I’m a huge believer in one pot cooking and this recipe is fast becoming one of my mid-week favourites. There are so many lovely flavours in this dish, and it’s just so simple. I know many people use the 1 part rice to 2 parts water rule but I swear by 1 and a half parts water to 1 part rice for perfectly cooked, fluffy rice, every time. Watch out for haddock bones – even when boned, you may find a sneaky few. This recipe serves 4.
Smoked haddock pilaf
2 tsp garam masala
250g/9oz basmati rice
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, zest only
pinch of chilli flakes
1 small piece fresh root ginger, peeled, finely grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
375ml/13fl oz light chicken stock
400g/14oz un-dyed smoked haddock fillet, boned, skin on, cut into 4 equal portions
2 free-range eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, grated
2 spring onions, trimmed, finely sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
lemon juice, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based lidded casserole dish. Add the garam masala and allow to sizzle gently for a moment or two. Tip in the rice and stir around until the grains are well coated in the spicy butter.
Add the bay leaf, lemon zest, chilli, ginger and a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the stock, bring up to a simmer, then lay the fish on top, gently submerging it under the surface. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 6 minutes without removing the lid; this allows the rice to finish cooking.
Take off the lid, remove the skin from the fish and add the chopped egg, onions and coriander and, using two forks, gently mix the rice, breaking the fish into flakes, mixing everything else in as you go. Remove the bay leaf and cover with a clean tea towel, clamp on the lid, and leave for a further five minutes to remove any excess steam. Mix again lightly.
Serve with a good squeeze of lemon juice.