2 November 2015
At the beginning of the month we hosted a Friends of the National Gallery event at The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant, centred around the beautiful painting of The Vegetable Stallby William York Macgregor. To tie into this, the National Library of Scotland very kindly allowed us to use a recipe for a Madras curry powder that dates back to the 1840s, just a few years before the painting was completed. We’ve now adopted it both at The Scottish Cafe for our curry of the month and at Cannonball for our kedgeree. The past can be the best starting point when seeking inspiration. Perhaps Halloween is the perfect reminder that the old days can be magical for lots of good reasons.
Read more: Carina Contini recipe: Kedgeree
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
generous pinch of salt
drizzle of honey
600g undyed smoked haddock fillet, skin left on
600ml full-fat milk
6 cardamom pods
100g unsalted butter, plus extra to finish
1 onion, very finely chopped
400g basmati rice
600ml vegetable stock or light fish stock
handful of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
handful of coriander, coarsely chopped
4 wedges of unwaxed lemon or lime, to garnish
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp dried red chilli
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp whole peppercorn
CARINA CONTINI RECIPE: KEDGEREE
1 To make the curry powder (enough for two batches of kedgeree), roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan until they start to pop. Add the chilli, turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon and heat through for a few seconds. You don’t want the spices to burn or they will become bitter and unusable. Put everything, including the clove and peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. When cool, store in an airtight container where it will last for up to 2 months.
2 Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Place the parsnips on a roasting tray with a drizzle of olive oil, honey and salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes until tender and slightly golden.
3 Prepare the haddock. Place in a pan, cover with milk and add the cardamom pods. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the haddock from the milk and carefully flake the fish from the skin. Be sure to remove any bones. Set aside. Strain the milk and set aside.
4 Heat the butter and remaining olive oil in a large casserole. When they are hot, add the onion and fry until soft and translucent. Add the rice and half of the curry powder, then cook for a few minutes to release the flavours. Add half the haddock-poaching milk and the stock. Simmer for about 12 minutes until the rice is cooked but still has some bite. It should be flaky and fluffy. Remove from the heat. Fold in the roasted parsnips, flaked haddock, parsley, coriander and a generous knob of butter. Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.