Good for the kid: kedgeree

My daughter (who is 13-months-old) is a massive fan of red lentil daal so for lunch today I thought I would try her on kedgeree. If she was old enough to have mastered the necessary motor skills she would have licked the plate clean. Here is my recipe, it serves two adults and one child as a healthy lunch dish. I slung in some leftover smoked salmon pieces for the adult portions, but because the salmon is pretty salty, baby just had egg with hers. The recipe also works well with smoked haddock or mackerel.

Smoked fish kedgeree

1/2 tsp each of:
Black mustard seeds
Whole coriander seeds
Whole cumin seeds
Curry powder
Small clove garlic
1 small or 1/2 large onion
1 mug of basmati rice
1 tomato
2-3 slices / 1 fillet of smoked fish
3 eggs
1/2 lemon
Black pepper
Handful fresh coriander leaves

Cook the rice until tender* and hard boil the eggs. To stop the boiled egg yolks from going that horrid grey colour, plunge them into cold water as soon as they are cooked and keep them there until you want to peel them.

In a dry pan, heat the mustard, cumin and coriander seeds until they become fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind roughly.

Fry the onion and garlic in a little vegetable oil until starting to soften, then add the whole spices and fry until the onion is golden. Add the turmeric and curry powder and stir until the onion is coated in spices.

If you are using raw smoked fish, like smoked haddock, add a little water to the pan and gently steam the fish in the onion and spices for a couple of minutes until cooked.

If you are using ready-to-eat smoked fish, like mackerel or salmon, keep it to one side while you add the cooked rice to the onion mixture and stir well until it takes on a beautiful yellow colour.

Turn off the heat and stir the coarsely chopped tomato, smoked fish and coriander into the rice. Give it a good squeeze of lemon and season with salt and black pepper.

Top each portion with a boiled egg cut into quarters and serve with a wedge of lemon.

*I cook rice the way Dad always did: bring a generous amount of salted water to a rolling boil, pour in the rice, stir thoroughly to make sure no grains are sticking to the bottom of the pan, then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave well alone for ten minutes exactly before draining. Let the rice steam in the colander for a few minutes, then flake with a fork to separate the grains.


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