From initial fear to absolute delight, I am so enjoying cooking for the Vegan in the Attic. For Sunday dinner, I decided to try another new dish. During the week, I saw a cookery programme which featured vegetarian Kedgeree. Always associating it with flaked fish and hard boiled eggs, I didn’t know that the original was, in fact, a vegetarian version.

I ploughed through recipes but didn’t find any I really liked. They were either too bland or a pilau rice with some vegetables and nuts. Based on what I’d read, I decided to wing it! I used spicing similar to the fish and egg variety as it seemed more distinct. I created my own spice mix to give it a curry flavour rather than opting for the more traditional use of generic curry powder. The spicing is subtle, aromatic rather than hot.

Being a vegan version, I upped the level of vegetables.  I cooked it in a heavy, wide lipped, saucepan which has a great lid to seal in the steam. I would have put a sheet of greaseproof paper in between lid and pot if the seal wasn’t as good.

As a hot dish, it got the thumbs up from my attic dweller. As a cold dish, it is in the fridge awaiting lunch tomorrow.

1½ cups, Basmati rice
1 cup, green lentils
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 stick cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated*
1 large white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely chopped
250g baby spinach, washed
150g frozen peas
2 pints good quality stock
30g flaked almonds, toasted
Sea salt and ground black pepper to season

1. Put the rice and lentils into a sieve and rinse with clean, cold, water until the water runs clear and there is no starch left
2. Heat the oil in the pot
3. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods and stir for 1-2 minutes
4. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and stir until all ingredients are combined
5. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft
6. Add the carrots and pepper and combine with the rest of the ingredients
7. Cook for 2 minutes
8. Add the rice and lentils and combine with the rest of the ingredients
9. Cook for 2 minutes
10. Add 1 pint stock and season with salt and pepper
11. Cover with lid and cook for 10-15 minutes
12. Check after 10 minutes and add more stock if required
13. After 15 minutes, add spinach and peas and combine with the rest of the ingredients
14. When the rice and lentils are nearly cooked, cover the saucepan and switch off the heat allowing the meal to cook for the last few minutes in its own steam
15. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of toasted almonds on the top

Chef tip: A television chef suggested keeping fresh ginger in the freezer and grate from frozen, skin and all. It sounded odd but I decided to try it. Works like a dream and far easier to grate. I’m converted!


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