Kitcherie

This recipe for kitcherie, the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree, uses rice, lentils and eggs to make a satisfying vegetarian breakfast.

Deja Food
From the book Deja Food
By

Introduction

This recipe for kitcherie, from The Practical Cook, English and Foreign (1845), comes from the twilight years of the hugely influential British East India Company. Granted a royal charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, the company would dominate trade for more than 200 years, and assumed administrative powers for over a century before the Government of India Act ushered in the era of the British Raj in 1858. Kitcherie is a delightful vegetarian meal in itself, but can also be served as part of a larger spread of dishes, or indeed at the more traditional times of breakfast or brunch.

Serves 4
Easy

Ingredients

300g basmati rice
4 large eggs
2 tbsp plus ½ tsp salt
60g unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced into half moons
½ tsp coarse-ground black pepper
1 tin green lentils, drained and rinsed
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Instructions

Put the rice in a bowl and pour over cold water. Swirl the rice around with your fingertips; the water will become cloudy from the dust and flour on the grains. Pour off the cloudy water and repeat the washing until the water runs clear.This will require 4 or 5 rinses. Cover the rice with fresh water and add the 2 tablespoons of salt. Stir well. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the eggs and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Pour off the water and add cold water to cool the eggs.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions. Toss in the butter and sprinkle over the remaining salt and pepper. Fry gendy over a medium heat until the onions are golden and crisp at the edges. Set aside.

Drain the rice and rinse under running water to wash away the salt. Bring at least 2 litres of water to the boil, tip in the rice and cook for 3 minutes.Tip in the rinsed lentils and cook for a further minute. Taste and check for done-ness. Turn off the heat and drain the rice and lentils through a sieve. Put the sieve back over the pan and cover with the lid. Leave to steam dry for 10 minutes.

Fluff the rice and lentils with a fork and add to the pan with the onions. Toss gently to mix.

Remove the shells from the eggs and cut into quarters. Transfer the rice mixture to a warmed serving plate and tuck the egg quarters around the dish. Garnish with a little chopped parsley and serve.

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