Kedgeree with zander and cardamom

Valentine Warner goes all out to impressive with his fragrant zander kedgeree, spiked with saffron and cardamom
By Valentine Warner
Kedgeree with zander and cardamom
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 200 ml milk
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400 g smoked zander fillets, preferably from the wide end, or sustainable undyed smoked haddock
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp curry powder
  • 1 pinch saffron strands
  • 125 g basmati rice
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 3 tbsp chopped curly parsley

Tips and Suggestions

You can use sustainable, undyed smoked haddock if you can't find zander


1. Pour the milk and water into a deep frying pan and add the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer before adding the smoked fish to the pan - skin-side facing upwards. Bring the milk back to simmering point and poach the fish for about 3-4 minutes in a covered pan.

2. Turn off the heat, lift out the fish, and when cool enough to handle, flake it into large pieces. Keep an eye out for any bones and discard the skin. Keep the milky liquid on one side.

3. Break the cardamom pods, removing the seeds and reserving the pods ' set aside.

4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the onion with the cardamom seeds for about 8-10 minutes until golden. Stir regularly while the onions are cooking.

5. Add the turmeric and curry powder and cook for another minute before tipping the onion mixture into a bowl and leaving on one side.

6. Measure 300ml of the cooking liquor from the fish and pour it into the same pan as the onions were cooked in. Add the cardamom pods followed by the saffron and rice. Bring to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

7. Turn the heat down really low and cook the rice for 12 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring the rice. Take the pan off the heat; remove the lid and put a folded napkin or cloth over the pan before returning the lid to the pan. The cloth helps absorb any steam from the rice so the grains fluff up when forked through. Leave on one side for about 5 minutes

8. While the rice is cooking, cook the eggs for 5 minutes in boiling water. By this time they should be just past the soft-boiled stage but not fully cooked. Drain the eggs, peel and quarter them.

9. Take the lid and cloth from the rice. Using a fork, gently fluff up the rice. Gently stir in the spiced onions with the zander, eggs, and chopped parsley. Season generously with black pepper and serve.

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