This is one of my favourite meals, and not just because you can have it for breakfast, lunch or supper. This incarnation sees a couple of tweaks to this delicious classic – the samphire brings a salty kick whilst the poached egg helps to bind everything with it’s decadent yolk.
2 x 150g Undyed Smoked Haddock Loin Fillets, skinless and boneless
2 Duck Eggs
1 Thumb Sized Piece of Ginger, minced
1 Small Red Chilli, diced
1 Small Onion, finely diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
100g Basmati Rice
1 Large Bunch of Coriander, chopped
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
¼ tsp Ground Cumin
¼ tsp Ground Coriander
¼ tsp Ground Turmeric
¼ tsp mustard Powder
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Cardamom Pods, split open
1 Small Pinch of Safron
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
30g Salted Butter,
Dash of White Wine Vinegar
Tomato and Chilli Chutney
A pre-warning, this recipe requires a certain amount of coordination and multitasking with pans but the results more than make up for it.
1. Place 2 medium pans of salted water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Wash the Basmati rice in cold water for a couple of minutes or until the water runs clear as the starch is washed away. Add the rice to one pan and cook for 2 minutes less than the cooking instructions suggest. Once cooked, drain and set aside. Add the Samphire to the other pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender. Drain and plunge into cold water to prevent over cooking. Drain and set aside. This can be done well in advance.
2. Place a large pan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Once the oil has melted and the pan is hot, add the bay leaves and the diced onion and fry gently for a few minutes until soft, then add the minced garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the butter to the onions and gently melt. In a small bowl, mix together the ground spices and add ¾ of the spice mixture to the pan with the butter along with the cardamom pods, saffron and salt and pepper and stir through. Fry for a further 5 minutes. Once the spices have been cooked off, add the rice and stir through until well incorporated. Finally add 50ml of hot water to the pan and cover with a lid and leave over a low heat.
4. Now comes the rush! Bring a medium pan of water to a gentle simmer over a medium heat, and place a large frying pan over a medium-high heat with 1 tbsp coconut oil. Lightly season the haddock with the remaining spice mix, salt and pepper and set aside ready to pan fry. Crack the duck eggs into small bowls or mugs and set aside ready to poach.
5. Place the fish into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. See next step before continuing! Turn the fish over and add a knob of butter into the pan, cook for a further 2 minutes basting the fish with the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cooked samphire to warm through and take on some of the flavour from the pan. Leave the fish to finish cooking in the warm pan for a further 2 minutes. This will finish the fish without overcooking.
6. Meanwhile, before you turn the fish, you want to start poaching your eggs. Add a dash of the vinegar to the pan of boiling water and create a gentle whirlpool effect in the water with a spoon. Gently pour your eggs into the water and cook for 2-4 minutes depending on how soft you like your poached eggs. Once cooked, remove from the water with a slatted spoon and leave to dry off on some kitchen paper.
7. Finally, add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and roughly chopped coriander to the rice and now it’s time to assemble your towers. Add your curried rice, followed by the Haddock, a scattering of the samphire and finally your poached egg. Serve immediately with any additions you desire. I like to serve mine with a chilli and tomato chutney, natural yoghurt and lemon wedges.