Real Food by Mike
Alan Benson

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-flavoured 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.


Quantity Ingredient
4 eggs
80g french shallots, finely diced
60g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for finishing
35g pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon currants
2 tablespoons curry powder
200g basmati rice
20g plain flour
320ml water or fish stock
80ml thickened cream
1 lemon, juiced, plus lemon wedges to serve
500g hot-smoked ocean trout or salmon, flaked
1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, shredded


  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. 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 375 ml (11/2 cups) water and bring to the boil. Cover the pan tightly with the lid, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. By this time the rice should be ready. Remove the pan from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before removing the lid.
  6. 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.

Medicinal Benefit

  • 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.
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