I’ve been reading about kedgeree in English novels all my life and decided to try it. This is regarded as intensely British food, meaning, they got the smoked fish from Scandahoovia and the curry and the basmati rice from India and where else does that kind of crazy happen except in Britain?

Apparently you can mess the spice proportions about quite a bit, as long as the basics remain: smoked fish, curry, rice, chopped hard boiled eggs, and a ton of butter.

I find it definitely comforting: just spicy enough, with wonderful squishy texture and that combination of curry-umami-butter-rice that makes one roll over with one’s paws in the air.

8 Tablespoon butter (yes, I know it’s a lot)
large onion finely chopped
2 cardamom pods, peeled, and the seeds crushed with a mortar and pestle
1 serrano pepper, deseeded and minced
3 Tablespoons mild yellow curry powder (my preference)
1 inch fresh ginger root, grated …OR… 1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 lb (16 oz, 550g) smoked white fish, such as haddock1 cup dry basmati rice
2 cups water or stock

handful of chives, garlic chives, or scallions, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
1/2 lemon or lime, cut into 4 wedges
small bunch cilantro minced

Cook the rice. Keep it hot.

Poach the fish in a little water until it starts to fall apart. With a fork, flake the fish into coarse flakes. Some people remove the skin from the smoked fish. Personally I like it, I think it adds fat and flavor, so I mash it up and add it to the dish.

Melt the butter, saute the onion gently until well-softened, then add all the spices.

Add the rice. Stir thoroughly to coat the rice with all that tasty butter.

Add the fish and stir.

Heat through.

Serve garnished with chopped hard-boiled eggs on top, chives, minced cilantro, and pass lemon or lime wedges to squeeze over the kedgeree.

Personally I skip the eggs and cilantro, but for all I know it’s not real kedgeree without at least the eggs. Any Brits care to opine here?

Other ingredients sometimes used:
fresh grated nutmeg
fresh parsley
ground pepper


I’ve never written a novel set in England, but I did once write a house-party farce, with four con artists, three undercover cops, two mad scientists, a black widow, and a retired showgirl. Give it a try here. The Hinky Velvet Chair, available at Book View Cafe, Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and iTunes.


About Jennifer Stevenson

Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash Sex Magic was shortlisted for the Locus First Fantasy Novel Award and longlisted for the Nebula two years running. Try her fantasy series Hinky Chicago, which is up to five novels, her paranormal romances Slacker Demons, which are about retired deities who find work as incubi, or her women’s fiction fantasy series Coed Demon Sluts, about women solving life’s ordinary problems by becoming succubi. She has published more than 20 short stories.

Find Jennifer at the Book View Cafe blog, at the second row at fast roller derby bouts in Chicago, or on Facebook.