Kedgeree – doesn’t the name just make you think of Lady Grantham? This dish represented the height of culinary fashion in Britian during the Victorian Era: it updated stodgy smoked fish and eggs with exotic and mysterious flavors imported from then-colonial India. Across the pond, kedgeree didn’t really catch on; at that time Americans were busy developing our own “typical” breakfast, and while we, too were fascinated with the foods of other cultures we had different ones to explore.
Our version must work within the constraints of the Food Desert, so we’ll use canned tuna instead of smoked kippers and borrow some smokiness from ground paprika. (If your food desert doesn’t have paprika or curry powder, never fear – substitute crisp-fried, crumbled bacon and some food desert Garam Masala.)
1 cup long-grain rice (preferably basmati)
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp white wine, divided
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp curry powder (or garam masala)
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried chives
1 tbsp yellow mustard (you especially need the turmeric if you are using garam masala)
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 can tuna, drained
2 tbsp plain yogurt (greek-style or strained preferred.)
In a small, microwave-safe container, add the minced onion, ginger, garlic, curry powder, paprika and 2 tbsp of the white wine. Microwave for 30 seconds. In a separate container, add the remaining wine to the parsley and chives. Set both aside.
Prepare the rice: if using basmati, add it to a medium-sized saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 10 minutes or until it is cooked “al dente,” then drain it and set it aside. (If using another type of rice, follow the package directions to cook 1 cup of raw rice, and set aside.)
As you are cooking the rice, hard-cook your eggs: put them in a small saucepan and cover them with cold water until completely submerged. Put the lid on the pan, and put the pan on high heat. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, turn off the heat. Leave the eggs alone for 11 minutes, then drain them. Soak them in cold water until they are cool enough to touch. Set aside.
Heat your butter in a large skillet and add the onion mixture and the two bay leaves. Cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and the tablespoon of yellow mustard, and allow to boil for a few minutes until the tomato juice thickens slightly. Remove from the heat, stir in the wine and herbs, and then carefully fold in the cooked rice and drained tuna (try to keep the tuna in large chunks.)
Peel and quarter the hardboiled eggs, and place them over the top of your kedgeree. Put the yogurt in a small plastic bag, snip off one corner and garnish your dish with yogurt swirls.
Invite Maggie Smith to breakfast and enjoy!