This is the original dish on which the familiar kedgeree is based, with its addition of chopped, hard-boiled eggs and flaked fish. Rice and lentils alone are a very good combination, one that provides complete protein, and the dish is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.


  • ½ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon each whole cumin and ground coriander
  • seeds of 4 cardamom pods
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 350 g (12 oz) basmati rice
  • 125 g (generous 4 oz) red lentils
  • 2 or 3 curry leaves, if available, or a bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Heat a heavy-based well-seasoned, or non-stick saucepan, and in it toast first the pepper and cloves, then add the cumin and coriander after a couple of minutes, and then the cardamom and mustard seeds. Stir in the turmeric, and then add the onion to the spices, and coat it well.

Add the rice and lentils, and when well coated with the spice mixture, add the leaves, the salt and about 600 mls (1 pint) water. Bring to the boil, cover tightly with the lid, and cook on the lowest possible heat for 15 to 18 minutes, without removing the lid. Fork the ingredients together, turn off the heat, replace the lid and let the mixture dry off for a few minutes before serving.