The whole of UK will be enjoying an extended four day weekend to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen’s coronation took place on 2nd June 1953 (she came to throne in February of the previous year). Sixty years on the throne deserve a recognition, many celebrations are planned including street parties all around the country. And of course we celebrate best with some great food (and drink) in hand.
Probably the most famous dish, from the two Coronation Banquets in 1953, is the Coronation Chicken. The recipe was created by Constance Spry and Rosemary Huyme. Constance suggested to make curried creamy chicken and Rosemary (the chef) executed the idea. For months now Coronation Chicken inspired dishes have been on the shelves of supermarkets, you can choose from the traditional chicken, veggie rice version or a Coronation dip. There even is a coronation ice-cream in an ice-cream shop in London.
I felt inspired and created my own plant based version of the famous dish. As in the original version I used a curry powder. When I made curries I blend my own spices but the generic curry powder taste is what makes this recipe traditional as that is what they would use in 1953. Just make sure you use a good quality one, I get mine in an Asian shop. You can also use a good curry paste.
The original version is mayo heavy and I didn’t want to just open a jar and replace the regular mayo with a vegan one. Therefore a tofu/cashew dressing was born, the quantities given make more than you will need but it tastes great and you will find other uses (great with new potatoes). The salad ingredients can be easily doubled to make enough to feed a crowd, it makes a great potluck dish.
Here is to the Queen, who has kept going with seemingly boundless energy through all the ups and downs in the 60 years of her rule. I will be raising a glass of Pimm’s to her health.
CORONATION CHICKPEA SALAD
1/3 cup (60g) wild rice
1/2 Tbs rapeseed/canola or olive oil
1 small to medium red onion, finely diced
2 tsp mild curry powder
1 Tbs tomato puree
1 tin of chickpeas, drained
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs raisins
6 dried apricots, cut into roughly raisin size
4 spring onions, white part only, finely sliced
handful of toasted flaked almonds
handful of fresh coriander chopped
1/2 cup (60ml) water
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 pack of silken tofu (about 170g – 6oz)
1 heaped Tbs mango chutney
good pinch of saffron
2 Tbs lemon juice
pinch of salt
First cook the rice in 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and cool down. Set aside.
In a frying pan heat the oil, gently saute the onion until tender but do not brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the curry powder and cook for 30 seconds. Next add the tomato puree. Stir together.
Add the chickpeas and 2 Tbs of water to the frying pan. Season with salt. Cook gently until the water is evaporated and the chickpeas are coated with thick curry paste. Let the chickpeas cool down.
When the rice and chickpeas have cooled down place them into a bowl and add the rest of the salad ingredients.
To make the dressing blend all the ingredients in a blender till smooth. Pour some of the dressing over the salad, mix well. The salad should be very creamy. You can overdo the dressing a bit, it thickens in the fridge. Chill.
Decorate with some almonds and coriander. Enjoy!
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