A good kedgeree is a wonderful thing. It’s also a very underrated dish in my opinion; it’s healthy, delicious and very easy to make your own. I was going to start plagiarising random bits of information about the origins of kedgeree, but this post from the Observer Food monthly Word of Mouth blog, is so well researched and informative, that you should just read that instead. There is a lovely recipe on there too.
I think kedgeree is the perfect hangover cure. It’s nutritious, moreish, full of vegetables and good oils from fish. It has heat and spice, but without the heaviness of a curry. Some of the nicest kedgeree I have ever eaten has been at Glastonbury Festival at The Goan Seafood Company Stall. Everything they do is fresh and tasty, the perfect fuel for your tired body.
I have made kedgeree many times and experimented with lots of different recipes and ingredients. My friend Aschwin, who has a Malaysian born Tamil father, North Indian mother and a rather excellent palate, took the dish to a whole new level with his version. I can’t really take any credit for this delicious recipe…
Aschwin’s Quinoa and Salmon Kedgeree
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s really versatile, you can use any kind of smoked fish and pretty much any vegetables that take your fancy. You can also spice the dish according to your own tastes- the ingredients below a guideline.
- 4 lightly smoked salmon fillets
- 300g quinoa
- 1 small can of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 handfuls green beans, chopped
- 150g leafy green vegetables like kale or spinach, chopped
- 4 eggs
- large handful of coriander, roughly chopped (I used red amarynth and red veined sorrel for the garnish in the photo)
- 4 wedges of lemon to serve
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
Pour the coconut milk into a pan and add the salmon spices and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Place the salmon fillets in the pan ensuring that they are submerged in coconut milk. Poach the fish for about 10 minutes or until cooked. It’s better to under cook the fish rather than over cook it as it will be flaked and heated through again with the quinoa and vegetables.
Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside. You can also hard boil the eggs in the same pan as the quinoa. I like a slight softness to my yolk, so I’d say 8 minutes is good. Run them under cold water and then peel and cut into quarters just before serving.
While the salmon is poaching and the eggs and qiunoa are cooking, measure out the quinoa spices and pound together in a pestle and mortar. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan, add the onion, garlic and spices and sweat on a medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes to infuse.
Add the vegetables to the spiced onion and garlic, first the carrot and beans, then the kale and spinach. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so and then add the cooked quinoa, stir well. Now remove the salmon fillets from their poaching liquor, remove the skin and flake the flesh with a fork. Add the fish to the pan, season to taste and stir well to incorporate all the flavours.
Serve the kedgeree with the chopped coriander, quartered boiled egg and a slice of lemon. You can drizzle a bit off the poaching liquid over it too if you like. And try it the morning after, you won’t be disappointed.