This dish ‘Kedgeree” was first introduced by the Scottish Soldiers in Army Camps in Calcutta. The Fish Kedgeree is an Anglicised version of the Indian Kitchri or Kitchidi, which was prepared with rice, lentils, raisins, etc along with the addition of Fried Fish Flakes (Halibut) and hard boiled eggs. Fish, either steamed or fried was a regular item for breakfast during the Raj and the cooks tried to incorporate it with local dishes. Eventually the Fish Kedegeree became a hot cooked spicy dish, with the addition of various spices and was invariably included in the breakfast menu all over the Commonwealth. Minced meat was also later added as a variation.
Recipe for FISH AND BOILED EGG KEDGEREE
Serves 6 Preparation Time 45 minutes
½ kg of any good fleshy fish cut into thick fillets
2 cups raw rice or Basmati Rice
4 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
3 onions sliced finely
3 green chillies sliced lengthwise
4 tablespoons Green Gram Dhal (Moong dhal) or Red Lentils (Masoor Dhal) (Or any other lentils or your choice)
2 small sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin powder
100 grams Sultanas or Raisins (Optional)
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
2 Bay leaves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon chillie powder
1 tablespoon lime juice / lemon juice / vinegar
6 whole peppercorns
4 hard-boiled eggs shelled
Wash the fish and cook it in a little water along with the bay leaves and salt for about 5 minutes or till the pieces are firm. Strain and keep aside. Add sufficient water to the left over fish soup to get 6 cups of liquid. Remove the bones and skin from the boiled fish and break into small pieces. Wash the Rice and dhal and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a suitable vessel and sauté the onions, cloves and cinnamon lightly. Add the slit green chillies, whole peppercorns, cumin powder and chillie powder and sauté for a few minutes. Add the rice and dhal and mix well. Now add 6 cups of the soup, limejuice / vinegar, sultanas, chopped coriander leaves and salt and cook on high heat till boiling. Reduce heat and simmer covered till the rice and dhal are cooked and slightly pasty. Gently mix in the cooked fish, butter / ghee and the hard-boiled eggs. Cover and let the rice draw in the fish for a few minutes. Serve hot or cold with Chutney or Lime Pickle.