This is my ideal Sunday-morning brunch dish to share with friends and family. Its history is steeped in the Raj, and I love the meeting of cultures. The Indian curry-flavored rice served with the English ingredients of smoked trout and eggs is such a good match. Leftovers are fantastic the next day with assorted lettuce leaves to make a rice salad. — Mike McEnearney, author of Real Food by Mike
Medicinal Benefit: Brain, heart, skin
Trout is a good source of omega-3 fats, which help in the formation of cells, and with thyroid and adrenal activity, blood pressure, the breakdown of cholesterol, blood clotting and maintaining healthy hair and skin. The components of curry powder, such as curry leaves, mustard seeds, chilli, fennel, cumin and turmeric, all have benefits well known in ayurvedic medicine. They’re packed with potent compounds that have calming, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-stress properties. Vitamins such as A, B, C and E are also present.
- 4 eggs
- 2 3⁄4 ounces French shallots, finely diced
- 2 Ounces unsalted butter, plus a little extra for finishing
- 1/4 Cup pistachio nuts
- 1 Tablespoon currants
- 2 Tablespoons curry powder
- 1 Cup basmati rice
- 3 ⁄4 ounces plain (all-purpose) flour
- 11 fluid ounces water or fish stock
- 1 ⁄3 cup thickened (whipping) cream
- 1 lemon, juiced, plus lemon wedges to serve
- 1 Pound 2 ounces hot-smoked ocean trout or salmon, flaked
- 1 handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, shredded
Place the eggs in a saucepan with cold water over medium–high heat. Once the water comes to the boil, cook the eggs for 6 minutes. Immediately refresh the eggs in iced water to make sure they stop cooking. Peel the eggs and set them aside to serve with the rice.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
In a large ovenproof saucepan (with a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat, sweat one-third of the butter until translucent. Add the pistachio nuts, currants, half the curry powder, and the rice. Add another one-third of the butter and mix to coat. Add 1 1/2 cups water and bring to the boil. Cover the pan tightly with the lid, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the remaining butter and the flour with the remaining curry powder in a saucepan over medium–high heat, stirring continuously until the mixture resembles soft sand. Slowly add the water or fish stock, stirring continuously until smooth. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cream and season to taste with a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm until serving.
By this time the rice should be ready. Remove the pan from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before removing the lid.
Fork half the smoked fish and a little extra butter through the rice. Pile the rice onto a platter or into a bowl with the remaining fish and the halved eggs on top. Drizzle over some of the sauce, scatter over the parsley and serve with a lemon wedge and more of the lovely sauce on the side for extra helpings.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Real Food by Mike by Mike McEnearney (Hardie Grant Books, August 2017)