Having just returned from a long trip to Scotland last summer, this assignment was a delightful surprise for me. Though there are plenty of more familiar, perhaps stereotypically Scottish dishes out there (Shortbread? Haggis?), I knew exactly what I wanted to make from the get go.
Don’t be fooled by its ingredients – though it is most certainly influenced by Indian khichari, kedgeree as we know it today is, in fact, a Scottish creation! It is believed to have been devised by Scottish soldiers as early as the 18th century, missing the flavours of the cuisine they had tried from locals on their travels in the east. The result was a marriage of traditional Indian spices and a Scottish specialty, smoked fish. Over the years, it became en vogue to partake in Brito-Indian fusion cuisine, so kedgeree became commonplace in many British homes for breakfast. Though commonly made with haddock (Arbroath smokies or Finnan haddies are typical, and arguably best), I chose to use smoked tuna loin instead, as it is readily available here in Vancouver, and a far more sustainable fish.
This dish is perfect for winter, served piping hot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but is just as good cold. Ith gu leòir!
Ingredients (makes 2 litres)
• 3 tbsp butter
• 1 onion, medium, chopped fine
• 2 cups basmati rice
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 200 g smoked fish (I used tuna loin), sliced thick
• 1 ½ cups milk
• 1 ½ tsp curry powder
• Eggs, soft or hardboiled
• Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
• Fresh parsley
1. In a pot, sweat the onion in melted butter.
2. Stir in the rice, coating each grain in the butter, then pour over the chicken broth.
3. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Put a lid on it and cook until the rice has absorbed the broth – about 12 minutes. Stir occasionally so rice does not stick and burn to the bottom of the pot.
4. Meanwhile, in another small pot, bring milk to a simmer and drop the slices of tuna loin in, letting it poach lightly in the milk. This mellows and rounds out the flavour of the fish, so it is not too overpowering in the dish. Flake the fish at the very last minute before adding it to the rice.
5. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the curry powder, flaked fish, chopped egg, and season to taste.
6. Before serving, mix in chopped fresh parsley, and enjoy hot.