Kedgeree is classic British comfort food made with basmati rice, smoked salmon, soft cooked eggs, and lots of herbs and spices — it’s versatile enough to eat for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner!
kedgeree is a melding of British and Indian cuisines
This rice dish is utterly scrumptious and so comforting, in a Downton Abbey sort of way 😉 It’s a dish that Carson might offer you for breakfast if you were lucky enough to be invited to stay overnight at the Abbey. Mrs. Patmore would have liked it because it uses up yesterday’s leftovers. Kedgeree became popular in Britain in the Victorian era when it was brought back by colonial solders from India. It’s based on an ancient Indian dish made with beans and rice, called Khichri, and has morphed into a delicious meal that draws from both Indian and British culinary traditions: rice, smoked fish, eggs, and curry. We like to eat it for dinner so I make mine hearty.
what you’ll need:
- basmati rice ~ basmati is a spectacular Indian variety of long grain rice that is actually aged to dry out the grains. This helps keep them firm and separated in a finished dish like this. Substitute another long grain rice like jasmine.
- smoked salmon ~ you can use all sorts of smoked fish for this dish, smoked haddock is traditional. Use as much or as little as you like. Note: we’re talking about hot smoked fish here, not cold smoked (like lox.) Hot smoked fish is sold in chunks and has a firmer texture.
- onion, white or yellow.
- garlic and ginger, minced or grated. I like to stock convenient garlic and ginger paste in tubes so I never get caught short.
- tomato ~ a couple of chopped fresh tomatoes adds a juicy acidity to the rice.
- green onion, lots of it!
- cilantro ~ use parsley if you’re a hater.
- hot pepper ~ I used a green Serrano pepper and a red jalapeño for a little extra heat
- butter ~ I used unsalted, but ghee (Indian clarified butter) would be great if you have it.
- curry powder ~ they vary by brand, go with what you like.
- mustard seeds ~ yellow or brown.
- ground coriander ~ optional
- ground cumin ~ optional
- lemon juice ~ this really wakes up the dish. Always taste before serving, you might want to add a little more.
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- soft cooked eggs ~ the eggs just make this dish!
- lemon wedges are traditionally served with kedgeree
why you need to make kedgeree for dinner
I’m willing to bet this is a brand new flavor profile for you, and I think that’s reason enough to try it. Kedgeree is quite easy to make, and can be done all in one pot, if you like. If you’ve got leftover rice, you’re golden!
for the perfect jammy eggs
- Put a saucepan of water on the stove to boil.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer, and carefully add your eggs.
- Simmer for 8 minutes.
- While the eggs are cooking prepare an ice bath.
- Drain the eggs and plunge into the ice water.
- When cooled, put the eggs back into the dry pan, cover, and give the pan a vigorous shaking.
- The shells will slip off easily under running water.
- Slice in half to reveal the perfect jammy yolks.
- Note: room temperature eggs will cook up a smidge firmer than cold eggs straight from the fridge. it’s your choice.
change it up!
- use smoked trout, haddock, or other smoked fish you like.
- fresh cooked fish can be used in this dish, although you’ll sacrifice flavor.
- cook your rice in broth or stock. Add bay leaves for more flavor.
- top your kedgeree with poached or fried eggs for breakfast.
- if you don’t have all the spices on hand, just increase the curry powder.
- add a cinnamon stick to the spice mix.
- add fresh peas or chopped asparagus. Lightly steam them first.
- add cooked lentils as a nod to the original Indian dish.
- you could (I’m not recommending it) use cauliflower rice for a low carb version.
- some recipes call for the addition of heavy cream, which I’m sure would be delicious. Add it (maybe 1/4 cup) to the pan after the onions and spices have been sautéd.
- 4 large eggs, boiled and halved
- 4 cups cooked basmati rice (jasmine rice will also work)
- 1/2 - 3/4 lb smoked fish, I used salmon. Note: you want hot smoked fish, not cold smoked. Hot smoked fish is sold in chunks. And feel free to use up to a pound of fish for a heartier meal.
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger, feel free to add more to taste
- 1 medium white onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander, optional
- 1 tsp ground cumin, optional
- 1 fresh hot chili, finely sliced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a large pot, and saute the onion, ginger and garlic for about 5 minutes.
- Add the curry powder, optional spices, fresh chili and mustard seeds and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, spring onions and lemon juice.and heat through.
- Add the rice to the pan and then the fish, breaking it into large flakes as you do. Add in the cilantro, reserving a bit for a garnish. Stir gently to mix everything together and heat through.
- Season with salt and fresh black pepper, and taste it to see if you need more lemon juice; rice dishes need lots of seasoning.
- Top the kedgeree with the eggs, garnish with more cilantro. Serve with creamy yogurt.
- Like so many dishes, kedgeree will only get better hanging out in the fridge if you want to make it ahead.