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Coronation chick peas: Vegan Mofo

With a lot of the dishes I've been experimenting with this MoFo, their origins have been lost in the mists of time - they're foods that have been cooked so long, no one knows who first invented them.

Not so with a staple of British sandwich fillings called coronation chicken, whose creation story is embedded in its name.

Coronation chicken was dreamt up - yes, you guessed it - for the Queen's coronation in 1952.

Here's the story behind it, as told by Buckingham Palace:

Coronation Chicken was invented for the foreign guests who were to be entertained after the Coronation. The food had to be prepared in advance, and Constance Spry, who also helped with floral arrangements on the day, proposed a recipe of cold chicken in a curry cream sauce with a well-seasoned dressed salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs. Constance Spry's recipe won the approval of the Minister of Works and has since been known as Coronation Chicken.

So when it came to veganising this dish, there was only one option for me: swap out chicken for chick peas. Not only does it keep with the dish's Anglo-Indian heritage, it also sounds kind of cool.

I'll be truthful here: this is actually my second attempt at veganising coronation chicken. When it was the queen's jubilee earlier this year, I gave it a crack, based on a high-falooting Mark Hix recipe. It wasn't too good.

This one that follows is a mix of the original Spry and Hume recipe, and various other cornonation wotsit recipes that litter the internet. I was surprised how good it turned out: even my mayonnaise-phobic other half loved it.

It's not quite enough to persuade me out of my republican views, but as monarchy-themed dishes go, it's a pretty good one!

Coronation chick pea
Makes one large bowl

one banana shallot, diced
1 and a half teaspoons garam masala
half a teaspoon of turmeric
half a teaspoon of chilli flakes
one can of chick peas, drained
100ml water
100ml red or white wine
bay leaf
2Tbps mango puree (a few chunks of mango whizzed in the blender)
Mayonnaise, or mix of mayonnaise and silken tofu/vegan yoghurt
A spring onion, chopped
Coriander leaf, chopped

How you do it
Fry the shallot in a little oil til soft.
Once it's softened, add in the garam masala, turmeric, and chilli flakes (omit the chilli if you'd prefer things a little milder) and cook for a couple of minutes more.
Then add the wine, water, bay leaf and drained chick peas and simmer until the liquid has all but gone.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool. 
Remove bay leaf, then add in mango puree and mix. 
Add mayonnaise to taste (a couple of healthy dessertspoons should do it).
Add a pinch of salt and mix again.
Top with chopped spring onion and coriander leaf.

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  1. Your mofo posts are so interesting! This looks great

  2. My husband makes Coronation Chicken and I am always jealous, so I am so glad you thought of doing it with chickpeas. I really need to try this!

  3. Truly fascinating! I had heard of coronation chicken before, but only as far as the name went. Never had I imagined that it would involve such spices and exotic ingredients. This is probably one of those dishes that you just have to taste to really understand.

  4. Coronation Chicken sounds vaguely familiar though I can't say I've ever eaten it. The ingredients seem like an interesting mix of flavours. Well done on making a vegan version with chickpeas and for another great history lesson!

  5. What's a banana shallot? Does it look like a banana? That would be weird. And mayo phobia is something I just don't understand...I could drink the stuff. Except that's gross. But I like mayo. And this dish looks wonderful (and so much better with chickpeas)!

  6. Shows how much I know, I just assumed this had something to do with Coronation Street. I don't get this mayo phobia you speak of, ever since I found Veganaise I can't get enough of the stuff!
    This sounds like it would taste really good with all those spices and mango, especially minus the chicken.

  7. Oh, this sounds so tasty!!!!

  8. I love this! I always see Coronation Chicken in the sandwich shops and restaurants and didn't know what it was (and of course there's never a vegan option). I feel like your dishes are going to make me popular over there :)

  9. Sounds like a good dish with lots of flavor. Chickpeas in a dish are so much more royal than chicken.

  10. I love chickpea salads and Veganaise is on my shopping list. The mango is the most intriguing ingredient; can't wait to try it.

  11. Yum! This sounds really good! I love the back story, too!

  12. Great job on veganizing the recipe! Anything with mayo is a winner in my book. :-)

  13. Wonderful! I always make coronation-style potato salads for picnics and they go down very well, but your chickpea version is fabulous!


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