Basmati rice, fresh spice, fish & egg

This is a wonderfully satisfying, yet surprisingly light dish perfect for breakfast or any little snack. Based on the Indian ‘kheari’ (pronounced “kitsch er ree”) dish of lentils and rice this, as my father says, “can’t be simpler, just a little rice, lentils and a bit of ‘haldi’ (turmeric)”. With the colonial-influenced addition of smoked fish and eggs, it can be as hearty as you want to make it. Here, I’ve concentrated on fresh, flavours, unctuous eggs and delicately sweet, fluffy rice


Ingredients for the rice:

½ medium onion, finely diced

1 tbsp ghee, butter or a splash of vegetable oil

2 cups of Green Saffron’s Aged Basmati rice

½ cup channa dahl pulses

2 tbsp Cork, Plymouth or Hendricks Gin

5 cups of hot water, vegetable or meat stock WITH 5 or 6 SAFFRON STIMGA steeping in it

½ tsp sea salt (but any salt will do)

2 tsp GREEN SAFFRON Korma blend

Good handful bright green (de-hulled) pistachios, lightly crushed – keep a tbsp for garnish

1 tbsp Green Saffron’s rose petals (optional but really worth it for beautiful colour and fragrance)

A good handful of chives and tarragon finely chopped


Garnish ingredients (for later)

(a tablespoon or so of the crushed pistachios from above)

2 limes cut in half, lengthwise (through the poles)


Ingredients for the poached eggs

4 large, fresh hen eggs

Salt (optional)

(bowl of ice-cold water)


Ingredients for the fish part

4 fillets of haddock or 2 kippers or your favourite type of white fish

4 little knobs of butter



This recipe is split into three sections for simplicity sake; the rice, the eggs and then the fish. Finally, it explains how to combine all three simple parts to make and present the dish…here goes…

Firstly, let’s get the rice on:

Turn on your oven to 180ºC or Gas Mark 4 to ‘pre-heat’ it

  1. Melt the ghee or butter in a large casserole dish over a gentle heat, then add the onion and sweat until it’s good and soft
  2. Tip in the rice and channa dahl pulses, then stir around for a minute or two, coating all the grains with the melted ghee, butter
  3. Add the gin and allow to bubble away, leaving only its beautiful perfume in the pan!
  4. Next, pour the hot water (or stock) into the casserole, sprinkle in the salt, and 2tsp GREEN SAFFRON Korma, give it a quick but gentle stir
  5. Cover the casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid or tin foil and place on a middle shelf in your pre-heated oven.
  6. After 10 – 15 minutes check the dish to see if all the liquid has been absorbed

*NB If there’s still some liquid remaining, return the covered casserole dish to the oven and give it a couple more minutes until all the liquid has finally been absorbed

  1. Remove from the oven, take off the lid or gingerly rip off the foil, fluff with a fork, gently mixing through the pistachios, rose petals, half of the fresh coriander and half of the chives, cover again and set aside for a little bit, whilst you get on finishing the other parts…..


Next, the eggs  I’m sure you’ll have your tried and trusted method for making your own poached eggs, but here’s the way I do it

  1. Pour hot water into a saucepan, pop onto a high heat and as soon as it begins to bubble, turn down to a very gentle ‘bubble’, then add a teaspoon of salt (if using)
  2. Swirl the water around with a fork or whisk to form a gentle whirlpool, crack a couple of room temperature eggs into the centre of the ‘pool’
  3. Allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes in the only the gentlest of bubbling water
  4. As soon as cooked or the egg white has just turned opaque, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and carefully drop into the icy cold water
  5. Repeat for the other two eggs and set aside.


Now, for the fish

  1. Turn your oven onto 180°C
  2. Grab a heavy gauge baking tray, place the fillets of fish on the tray, skin down, pop the butter on and loosely cover with a square of baking paper
  3. Pop in the oven and roast for 5 to 7minutes or until the flesh is only just cooked and translucent
  4. Take the tray out of the oven and, using a fish slice, gently remove the fillet from the tray, leaving the skin behind.
  5. Set the fillets aside and pour the buttery juices over the rice.


Finally, let’s put it all together:

  1. Carefully drop each egg back into the pan of rolling, simmering water. Pop the lid on the pan and turn off the heat. Leave in for NO MORE than 3 minutes.
  2. Flake the fish filets over the rice and gently fold through
  3. Spoon the rice onto four plates, pop an egg on top of each little mound, sprinkle each with the fresh herbs, the reserved pistachios and serve each dish to your eager guests with half a lime and little mango chutney.

Now, simply tuck-in and watch your friends’ faces as they enjoy