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It's a classic brunch dish for special occasions, but this recipe would be wonderful at any time of the day. Serve with some fresh crusty bread or a green salad.

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For the madras curry paste

For the haddock and rice

For the sauce

To serve


  1. For the madras curry paste, toast the coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chilli powder and turmeric in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. When they start to pop and crackle in the pan, add the peppercorns and toast for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  2. Add the ginger and garlic to the spice mix and place in a mini blender or pestle and mortar. Add the vinegar and blend or pound to a smooth paste.

  3. For the haddock and rice, place the milk and 500ml/18fl oz water in a large pan. Stud each half of the onion with a clove and bay leaf then add to the milk and bring to the boil.

  4. Place the haddock in a deep roasting tin and pour over the hot milk. Cover with cling film very quickly to seal in the steam and heat. Set aside for approximately 45 minutes.

  5. Remove the cling film and transfer the haddock to a plate. Remove the fish skin and any bones and leave it chunky and as whole as possible.

  6. Wash the rice several times until the water becomes clear. Add the rice, 1 litre/1¾ pint water and the turmeric to a pan and bring to the boil. When boiled cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Set aside for 20 minutes, then spread the cooked rice over a tray to cool.

  7. For the sauce, in a large pan gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger in the sunflower oil until the onions are light golden-brown. Add the madras paste and cook for five minutes then add the chilli, star anise and bay leaf. Add 100ml/3½fl oz water and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

  8. Add the double cream and simmer for 10 minutes then transfer to a blender and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  9. To serve, transfer the sauce to a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the rice and gently reheat. Fold in three-quarters of the haddock and heat through.

  10. Meanwhile, fill a large pan with boiling water and the white wine vinegar, and poach the eggs to your liking.

  11. At the last minute, add the remaining haddock and chopped parsley and serve in warm bowls with a poached egg on top. Finish with a spoonful of melted butter, a sprinkle of coriander cress and a little salt and pepper.

Recipe Tips

Any leftover paste will keep for up to one month in an airtight container in the fridge, covered with a film of sunflower oil to preserve from the air.