MAY IT PLEASE THE PALATE: Kedgeree - A dish out of the Raj

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(Nick Roumell welcomes another recipe from guest columnist Ashish Joshi.)

In season 4 of "The Crown," Margaret Thatcher, after giving her ministers a good tongue lashing, invites them to her home for a meal of kedgeree, which she lovingly prepares for them. Fans of British dramas may also recall scenes from "Downton Abbey," showing the gentry sitting down to a leisurely breakfast where the kedgeree had a place of honor on the dining room sideboard. Kedgeree is a wonderful example of fusion food, of how one recipe transmutes into another when prepared by a people whose taste, culture, and habits are foreign to those who enjoy the original dish. For Khichri, the parent dish, is a common food in India and is a combination of dal and rice boiled together with spices (while this doesn't sound too appetizing, a properly made khichri is a delight to both make and eat, especially with a dollop of hot ghee on the top). The British adopted khichri as a breakfast dish, dropped or toned down the spices (can't risk sweat on the stiff upper lip), substituted smoked or fresh fish for the dal, added boiled egg, anglicized the name, and dekko, kedgeree was born.

To define just what constitutes an authentic kedgeree is a good way to provoke an argument, and a heated one at that. But given the polarized world we live in, what's an additional argument or two. Like many Anglo-Indian dishes, kedgeree, though a breakfast dish, serves equally well as a lunch or supper dish.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can of smoked herring / kipper fillets
2 eggs
1-2 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
6-7 thin matchsticks of fresh ginger
6-8 oz long-grained rice
1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
Salt and pepper
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder or garam masala
Fish stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
50 ml cream, warmed
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Method: Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the onions until transparent, then add the bay leaves, ginger, turmeric, curry powder or garam masala, and stir fry for 20-30 seconds. Add in rice and stir until it is glazed. Add fish stock to the rice so that the rice is nicely submerged. Cover the pot and cook until the rice is cooked and flaky and the liquid is absorbed by the rice (add extra stock during the cooking, if necessary, to prevent the rice from sticking).

Meanwhile, hard-boil the eggs, peel them and cut them into quarters. Drain the canned fish and flake the fillets with a fork. Add the fish, butter, salt and pepper (to taste), cream, and Worcestershire sauce to the hot rice and mix it in. Arrange the boiled eggs on the top and generously sprinkle it with parsley.
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Ashish Joshi is the owner and managing partner of Joshi: Attorneys & Counselors. He serves as the lead counsel in high-stakes, complex family law and divorce cases including cases involving severe parental alienation. He has counseled and/or represented clients in state and federal courts across the United States and internationally. Joshi serves as a senior editor of Litigation, the flagship journal of the ABA's Section of Litigation.

Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil rights litigation. He has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and wrote a food/restaurant column for "Current" magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at Twitter or Facebook @nickroumel, or Instagram @nroumel, or see fortyyearsacrossamerica.blogspot.com.