DAYBREAKER KEDGEREE

I can’t think of a better daybreaker than fried onion rice with seared portobello mushrooms and runny poached eggs.

Serves 4 as a main course

1½ cups basmati rice
½ ounce dried mushrooms (e.g. porcini)
butter
10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
1¾-inch cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 yellow onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ pound portobello mushrooms, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin (plus extra to serve)
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt (plus extra to serve)
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped (plus extra to serve)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4–8 eggs

Wash the rice in a few changes of cold water. When the water runs clear, leave to soak in cold water for 20 minutes, or in warm water for 10 minutes if you can’t wait that long. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with ½ cup of freshly boiled water.

Put 2 tablespoons of butter into a wide lidded frying pan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, add the curry leaves, cinnamon stick, and black pepper. Stir for a minute, then add the onions and garlic. Turn the heat down and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, put a tablespoon of butter into a separate frying pan over medium to high heat. When hot, add as many portobello mushroom slices as will fit without them touching. Fry for 2 minutes, then turn the mushrooms over, fry again for a minute or two, then slide onto a plate. Repeat until all have been cooked.

Drain the dried mushrooms, but keep the soaking water. Roughly chop and discard any tough stems. Gently pour the mushroom stock into a measuring cup, leaving the last tablespoon behind, as it can be very gritty. Top up with tap water to make 2 cups of liquid.

When the onions have turned a lovely caramel color, add the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and salt. Stir to mix, then add the drained rice, chopped dried mushrooms, and mushroom stock. Cover the pan with the lid, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir through the cilantro, lemon juice, and portobello mushrooms. Taste and readjust the seasoning if need be, then put the lid back on to allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes.

Now poach the eggs. Fill a wide saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Stir the water, break the eggs into the pan, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes for a soft yolk or up to 4 minutes for a firm yolk. While the eggs are poaching, divide the rice between plates or bowls. Remove the poached eggs with a slotted spoon and lay over the top. Sprinkle with salt, cumin, and a little extra chopped cilantro, then serve.