Monday, November 26, 2007

Kedgeree, otherwayes.

November 26 ...

Kedgeree is a peculiarly Anglo-Indian concoction. It apparently began with khitchr – a dish based on a mixture of rice and pulses from the Indian subcontinent. In the hands of returning colonials it became a capital breakfast dish of rice, eggs and leftover fish.

Here is the wonderful Eliza Acton’s take on it (1845).

Kedgeree Or Kidgeree, An Indian Breakfast Dish.
Boil four ounees of rice tender and dry as for currie, and when it has cooled down put it into a saueepan with nearly an equal quantity of cold fish taken clear of skin and bone, and divided into very small flakes or scallops. Cut up an ounce or two of fresh butter and add it, with a full seasoning of cayenne, and as mueh salt as may be required. Stir the kedgeree constantly over a clear fire until it is very hot: then mingle quickly with it two slightly beaten eggs. Do not let it boil after these are stirred in; but serve the dish when they are just set. A Mauritian chutney may be sent to table with it.
The butter may be omitted, and its place supplied by an additional egg or more.
Cold turbot, brill, salmon, soles, John Dory, and shrimps, may all be served in this form.

The following early nineteenth century version from Domestic Economy, and cookery, for rich and poor, by a lady.(1827) is closer to its roots as a pulse and rice dish.

Indian Cutcheree.
Steep a pint of split peas, and add a large tea-cupful of rice, with an onion, ginger, pepper, mace, and salt; boil till the peas and rice are swelled and tender, but not
clammy ; stir them with a fork till the water is wasted. Serve it up in a dish garnished with hard eggs and whole boiled onions. The stirring it with a fork is to prevent the grains being broken.

But from the same book is this “American” variation, with an intriguing sub-variation which takes it about as far as it is possible to go from its essentially vegetarian origins.

American Cutcheree Soup.
Prepare and pulp some of the nicest dry green peas; put them into any nice seasoned white soup with coriander mint, or any determined sweet herb; to 1 lb. of peas, add 2 ounces of rice, and finish it with egg and cream, or keep out the egg, and add curry-powder, or make it of brown soup, with fried onions, all-spice, and sage, and thicken it with blood.

Tomorrow’s Story …

More Foreign Food.

Quotation for the Day ..

Eat what is cooked; listen to what is said. Russian Proverb


Liz + Louka said...

The recipe I use is similar to Miss Acton's, except that it has cream where she has eggs. I use basmati rice and a tin of salmon, and it's very nice. I think hers would be more like scrambled eggs - so maybe more appropriate for breakfast - I eat it for dinner.

The Old Foodie said...

I love the whole concept of Anglo-Indian food - it is a cuisine in its own right I think