Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Veggie kedgeree - from the storecupboard

This is a dish I've had sitting in my recipe folder for about two years. Every time I see it I promote it to the front, but then another veg box arrives, or we go away, or - I don't know - things conspire against it. But eventually I managed to get round to it, and I hope I don't leave it as long for a repeat as it was an easy peasy winner of a dinner. It's storecupboard-tastic, apart from the eggs - and who doesn't have eggs in their fridge? Apart from vegans. And egg haters.

It's a kedgeree dish, which is a British/Indian classic featuring smoked fish - a bastardised Anglo breakfast version of the Indian food our colonial ancestors encountered in their days of painting the world map red. I have never eaten it in its carnivorous guise, although I did like smoked fish in my pre-veggie days (I think I only ate it about twice, and always associate it with a hotel breakfast in Weston-Super-Mare. How weird is that? It sounds like the memory of someone much older than seven which is about how old I must have been). Anyway, it's basically curried rice with eggs and fish, but this version uses lentils instead of fish. I fancied a big chunky type of lentil and so used yellow split peas, but in every other respect I followed the recipe. It's not sophisticated in its spicing and seasoning, but it's tasty nonetheless. The Scientist had also been keen on my description of it, but he went traditional and added some smoked mackerel to his. I thought my Weston-Super-Mare memories would make me tempted until it stunk out the kitchen so comprehensively that I couldn't go in without wrinkling my nose for about a week.

The kedgeree was simple, yet satisfyingly tasty in flavour and texture. I liked the combination of pulses and rice, while the eggs (boiled according to Heidi's foolproof method which I have only fooled up once) give an interesting change to each mouthful. I know, the eggs look huge, but it was just the way I arranged them on the plate. It's also nutritionally pretty good and hardly takes any effort. Go on, don't leave it as long as I did!

Veggie kedgeree (copied from a Slimmer's World cookbook)
Serves 4

1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 tsp mild curry powder
250g basmati rice [I used wholegrain regular rice]
50g red/yellow split lentils
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
650 ml stock
8 eggs
salt and pepper
chopped coriander to garnish if you have more of an eye to presentation than I do

Stir fry the onion in fry light for 2-3 minutes over a high heat then add the curry powder, rice, lentils, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Stir and fry for 1-2 minutes

Add stock, season well and bring to the boil. Cover tightly, reduce the heat and cook gently for around 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, undisturbed, for 10-12 minutes [I remember worrying that this wouldn't be long enough for long wholegrain rice and I think I cooked it for an extra five minutes just in case. It turned out ok]

Boil the eggs [using Heidi's method if you like your yolks just slightly and deliciously soft]. Shell and halve them. Fluff up the rice and spoon into bowls. Top with the eggs, sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve.


Johanna said...

Kedgeree is something I always think I should try and then I see the eggs and get disheartened

and am sympathetic re the fishy smelling kitchen - I hate E eating tuna - and am glad it is quite rare

Lysy said...

I wonder whether smoked or marinated tofu might be a good substitute? This version is certainly pretty eggy, but I think that the tofu would be a nice change.

Tuna is the only fish our cats go crazy for so it's eaten thankfully rarely in our house too!

Holler said...

That looks so tempting with those wedges of egg on top, Mmmmmm!

Oh and while I am here..... I have bestowed an award to you. You can collect it over at Tinned Tomatoes