Friday, 24 October 2014

Curried Smoked Mackeral Pilaf

Almost, but not quite, kedgeree. It is a little easier (no poaching uncooked fish first), and a little less nursery-food-gentle, with mustard seeds and a little more spice. I made this a lot in my first year at university, and have revisited more recently. I am not sure why I stopped making it in the first place, since starting again I have been having it almost once a week because I like it so much.

1 big knob of butter
1-2 white onions
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
Pinch turmeric
1 tbsp (more or less, to taste) curry powder (I used hot, but mild or medium can be used)
300g basmati rice
1 pack smoked mackerel fillets
300ml  water
300ml milk
3 eggs
Small bunch flat leaf parsley
Half a lemon

A little extra butter, if desired. 

Peel and slice the onion(s). Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan that has a well-fitting lid. Add the onions, and cook over a low heat until softened and slightly golden- about 10 minutes. Meanwhile boil your eggs- I tend to give them  8 minutes, which results in a still oily yolk, but boil for up to 10 minutes if you prefer them firmer. However you cook them, make sure you cover them in cold water straight away after they have finished boiling, so they don’t keep on cooking.

While the onion and eggs are cooking, remove the skin from the mackerel, and flake into medium sized pieces.

Add the mustard seeds to the pan, and cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in the curry powder, rice and bay leaf. Stir to coat the rice in the spices, and then add the mackerel, stirring to combine again. Pour in the water and milk, season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to bring the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to the lowest setting, place the lid on, and leave to cook for 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, peel and roughly chop the eggs, and remove the stalks from the parsley and chop the leaves.  When the rice has finished cooking, add a few pieces of butter (if desired), and  squeeze the juice from the lemon into the pan, and use and fork to fluff up the rice and mix in the butter and juice. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Fork through the parsley and the eggs, and serve.

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