Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lime-Infused Shrimp Kedgeree Recipe

I discovered kedgeree at a brunch hosted by my British friend Claire. She served it with the traditional smoked haddock and lots of butter. It was a dish I had never heard of, but one which had been popular among British colonials in India. Claire said it was an adaptation of a traditional Indian recipe; but looking at it, I could not decipher the connection.

Through web research I discovered that kedgeree is a bastardization of the term
khichdi, a common North Indian dish of rice and lentils. The term khichdi is often broadly used to describe a combination of rice and lentils – which is simple, comfort or peasant food. The term is also used colloquially to mean 'a mess' or a 'troubling situation'.

Kedgeree is a signature dish of the
Anglo-Indian community, a small minority group consisting of people of mixed racial heritage – usually British fathers and Indian mothers. Like the coloured community in South Africa, Anglo-Indians formed and were identified as a unique ethnic group in India’s constitution. They have distinct cuisine, dress, speech and religion. The Anglo-Indian community is still active in India and also in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Cursory web research leads me to believe that kedgeree is experiencing a renaissance as a brunch item. This version uses shrimp instead of haddock.


For shrimp:
juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound cooked deveined and detailed shrimp

For rice:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small onions
3 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons hot Madras curry powder
1 1/2 cups enriched long grain white rice
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
3 cups chicken or vegetarian broth, or water
(or more as needed, cook according to rice instructions)
juice of 1 to 2 lemons
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
4 to 6 eggs, hard-boiled and halved or quartered lengthwise (optional)
1 to 2 lemons, halved or quartered lengthwise

Serves 8 to 10 people


1. For shrimp, mix lime and all seasonings in a small bowl. Put shrimp into a large Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Shake well and leave in the refrigerator overnight. Shake periodically.
2. For rice, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, and then add onions and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes). Add curry powder and continue to sauté.
3. Add rice and coat grains well. Add salt and broth/water and bring to a boil.
4. Lower the heat to simmer and cover well. Allow rice to cook according to instructions on package, approximately 20 minutes. Do not uncover pot during cooking process.
5. Once cooked, fluff rice with a fork. Add lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Gently fold shrimp and sliced eggs into rice. Serve with lemon wedges.


Michele said...

This looks delicious, and as you say, like comfort food. I'm going to try it this weekend.

cheesewithaspoon said...

Looks yum! I've only had (or made) it with smoked haddock. Nigella has a pretty nice recipe for the regular kind. Must try this version! Lime and shrimp are such springtime-appropriate flavours.

The term "Anglo-Indian" is actually a complicated one -- some use it as you described, and nowadays that is pretty much the accepted meaning (mixed racial descent where the mixing occurred a long time ago). During the British Raj, though, I think some people used the term to refer to English families who had been living permanently in India, long enough to consider India their home. Did Orwell have actual Indian blood in his veins or was he the latter sort of Anglo-Indian? I'm not sure. Must Google his Mummy-ji....

Anonymous said...

Kedgeree was standard fare for breakfast at dawn after Oxford Commem balls in my time.


AKR said...

I have changed the posting since as "cheesewithaspoon" pointed out, Orwell did not have Indian blood - he was half British and half French. The term Anglo-Indian was used to refer to him as a Brit in India. Thanks for the correction.

Interestingly there are a number of people with Indian ancestry that is largely unknown to the world. They include Ben Kingsley (born Krishna Bhanji to a Gujarati Kenyan father and a half-Jewish mother), Norah Jones (born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, daughter of famous musician Ravi Shankar), Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, to a Parsi Indian family in Zanzibar) and Engelbert Humperdinck (born to a British Army Officer and his Indian wife in Madras).

Anonymous said...

Three things I love about this blog

1. thanks for the credit on the recipe, think your shrimp version is much more user friendly given that we only found one shop in Chicago that sells smoked haddock
2. I have just had breakfast and am already hungry again now I know I am part of a Kedgeree renaissance
3. love you have a wheat free link


Anonymous said...

Wow - this one is fascinating! I didn't realize that George Orwell was half Bengali! Looks tasty - cheers -cat

Anonymous said...

dear Aly
hello from singapore
love your recipes and entries!