I know what you’re thinking. “Vegan Kedgeree? It can’t be done! The whole dish is based around fish! You’re losing the plot!”
To be honest, I had a similar reaction to my own suggestion (in my head, of course). I was craving something ricey for breakfast, and of course, the classic British breakfast sprang to mind. I did a bit of research about the dish to find out what I could replace the fish with, and it was on this Google journey that I found out the truth:
Kedgeree isn’t all we believe it to be.
Your grandma (and Jamie Oliver) would have you believe that kedgeree spiced rice dish with milk, egg and fish – so not exactly vegan friendly. However, this dish originated from Colonial India, which means that basically we took it, made it more British, and changed it completely (like so many other things).
The dish from which kedgeree originated is actually called Kichiri, and this IS a vegetarian dish. In fact, it’s known as India’s comfort food; their version of chicken soup. Kichiri is what you feed to people when they’re ill, as a low-impact food that will nourish them without overwhelming them. There’s no fish, no egg, and in most recipes, no milk; I’ve completely veganised it here, and it’s a great little one-pan breakfast dish that’s super easy to make!
1 cup green lentils
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 white onion, diced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of turmeric
4 cups water
1 red pepper, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few sprigs of fresh coriander
In a large sieve, rinse the lentils and rice until the water runs clean, then drain well; you don’t want any leftover starch in your dish
In a medium pan, heat a little oil then add in the onion, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds and ground coriander
Cook until the onion turns translucent
Add the lentils, rice, red pepper, carrot and salt to the pan and cook for a few minutes
Add in the water, and bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Don’t lift the lid!
Remove the cover and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve
This has all the heartiness of kedgeree with the spirit of India; for me, it’s a hearty and filling breakfast or brunch recipe. I also sometimes stir in some Haas avocado, because it adds a lovely creamy texture and some great nutrition.
This is a great dish to cook for a table full of people for breakfast, but it’s also good for lunch or dinner.