kedgeree #2

Break with tradition and warm up wintry evenings with a gently spiced British breakfast favourite

We love to eat this on those nights when only something warming and hearty will do.
Eve O'Sullivan and Rosie Reynolds

Kedgeree is, of course, traditionally eaten at breakfast. And while we can think of nothing better than serving up big plates of smoky fish, gently spiced rice and soft-boiled eggs for a lazy brunch with a few friends, its virtues stretch far beyond noon.

As autumn begins to take hold, this rice dish can be as comforting as a slow cook, as aromatic as your favourite curry and as quick as your go-to pasta dish - just what a rainy weeknight calls for.

From scratch, this will take you about 40 minutes, but if it's one of those days when even that feels too long, use a packet of precooked rice and some smoked mackerel. And if you'd like to make it a bit more nourishing, try using an ancient grain instead of white rice — spelt, farro, freekeh and quinoa would all work well, adapted to the cooking time on the packet.

Finally, a veggie twist: swap the smoked fish for chunks of squash or cauliflower roasted with a few extra cumin seeds.

Serves 2, 40 minutes

250g smoked haddock fillets
A large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric tsp chilli flakes
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped 200g white basmati rice
1 vegetable stock cube
2 eggs

Put the haddock on a microwavable plate, add 1 tbsp water, cover with clingfilm and microwave on full power for 3 minutes. Remove the clingfilm, flake the fish and discard any bones and skin. Alternatively, heat the oven to 160C (180C non-fan). Sit the fish in an ovenproof baking dish and cook for 10 minutes, or until just cooked, then flake the flesh, discarding any skin and bones. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a high-sided frying pan with a lid, add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until the seeds start to pop and are fragrant. Add the turmeric, chilli flakes, onion and garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and pour in 400m1 boiling water. Crumble in the stock cube and stir to combine. Put the lid on, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes - don't lift the lid during this time.

Meanwhile, cook the eggs in a pan of boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water. Remove the shells and slice the eggs into quarters.

Fluff the rice with a fork and fold through the haddock, egg and parsley leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve.