Kedgeree, an Indian dish of rice and smoked fish, is one of my absolute favourite comfort foods; I just love it! Different chefs often have their own preferred recipe, but this is mine – which I have tried to make as healthy and nutritious as possible. Kedgeree is also one of those dishes where I usually cook double what I need and freeze a few portions, making it a truly cost-effective meal.
Fish is such a fantastic food, full of protein, iodine, zinc and selenium – which are great for cell repair, metabolism, thyroid function and immunity. Try undyed smoked haddock, which is wood smoked rather than chemically smoked. Make sure it’s sustainable too – look for the MSC mark, or check which brands sell MSC-certified haddock here.
I use organic wholegrain rice instead of white as it’s fibrous and full of B vitamins. White rice has often been polished and refined, which strips the grains of their natural nutrients and fibre, causing your blood sugar to rise too quickly.
I also use organic eggs, which are what I’d call a true superfood. They’re rich in protein and iron, and the orange pigment (lutein) found in the yolk is important for our eyes, skin, and immune system, as well as for fertility. Eggs also contain choline, a nutrient which is brilliant for our brains and nervous system.
I prefer to use natural, organic, bio yoghurt instead of cream in my kedgeree, but I won’t spare the organic butter or ghee (traditional clarified butter – if you can find it), nor the organic milk for poaching the haddock.
On top of all this goodness, there’s also a generous dose of anti-inflammatories courtesy of the red onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cardamom ,cumin, chilli (if you like!), and fresh green coriander. I like my kedgeree quite spicy, and so I use plenty of chilli flakes, which work well with the cooling yoghurt, but the amount of spices you’d like to add can be adjusted to suit your personal taste.
My kedgeree works extremely well with a fresh, spring salad of spinach, chicory, watercress and other bitter greens, all topped with flavoursome heritage tomatoes – delicious!
Makes 4 portions
180g wholegrain organic rice
400g undyed, MSC-certified, de-boned smoked haddock
4 organic eggs
100g organic butter (or ghee)
250ml organic yoghurt (fat content depends on your own preference)
150ml organic milk for poaching the fish
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
A knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1 heaped tsp each of: ground cumin, coriander and turmeric, or just a couple of tsp of good quality curry powder (if you like it spicy use more, if not, use slightly less, it really depends on your own taste)
1/2 tsp of chilli flakes (more or less according to taste)
The seeds of 4 cardamom pods
2 handfuls of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Wellbeing Sisters top tip 1: If you don’t like coriander, you can use flat leaf parsley instead!
Wellbeing Sisters top tip 2: Try a squeeze of fresh lime over the top before you tuck in, it adds a little zing and brings out those natural curry flavours!
Begin by turning your oven to 180°c/160°c fan/gas 4. Once it’s hot, put the fish in an oven-proof dish, pour over the milk, and poach in the oven for around 15–20 minutes until it is hot all the way through (do check the recommended cooking instructions on your fish packet as you may need a little longer).
While it’s poaching, put the eggs on to boil (10 minutes for hard boiled, 7 minutes for slightly softer yolks).
Rinse the rice through a sieve then put in a saucepan. Top with double the amount of cold water (about 360–400ml). Bring to the boil, pop on a lid, and simmer for 20–25 minutes. Check that the rice doesn’t run out of water before it’s cooked, and just add a touch more boiled water if it’s getting too dry.
Take your eggs off the heat, and place in some cold water to cool slightly.
Remove your fish from the oven and carefully peel the skin from the flesh. Save the poaching liquid for later.
Gently melt the butter/ghee in a frying pan, and fry the onion, garlic, ginger, and spices for around 5 minutes.
Peel and roughly chop the eggs, putting a few pieces aside for garnishing, then pull the fish apart into pieces. Sieve the rice if there is any remaining liquid (usually there isn’t), and then mix the rice, fish, and eggs together with the buttery spice mix and poaching liquid from the fish.
Add the yoghurt slowly – you don’t want it to get too sloppy – taste, and season with salt and pepper, then reheat altogether on the hob on a low– medium heat for a few minutes.
Finally, stir in the fresh coriander, plate up, and use the remaining egg pieces as a garnish to top each portion. Serve on its own, or with your spring salad. If there’s just two of you dining, you might have to stop yourself from devouring the leftovers – it is a bit moreish!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mel holds a BSc (Hons) in Nutritional Therapy, an MSc in Nutritional Medicine, and has been specialising in fertility and pregnancy nutrition for over 18 years. Her career includes time spent at the Zita West Fertility Clinic, The Healthy Holiday Company, and Dr Jane Benn & Associates. Mel set up Melanie Brown Nutrition 10 years ago and currently works with clients across the globe advising them on fertility-enhancing diet and lifestyle.