Greatest recipes ever: Kedgeree

‘Kedgeree has always been a favourite comfort food of mine, so much so that we served it at our wedding to give sustenance to the die-hard revellers who were still on the dancefloor in the wee hours. My mother swears by adding a generous hunk of butter to the rice just before serving, something I never forgo. If you can achieve a just-cooked yolk in your hard-boiled egg, even better. With Clarissa’s mouth-watering addition of crispy fried onions, I will be serving this up for weekend breakfasts, weekday suppers and midnight feasts until the weather starts to soften’

Thomasina Miers


Extract from Clarissa Dickson Wright’s
Clarissa’s Comfort Food
Published by Kyle Books

I often think of the Memsahib who invented kedgeree. Was she poor and making ends meet? Was her husband a tyrant, or did she do it to please? Or was she just bored? Whatever the story, we owe her a debt of gratitude. I tend to make my kedgeree with smoked haddock and keep it simple, but here, I have used cooked salmon, which needs a bit more flavour. Kedgeree originated from the Indian khichiri, a dish of rice and lentils, and the recipe I have given is more in keeping with that. It is a great dish whatever way you prepare it. To bulk out the recipe you can add cauliflower or potatoes.

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Serves 8


1tsp coriander seeds

Half teaspoon cardamom seeds

1tbsp ground turmeric

1tsp cayenne pepper

1 dried red chilli

4tbsp ghee or clarified butter

1 onion, half chopped, half slivered

500g long-grain rice

500g brown lentils


500g cooked salmon, flaked

4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and cut into quarters

1tbsp vegetable oil

1tbsp slivered almonds

Coriander, to garnish


Pound the spices and chilli tog-ether. Put them in a pan with 1.2 litres of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and keep the water.

In a large saucepan, melt the ghee or butter and fry the chopped onion until coloured. Add the rice and lentils and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. Add the strained spice water and the salt and simmer until all the moisture has been absorbed and all is cooked and tender. Stir in the cooked fish carefully, along with the hard-boiled eggs.

Heat the oil in a separate pan and fry the onion slivers until brown and crisp, then drain well on kitchen paper. Sauté the almonds quickly in the same pan. Turn the kedgeree onto a serving dish and scatter the onions and almonds on top. Garnish with coriander. Serve as is, or with
a curry sauce if liked.