An Old Classic Ngaio Marsh and Kedgeree


My problem is not a surfeit of books to read, but of Ngaio Marsh novels I haven't read.  I might be at the end, but now re-reading ones forgotten.  Like this latest, A Man Lay Dead.  The first in her 33 book Inspector Roderick Alleyn series.  From the Publishers:

"This classic from the Golden Age of British mystery opens during a country-house party between the two world wars—servants bustling, gin flowing, the gentlemen in dinner jackets, the ladies all slink and smolder. Even more delicious: The host, Sir Hubert Handesley, has invented a new and especially exciting version of that beloved parlor entertainment, The Murder Game . . ."

Crime comes to a country house: “Any Ngaio Marsh story is certain to be Grade A, and this one is no exception.” —The New York Times

I really don't think I've read a bad Marsh novel.  Anyway, to go with the Golden Age British theme, I made a dish from the era, Kedgeree.  And, as the guests in the story were under orders not to leave during the investigation, a lot of delicious country house food was consumed meanwhile.

 According to The Spruce:  “ Kedgeree is a rice and smoked fish dish that originated in colonial India and is now a cherished and popular British recipe. Kedgeree began its life during the time of the British Raj as khichdi—a dish from the Ayurvedic khichari diet that included spices, fried onions, ginger, and lentils. Those returning from their time in the subcontinent brought the dish to Britain, where it quickly became a national staple, with the lentils usually left out of the preparation. From a humble rice and lentils dish, it slowly changed into what we know today, which includes smoked fish..... packed with flavors due to the smoked haddock, curry, aromatic cardamom, and fragrant parsley. Kedgeree is eaten hot or cold, and it's traditionally considered a breakfast dish but is also enjoyed as lunch or dinner.

It's an excellent and tasty way to use up bits of left-overs and vegetables hanging out in the fridge!  I had a nice piece of salmon, some cold rice, olives etc. so, voila!  Kedgeree.  

Ingredients - For 4 Servings 

  • 4  eggs

  • 6 ounces (about 7/8 cup) basmati rice, well rinsed
             unless you are using left-over rice

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 1 pound smoked haddock or other fish,

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 large onions, finely sliced, about 2 1/2 to 3 cups

  • 4 teaspoons curry powder - or your own combination

  • 6 cardamom pods, bruised

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste and a good couple dashes of 

  • Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped  flat-leaf parsley, for garnish or herb of choice - I used chopped cilantro

  • Lemon wedges, optional

Melt the butter in a large, Dutch oven or heavy-duty casserole dish. Add the onions, cover, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 10 minutes.

Add the curry powder, or spices of choice, cardamom pods, and bay leaves. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture is well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the prepared rice. Stir to combine.
Then, gently fold in the fish and 3 of the quartered eggs. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the remaining quartered egg, parsley, and lemon wedges, if using. 

We had a small cucumber & kefir salad on the side.  Perfect!  It was all delicious.  

I'll be sharing this post link with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Marge, the Intrepid Reader and Baker, and on Heather's  Foodies Read site.  Please do visit for some good book and food recommendations.


Mae Travels said...

Much beloved on those famous breakfast buffets in the Country House murder mysteries.
I don’t think it sounds right for breakfast, but maybe ok for lunch.
best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

We have been eating more fish around here, I really should think about giving this dish a try!

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

I have not heard of this author nor of this series. Thanks for the heads up.

Marg said...

We recently did a food quiz about international foods and there were several foods which were touted as breakfast food which were odd to me!