cut it in small squares and serve as part of a buffet.

But we’re not done yet. After making this dish for years, I occurred to me that there’s no reason to confine it to fish as the protein. Just as the original physically resembles jambalaya, you can turn this into a chicken & rice dish. Just sub cooked, shredded chicken for the salmon and you’re good to go.



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Melissa Mead View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2015 at 16:09
That does sound like a great hot breakfast!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2015 at 06:38
I reckon so, Melissa. But we usually have it for supper, along with a salad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2015 at 09:31
Sounds even better!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benedict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 10:50
I love alternative breakfasts. This sounds like fun!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 12:31
Brook, I don't know how I missed this, but it sounds great. I'd like to give it a shot, but all that rice...

It occurred to me that with just enough breadcrumbs to bind it, this might be good either as "croquette"-type balls or patties, fried in a pan. My mother used to make "salmon burgers" when I was a kid, and I actually tried making some recently that turned out pretty well for a first attempt.

The flavor profile is what really interests me, and I'll probably give this a go in that form.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 14:59
I don't think you need any breadcrumbs, Ron. The eggs and rice should do it on their own.

If I were planning to make balls out of this, I'd first run up to half the rice through the food processor. That would assure they hold together.

What you might do, too, is roll the balls in a little flour, just so they brown up better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 15:00
Hi, Benedict. Welcome to our little corner of the culinary world.

Don't hesitate to join any discussion, or even start one or a dozen of your own. A good place to start is the Members Lounge forum, where you can tell us a little about yourself, your cookery interests, etc.

Nice to have you here.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 15:33
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

I don't think you need any breadcrumbs, Ron. The eggs and rice should do it on their own.

If I were planning to make balls out of this, I'd first run up to half the rice through the food processor. That would assure they hold together.

What you might do, too, is roll the balls in a little flour, just so they brown up better.


I was thinking (and could be wrong) that it might be alright to leave out the rice and simply use a minimum of breadcrumbs - but now that I think about it, I'm not so sure.

Would you think that such a substitution would alter the profile too much? If so, any suggestions for a minimum amount of rice to use?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 17:38
   Ron, I've never made this dish and therefor never turned it into balls either.  I have no doubt it would be good substituting the rice for crumbs.  But, only from reading the recipe and Brooks suggestion of putting half the rice through the processor sounds like it would be delicious and preserve a good portion of the integrity of the dish.


   In this recipe you're not cooking the rice into the dish, you're using cooked rice.  Because of this I would approach it separating the rice as grain and processed.  Then fold in amounts of each, noting quantity until you get the (suspected) desired consistency.  Takes notes, critique and see if you need to improve upon it next time.


   sounds delicious though...both of your takes on it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2016 at 05:20
Ron,

Rereading this I realize I missed your point. You're talking about leaving out the rice altogether, right? And subbing just enough breadcrumbs to hold things together?

Frankly, I don't think that would work. Certainly the consistency and texture would change radically. More to the point: You would likely need as much, possible more, crumbs than the amount of rice called for.

The thing to remember is that Kedgaree is, at base, a rice porridge. It can be made thinner or thicker, depending on preference. Kedgaree Covington, with its egg binder and more solid texture, is already a departure.

FWIW, here is one version of the original breakfast Kedgaree:

Perfect Kedgeree

450g basmati rice
500g smoked haddock
120g butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and cut into thin rings
2 crushed cardamom pods
1 tbsp curry powder
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
Small handful chives, chopped
½ lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Small bunch of coriander, chopped

1. Toss the rice briefly under running water and then put it in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave for at least half an hour.

2. Drain the rice and discard the soaking water. Put it in a large pan on a medium heat with 585ml fresh water.

3. Bring to the boil, and give it a good stir. Cover tightly and turn the heat down very low. Cook for 25 minutes then take off the heat – don't take the lid off! – and place on a wet tea towel. Leave for five minutes then fork through to fluff up.

4. Meanwhile, put the fish, skin-side up, in a shallow pan over a low heat, and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then take out of the water and, when cool enough to handle, pull the skin off and break into large flakes.

5. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a lowish heat, and add the onion. Fry gently until softened, then stir in the chilli, cardamom pods and curry powder. Cook for a couple of minutes, then tip in the rice and stir to coat. Add the fish flakes and heat through. Taste and season.

6. Put the eggs on top, scatter with chives and coriander, and serve with slices of lemon to squeeze over.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2016 at 08:54
I see what you're saying now, and it makes good sense. Washing the rice sounds like a great compromise.

I'll see how it goes!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 04:13
My gran used to cook the fish in a small amount of milk

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 08:37
Hi, Gareth - good to see you!

"Grandma cooking" has been on my mind, lately...probably due to the change of season ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 08:53
Hmmn, Kedegeree is one of our favourites :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 08:55
Well, then - shoot a photo or two the next time you make it or order it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 08:55
Gareth, does your recipe differ from the one above? If so (and I assume it does) how about posting the recipe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 08:58
I will dig it out, we adapted an old Slimming World recipe.  It may not be as authentic, but it is low cal and tasty
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 October 2016 at 05:14
Gareth, I've seen at least a dozen recipes, all somewhat different, and all "authentic." Kedgeree is one of those dishes that is more a method than a precise recipe.

So, authentic or not, I'm looking forward to seeing your recipe.
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