Curried Haddock Pilav

To love smoked fish is to love something that is really good for you... and this healthy curried haddock pilav (or pilaf?!) is better than good for you - it's brilliant. In fairness, pre-cholesterol-gate, this isn't necessarily a recipe that would have jumped off the page at me... but in actual fact, smoked fish, rice and sweet onions are a great combination - and a little bit of curry flavour from the garam masala makes the whole thing quite delicious. My husband can literally eat buckets of it... This low fat and low cholesterol basmati rice recipe is tasty, easy to cook and will definitely win over anyone you feed it to.


  • Smoked Haddock
  • 1.5 Mugs Wholegrain Basmati Rice
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/2 Green Chilli
  • 5 Cardamon Pods
  • 5 Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Dill, Mint, Coriander, Chives
  • Milk (for poaching)

To prepare the Basmati Rice – wash it and soak it for a couple of hours if you can.  This reduces cooking time, which should be increased if you haven’t washed it!  Wash it by carefully rubbing grains together in water, and rinsing out up to 3 times… Leave it in the fridge covered in water with 1 tsp Salt stirred through… drain before cooking

To prepare the Smoked Haddock – bring a pan of Semi / Skimmed Milk to the boil (gently)… Add the Smoked Haddock fillets to the pan; turn off the heat and leave for 5 – 10 minutes until the fish is just flaking (ie cooked).  Drain the fish and flake it into a bowl (!)

Meanwhile, fry half a Red and a whole White Onion gently in a good drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over a low ish heat.  Add the Cardamon, Peppercorns, Garam Masala, Curry Powder and Salt & Pepper

When the Onions are starting to brown – add the Garlic and Chilli, and cook for a minute or two

Now, add the Rice and stir to coat in Olive Oil

Now add enough water to cover the Rice by half a centimetre…

Cover with paper and a lid, and cook for 6 minutes on a medium heat.  Then move to a very very low heat and cook for another 6 minutes.  Check the Rice at this stage, and stir… Wholegrain Rice takes longer to cook, so you might need to re-cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, but it is unlikely it will need longer if you soaked it earlier

Once cooked – leave to stand for 5 minutes and then add the flaked Smoked Haddock.  You could also add some chopped fresh Coriander if you fancied…

Add a final crunch of Black Pepper and serve with a handful of Watercress and some sliced Tomatoes

This recipe isn’t exactly his – but it is based on Simon Hopkinson’s recipe for smoked haddock pilav which is equally good… 

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