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 in an effort to reintroduce some Indian flare back into this colonial classic.
We smother our smoked haddock in a tandoori paste, making for an epic pop of colour and an added punch of flavour to the dish. The already-smoked haddock acts as a nice cheat to recreate a little of the smoked flavour you might achieve from a tandoor.
We serve our kedgeree with a poached egg instead of the usual hard-boiled. Partially because of my hatred of hard-boiled eggs, but also because the poached egg brings an added level of luxury to this dish, binding everything with its decadent yolk.
150g Smoked Haddock, undyed & skinned, cut into 5cm chunks
Juice of ½ a Lemon,
½ tsp Chilli Powder,
Pinch of Salt
THE TANDOORI PASTE
30g Natural or Greek Yoghurt,
1 Garlic Clove,
1 x 5g Piece of Ginger,
½ tsp. Ground Coriander,
½ tsp. Ground Turmeric,
½ tsp. Ground Cumin,
¼ tsp. Beetroot Powder, optional for colour
100g Basmati Rice,
30g Butter, unsalted
1 Small Onion, finely diced
1 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 x 5g Piece of Ginger, grated
1 Red Chilli, finely diced
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds,
1 tsp. Fennel Seeds,
½ tsp. Fenugreek Seeds, ground
1 tsp. Ground Turmeric
½ tsp. Ground Coriander
2–3 Cardamom Pods, bruised
Large Bunch of Coriander, roughly chopped
Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper
2 Large Eggs
Ghee or Groundnut Oil
Coriander, a few leaves
PREPARING THE RICE
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 or refrigerate until needed once cooled.
TIP – This process can be done the night before.
MARINATING THE FISH
As with many Tandoori and Tikka recipes, this uses a two-step marination process though is far shorter than an equivalent used for meat. The first is very short, in a lemony, spicy marinade. The second, a heavily spiced, yoghurt-based marinade.
Tandoori Fish usually uses red food colouring to achieve the deep red colour it is known for. We have used Beetroot Powder as a natural and tasteless alternative. You are welcome to add a splash of food colouring if desired or omit all colouring entirely – the flavour will remain the same.
Season the Fish generously with salt, pepper and the chilli powder, making sure that the fish is evenly coated in seasoning. Place the fish into a bowl or zip-lock bag and add the lemon juice, ensuring the fish pieces are suitably covered with lemon juice.
TIP – Re-sealable zip-lock bags work extremely well for this and will allow the fish to be more easily manipulated and coated in the second marinade.
Leave the fish to marinate in the lemon juice for 5 minutes.
Place all the ingredients for the tandoori paste into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Add the yoghurt marinade to the fish, ensuring the fish is evenly and entirely coated in the yoghurt marinade.
Leave the fish to marinate for 10 minutes.
Place a large pan over a medium heat with a lug of groundnut oil or spoonful of ghee. Add the cumin and fennel seeds to the pan and cook for a minute or until they just start to spit. Add in the onion, ginger, chilli and garlic into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until just starting to colour and becoming fragrant.
Add half the butter to the pan and once melted, add the ground spices and bruised cardamom pods and cook off for 1-2 minutes.
Increase the heat of the pan and add the remaining butter. Once melted, add the cooked rice to the pan and stir into the onion mixture until well coated and yellow. Add 50-100ml of hot water to the pan and cook until the rice is fluffy and golden.
Reduce to a very low heat and cover, keeping warm until ready to serve.
COOKING THE FISH
TIP – I usually poach the eggs whilst the fish is cooking.
Preheat the oven to 220Cº or it’s highest setting.
Place a wire rack over a baking tray and then lay the marinated fish onto the wire rack.
TIP – If you do not have a wire rack you can simply place them directly onto the baking tray – the aim if the wire rack is to have as much air circulating around the fish as possible.
Place the fish into the very top shelf of the oven and cook for 5-6 minutes or until just-cooked through and starting to char.
POACHING THE EGGS
Bring a medium pan of water to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Crack the eggs into small bowls or mugs and set aside ready to poach.
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 3-4 minutes depending on how soft you like your poached eggs.
TIP – You may find this easier to do one egg at a time.
Once cooked, remove from the water with a slatted spoon and leave to dry off on kitchen paper.
ASSEMBLING THE KEDGEREE
Add the lemon juice to the rice along with the chopped coriander and stir together until evenly distributed among the rice. Season to taste.
Top the rice with the tandoori fish and poached eggs and garnish with a few more coriander leaves. Serve immediately with greek yoghurt and lemon wedges.