Classic British Kedgeree Recipe

Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day, and Britain is famous for taking it really seriously. Most restaurants that serve breakfast have a wealth of options on their menu, ranging from a full English to eggs benedict, all the way to a simple granola or smoothie bowl. Nonetheless, there is one British breakfast dish that might surprise you.

Kedgeree, with its inclusion of ingredients such as rice, curry powder, and other spices, might seem like more of an Indian dish, but the main ingredient is smoked haddock, a fish that prefers colder waters than the warm seas surrounding the subcontinent. Kedgeree is one of many Scottish dishes dating back to the British colonial presence in India. It is a take on the Indian dish of khichdi, adapted to suit British culinary tastes of the time, and to factor in the availability of ingredients in 18th century Britain.

While it is not perhaps as common as other breakfast options, it is certainly a great option as a healthy, delicious, and filling start to the day. The haddock and eggs are an excellent source of protein, leaving you feeling more energized than the bacon or sausages in a traditional English breakfast would. It also includes an array of flavorful spices that will be sure to wake up your tastebuds, so why not give recipe developer Jennine Rye's British kedgeree recipe a try this weekend?

Gather the ingredients for this classic British kedgeree recipe

To make this classic British kedgeree recipe, first you will need to get your hands on some smoked haddock. If you can't source haddock, any smoked flaky white fish will work just as well. You'll also need basmati rice, some vegetable stock, a couple of large eggs, whole milk, and ghee. From the fresh produce aisle, grab an onion, a tomato (although canned chopped tomato is also a workable option), a garlic clove, fresh ginger, and cilantro. And for the spices that give this breakfast dish a real kick of flavor, you'll need curry powder, mustard seeds, and ground coriander.

Boil the eggs

You'll want to start this recipe by boiling the eggs. After all, is it really a breakfast or a brunch dish without this ingredient? There are a number of different techniques for boiling eggs. Some add them to cold water and bring everything to a boil together. Some say to add room-temperature eggs to already boiling water, although you'll need to add them in slowly to prevent the temperature shock from cracking the shell. Rye opts for the latter method, using a spoon to gently lower room-temperature eggs into hot water. Once they are boiled, cool them for a few minutes in cold water before peeling off the shells. If you happen to hate peeling egg shells, you aren't alone and could always consider adding some baking soda to the water to raise the pH and make the process of peeling easier.

Poach the fish

To cook the haddock, add ½ cup of water and the milk to a pan. Heat them gently before adding the smoked haddock to the pan, skin side down. This process of poaching the haddock allows the delicious smokiness of the fish to infuse the milk, which will then be added to the rice and give the finished dish a beautiful depth of flavor. At the same time, poaching the fish makes it wonderfully tender and succulent. It should only take around 5-6 minutes to cook the haddock; you will want it to be lovely and flaky but not overdone. When it is poached to perfection, remove the pan from the heat and set to aside.

Cook the rice with the aromatics

While the fish is poaching, it's time to get started on the rice. The first step is to cook the base, which will provide the kedgeree with much of its flavor. Heat up the ghee in a large pan and sauté the chopped onion. Then add in the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute or so until they are lovely and fragrant, next adding the curry powder, mustard seeds, and ground coriander to the pan. Once all the flavors are nicely infused, add the rice and vegetable stock to the pan, mixing it all together. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes to start cooking the rice.

Combine the elements to finish the dish

After 10 minutes, add the fish-poaching milk to the pan of basmati rice. Put in the chopped tomato, too, and continue to let it all simmer together for another 10 minutes or so, until the rice is cooked through. You'll know it's ready when the rice is tender. If the pan gets a little dry before the rice is ready, just add a little more water to the mixture and keep cooking. 

While the dish simmers, remove the skin from the fish and roughly flake it using a fork. Then, once the rice is done, it's time to add in the flaked haddock, sliced eggs, and roughly chopped fresh cilantro. Serve it up hot and enjoy straight away. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and should ideally be used within 2 days. 

Classic British Kedgeree Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
Dating back to the British colonial presence in India, this classic kedgeree is a super filling breakfast of rice, eggs, haddock, and spices.
Prep Time
Cook Time
British kedgeree
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ pound skin-on smoked haddock
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 2 small tomatoes, peeled and diced (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Boil water in a small saucepan and carefully lower the eggs into the pan. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes before removing them from the water. Place the eggs in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes to cool, then peel them and slice into segments. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add the milk and ½ cup water to a pan on the stovetop over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add the smoked haddock to the pan, skin side down, and cook for 5-6 minutes until the fish just cooked and flaky. Remove the pan from heat.
  4. Heat a deep, wide pan over a medium flame, then add the ghee and chopped onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for a few more minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the curry powder, mustard seeds, and ground coriander to the pan and fry for 1-2 more minutes.
  6. Add the basmati rice to the pan along with the vegetable stock. Stir everything together, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the rice gently simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  7. Remove the cooked smoked haddock from the poaching milk and flake with a fork, discarding the skin. Add the poaching milk to the basmati rice along with the chopped tomato. Continue to simmer for another 8-10 minutes until the rice is cooked through.
  8. Once the rice is tender, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flaked smoked haddock, eggs, and cilantro. Serve hot.
Calories per Serving 339
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 147.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 2.9 g
Sodium 659.6 mg
Protein 22.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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