Smoked mackerel kedgeree is an easy-to-make, delicious, lightly spiced family dinner that’s a balanced meal of rice, veggies & protein all in one dish.
Have you ever had kedgeree? Inspired by Indian cuisine, this classic British dish was traditionally served for breakfast. But while the Victorians might have been able to stomach a hearty dish of curried rice, smoked fish and eggs first thing in the morning, we prefer to have our kedgeree for dinner! It’s an easy, delicious, and highly nutritious meal that’s basically all made in one pot – almost.
Kedgeree was apparently created in Britain as far back at the late 1700s, by British colonials returning from India and missing the exotic flavours they left behind. It is thought to be based on kichari, an Indian dish of spiced rice and pulses, sometimes served with yogurt.
British cooks ditched the pulses in favour of flaked fish – usually smoked haddock – and added cream, butter and hard-boiled eggs. My smoked mackerel kedgeree has lightened things up a little by losing the butter and cream. I’ve also made life easier by swapping smoked haddock for smoked mackerel. This can be simply flaked and added to the rice without requiring any additional cooking.
A generous handful of peas adds a serving of vegetables, so this delicious kedgeree is a balanced meal all on its own. Of course some mango chutney, cool creamy natural yogurt, or a finely chopped salad of tomato, cucumber and red onion, all go terrifically well on the side.
Not too spicy!
DH and I both enjoy spicy food, but I wasn’t sure how my daughter Kipper would react when I made this smoked mackerel kedgeree for the first time. I knew she’d like the fish and eggs, and probably the peas, but the curried rice was a bit of gamble.
For this reason, I used a medium curry paste to inject plenty of fragrant Indian flavours without being blow-your-socks-off spicy! If you prefer a hotter or a milder dish, you can easily substitute the curry paste of your choice. Or adjust the amount you use, to customise the kedgeree to your liking.
The proof of the pudding
Regarding heat and spiciness, apparently I needn’t have worried. Kipper loved the kedgeree, and ate her dinner very enthusiastically. Maybe next time I will make it for breakfast!
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Smoked mackerel kedgeree
- 1 medium onion
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp medium curry paste (or use mild or hot to your preference)
- 185 g brown basmati rice (1 cup)
- 450 ml hot vegetable stock (2 cups)
- 3 eggs
- 250 g smoked mackerel fillets (approximately 3 large fillets)
- 200 g frozen peas (1⅓ - 1½ cups)
- Juice of half a lemon (or to taste)
- Small handful coriander leaves, roughly torn (optional)
Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan then cook the chopped onion over a low-medium flame for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the curry paste and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute.
Add the rice to the pan and stir well to combine. Gently add the hot stock - it will bubble up so be careful! Mix well and scrape up any spices or onions that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with a lid and reduce the heat so that the contents are just simmering. Leave to cook for 20-25 minutes or the suggested cooking time for the rice you are using.
Meanwhile, cook the eggs. Place the eggs in a pan of cold water, place on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil for 9 minutes then remove from the heat, drain, and cover with cold water. Leave to cool.
Remove the skin and any bones from the mackerel. Break into bitesize chunks, and set aside.
When the rice is cooked, add the frozen peas and stir well. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and allow to stand for 2 minutes.
Shell the eggs and cut each one into four quarters.
Finally, assemble the dish! Add the lemon juice to the rice, then gently stir in the mackerel pieces, taking care not to break them up too much. Arrange the egg quarters on top of the rice and scatter the coriander leaves over before serving.