We'd had the house to ourselves for the weekend and the opportunity to cook a curry really could not be missed. We decided on fish curry but couldn't decide on exactly what kind of fish curry. But then we remembered that we'd bought some smoked haddock for a risotto in the week and decided to use a bit in this Kedgeree, which if you don't know, is a dry curry, like a biryani or a pilaf.
It's a dish that came back to England with the colonialists and historically used to be a breakfast or brunch dish. And it does make a good breakfast/brunch, particularly if you like curry, and even more so if you've just been for a swim at Portishead Lido.
It is simple to make, it could be a one pot dish if you didn't have the boiled eggs. But you should have the boiled eggs, cos the boiled eggs are good. Here's what you'll need for a dish that will feed two handsomely, with leftovers:
2 fillets of smoked haddock
2 boiled eggs, quartered (or more if you like)
A finely chopped onion
A finely chopped chilli (or more depending on your appetite for heat)
A thumb sized piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
A generous teaspoon of black mustard seeds
Garam masala (you know, curry powder, heat to your liking)
2 bay leaves
Some chopped, fresh coriander
A good squeeze of lemon or lime juice
15 fl oz of basmati rice
There's a couple of stages to the cooking, but a sensible place to start is boiling your eggs. For good boiled eggs, put them into a pan of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then boil the eggs for 6 minutes. Once done, stick them into some iced water and set aside.
Next, cook the haddock. Simply add the whole fillets to a large, high-sided frying pan and cover with about 650ml of boiling water. Throw in the bay leaves, cover, and simmer for 10-15 mins.
When the haddock is cooked, remove it from the water, wrap in foil and put in a low oven to keep warm. Don't pour away the water! You need it for the rice.
Rinse and dry the frying pan then get it back on a medium heat. Add a good knob of butter and then and your curry powder and black mustard seeds. Allow them a couple of minutes, stirring all the time, then add the chopped onion, chilli and ginger. Let them soften for a while.
After a few minutes add the rice and give that a stir to coat it in the spice/onion mix. After a minute or so add the water that the haddock was cooked in. Stir again, get it back up to a boil and let it boil for a minute. Then turn the heat down as low as possible, cover and leave to simmer 15 minutes. Do not remove the lid. After 15 minutes take off the lid, take the pan from the heat and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave for 5 minutes. After that time flake the rice with a fork for perfect, fluffy grains that don't stick.
Before the rice is done, shell your boiled eggs and either halve or quarter them. Also, remove the fish from the oven.
We served ours with a bit of mango chutney as it's is virtually impossible for us to have a curry without mango chutney. Our wine choice was a very nice Riesling, recommended to us by Corks of Cotham. It was a superb match. The wine heightened the spice and seemed to take the taste all around my mouth. The aftertaste left an almost sherbertty tingle right in the middle of my tongue along with a satisfying bite of chilli heat.
As I wrote at the top, the quantities given are enough for two with leftovers. Which polished off for brunch today after another swim at the Lido. Any weekend with two curries in it is a good weekend.