Kedgeree with Smoked Tofu

A long time ago, I read somewhere with great fascination that the British Royal family were served Kedgeree for breakfast on New Year’s Day. I never knew what it was and thought it was some exotic, mysterious, complicated recipe. Until I discovered nothing could be further from the truth. Turned out it was not just a dish served on special occasions, but actually a war-time favorite that made use of easily available ingredients on the Royal estate (thank you BBC!).

It’s traditionally prepared with curry spices and smoked fish, but for our purposes smoked tofu works pretty well. If smoked tofu is hard to find, then try marinating plain, firm tofu in soy sauce and smoked paprika powder for an hour or so, then stir-fry to seal in the marinade before adding to the dish.

This recipe is a fairly simple version that could easily be dressed up with lemon zest, ginger, and cardamom seeds, and if you like more veggies toss in some steamed broccoli at the end.

Ingredients

200 g (1¼ cups or 300 ml) basmati rice, or 750 ml (3 cups) ready cooked
1½ litres water for cooking the rice
125 ml (½ cup) crème fraîche or coconut milk
200 g firm smoked tofu
¼ teaspoon ground red chili peppers, or to taste

¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika powder

2 green onions or some chives
Small bunch fresh coriander
Salt to taste

Method

  • Rinse the basmati rice and drain. Put in a bowl, cover with fresh water and if you have time, soak 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Cut the smoked tofu into bite-sized pieces.
  • Chop the coriander, and slice the green onions or chives.
  • In a large pot, bring the water to a rapid boil with some salt. Drain the rice, drop it into the hot water and gently stir to prevent sticking until it returns to a boil. Immediately turn down to the lowest flame and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the rice is tender and starts to “curl”. Turn off the flame, drain well, cover, and let the rice rest for about 3 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking,  gently heat the crème fraîche or coconut milk in a small milk-pan on a low flame with the turmeric, chili pepper, and salt. Avoid letting it boil. Remove from the flame, stir in the smoked paprika, then cover. Set aside.
  • In a large non-stick frying pan on medium flame, heat up a little oil then add the smoked tofu and stir-fry a few minutes until hot.
  • Fluff the rice in a large bowl, then fold in the seasoned crème fraîche or coconut milk, fresh coriander, and onions. Tip it into the frying pan with the tofu and lightly stir-fry on medium flame for 2 minutes being careful not to break the rice grains.
  • Serve while hot.

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