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Lentil and Leek Kedgeree with Smoked Mackerel

Harry Eastwood

by Harry Eastwood from A Salad for All Seasons

A simple, Indian-inspired kedgeree recipe, which combines warming spices with leek, lentils and smoked mackerel. From A Salad for all Seasons, this easy dish makes a perfect weekday lunch.


As an alternative to the traditional recipe made with rice, I sometimes like to make kedgeree with lentils, a pulse that works wonderfully well with all the other Indian spices in this dish. This hearty recipe is tailor-made for office lunch boxes when you are craving a comforting, nutritious salad that will pluck you from the chilly winter and plonk you straight into the colourful, aromatic Indian warmth.

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3 tbsp vegetable oil + 2 tsp at the end
450g dried Puy lentils, rinsed under the tap and patted dry
6 leeks, finely sliced
8 cardamom, husks removed, bashed to a powder
2 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp medium curry powder (I like medium Madras)
salt and black pepper
a large handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
600g smoked mackerel fillets, skinned, boned and broken into chunks
3 large free-range eggs, boiled for 7 minutes
4 spring onions, chopped
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
a pinch cayenne pepper
8 tbsp sour cream, chives snipped over (optional)

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Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the rinsed lentils, leeks, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, allspice and curry powder over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Add 700ml water to the pan and cover the whole lot with a lid. Cook for a further 30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked and there is no water left in the pan. If you find that your lentils want another 10 minutes, add a small splash of water to the pan before letting them go further. Discard the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Adjust the seasoning and add the 2 tsp oil.

Fork the lentils and leeks to help cool them down before you add the parsley, flaked mackerel, eggs (halved) and spring onions to the rest of the salad.

Squeeze the lemon juice over and sprinkle with cayenne pepper before serving with the sour cream and chives on the side (if using). 780 calories per portion 2½ of your five-a-day.


Swap in smoked haddock for mackerel, baked whilst the lentils arc cooking. Swap the lentils for a mixture of basmati rice and lentils, or just rice. Add turmeric to the rice (if using).

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