“Kedgeree” is the perfect example of British’ Indian food. It appears on breakfast tables, with flaked smoked fish and hard-boiled eggs added. The original dish is kitchri, one of the most popular home-style dishes in the Indian sub-continent’s a well balanced, complete meal of delicately spiced rice and lentils. While some families prefer plain steamed rice served with a separate dish of lentils (Dhal, see page 77) kitchri needs only a little yoghurt and perhaps a spoonful of chutney to accompany it.
- 1½ cups long-grain rice, preferably basmati
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, finely sliced
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 5 whole green cardamom pods, bruised
- 5 whole cloves
- few whole black peppercorns
- 825 ml (27 fl oz/3½ cups) hot water
- 2 teaspoons salt
Wash the rice and drain well for at least 30 minutes. Wash the lentils well and drain thoroughly. Heat the ghee in a saucepan and fry the onions on medium heat until golden brown. Remove and reserve two-thirds of the fried onion for garnishing the finished dish.
Add the rice, lentils and whole spices to the onions in the pan and fry, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the hot water and salt, bring to the boil, then cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Turn off the heat and leave the pan covered for a further 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, remove the whole spices and serve the kitchri garnished with fried onion and accompanied by fruit chutney and a bowl of thick yoghurt or Cucumber Raita.