Hands up all ye who could not keep up with the galloping pace of December this last year! And now those who amidst all the Christmas stress threw a little birthday get-together shortly before Christmas Eve and cooked all weekend to make the cutest cake (ever) and a spread of Ottolenghi’s scrumptious vegetable dishes (aubergines!). A fair few courses were getting axed as the prep day progressed, where are these Heinzelmännchen (German elfs) when you need them to chop and mix and whisk up all those extra-super-delicious sauces for each recipe?!

Well, anyway, by now we all will be in desperate need for a curative hangover breakfast scoring some more health points than the usual remedial fry-up or a fantastic brunch dish that’s easily (and best) prepared in advance. Allow me to introduce you to one of the most restorative & delightful breakfast / brunch dishes ever: kedgeree. Wonderfully savoury and bursting with bold flavours, my version also reintroduces lentils as are in the Indian original ‘khichiri’ or ‘kitchari’ before the British colonials meddled with it and omitted them along the way. Only, instead of the rather more traditional brown lentils, I prefer green Puy lentils or the tiny clay coloured Castelluccio lentils from Umbria, which will add a surprising bite to this extremely comforting food.

Rice & pulses is a classic combo and naturally, similar dishes can be found in any cuisine as well as there are countless versions and ways of preparing a kedgeree, ranging from quite creamy curried rice with raisins to spicy salmon studded incarnations. I love a more robust approach that highlights the smoked, salty fish and showcases the exotic spices instead of resembling a tame curry risotto with eggs. Here, all components can easily and, frankly, should be prepared in advance (especially the flaking of the fish and rice cooking) since this is certainly not a one-pot-dish and who needs all that kerfuffle with a ton of pots & pans right before brunch? The final assembly happens right before serving and everyone can sit back and sigh in delight or relief – whichever applies.





Serves 4


1 cup / 200g basmati rice
1¼ cups / 300ml water
1 smoked haddock (about 220g / 7oz, less or more to taste)
½ cup (Puy or Castelluccio) lentils
olive oil
1 large onion, cut into half moons
½ stick / 60g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green cardamom pods, bruised (smash with a heavy object)
1 (red or green) chilli, deseeded and chopped (substitute red pepper flakes)
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder or an English curry mixture
2 (nearly) hard-boiled eggs, quartered
chopped chives or coriander
Foolproof rice cooking: Wash basmati rice and leave to soak in fresh water for at least ½ hour. Drain and bring to the boil in 1¼ cups of salted water. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, give the rice a stir and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Leave undisturbed for 25 minutes and without touching the lid place the pan on a wet tea towel for 5 minutes. Open and fluff the rice which for a change does not cling to the bottom anymore! You might no need it all,

Place the smoked haddock skin-side up in a shallow pan, cover with boiling water from the kettle and poach over a low flame for about 10 minutes. Drain and flake into pieces when cool enough to handle, feel for bones and remove all.

Cook the puy lentils in unsalted water until tender but still form, for about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Fry the onion half moons in olive oil until browned and crispy. Reserve them on a piece of kitchen paper to remove excess oil for later.
Melt butter in a shallow saucepan, gently fry the onion until translucent for about 15 minutes, add cardamom pods, chilli, turmeric and curry powders, cook for another 5 minutes before you add rice (start with half the amount and go from there) and lentils. Stir and heat until everything is warmed through, add a little more butter if you find the rice gets too dry. Incorporate the flaked haddock and heat for another 2-3 minutes. Scatter with fried onions, quartered eggs and sprinkle chives (or coriander) on top. Serve immediately with a cup of strong, milky tea.







Ergibt 4 Portionen.


200g Basmatireis
300ml Wasser
1 geräucherter Haddock (Schellfisch, ca. 220g, weniger oder mehr nach Geschmack)
½ Tasse Puy oder Castelluccio Linsen
1 große Zwiebel, in Halbmonde geschnitten
60g Butter
1 Zwiebel, fein gehackt
2 grüne Kardamomschoten, zerquetscht (mit einem schweren Objekt zerdrückt)
1 (rote oder grüne) Chili, entkernt und fein gehackt (alternativ rote Chiliflocken)
½ TL Kurkuma
1 TK Madras Currypulver oder Englische Currymischung
2 (fast) hart gekochte Eier, geviertelt
Schnittlauch, gehackt (alternativ: Koriander)


Basmatireis kochen: Reis waschen, dann in frischem Wasser für mindestens ½ Stunde einweichen lassen, abgießen und in 300ml Salzwasser zum Kochen bringen. Anschließend die Temperatur reduzieren, den Reis umrühren und den Topf mit einem Deckel bedecken. Für 25 Minuten köcheln lassen und dann den Topf ohne den Deckel abzuheben für 5 Minuten auf ein nasses Handtuch stellen, so bleibt kein Körnchen mehr am Boden kleben! Anschließend den Reis mit einer Gabel auflockern.

Geräucherten Schellfisch mit der Hautseite nach oben in eine flachen Topf oder Pfanne geben, mit kochendem Wasser übergießen bis er bedeckt ist und über kleiner Flamme für ca. 10 Minuten pochieren. Abtropfen und leicht abkühlen lassen, dann vorsichtig in Lamellen zerteilen und sorgfältig alle Gräten aussortieren.

Linsen in ungesalzenem Wasser kochen bis sie gar, aber noch bissfest sind. Puylinsen, die ich hier verwendet habe, brauchen ca. 10-15 Minuten. Abgießen und beiseite stellen.

Zwiebelhalbmonde in Olivenöl scharf anbraten bis sie braun und knusprig sind. Auf Küchenpapier geben um das überschüssige Öl abzulöschen und ebenfalls beiseite stellen.

Butter in einer flachen Sauteuse oder Pfanne schmelzen und die Zwiebel darin glasig dünsten, ca. 15 Minuten. Kardamomschoten, Chilli, Kurkuma und Currypulver hinzugeben und für weitere 5 Minuten ziehen lassen. Dann Reis und Linsen unterrühren und wieder erwärmen – wenn der Reis zu trocken wird, schafft ein Stückchen Butter Abhilfe. Den Schellfisch zum Schluß hinzugeben und für 2-3 Minuten erhitzen. Vor dem Servieren das Kedgeree mit den geviertelten Eiern belegen und mit gerösteten Zwiebeln sowie Schnittlauch (oder Koriander) bestreuen. Am besten passt hierzu natürlich eine Tasse starker Earl Grey mit viel Milch.



6 thoughts on “Kedgeree

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