Light Meals, Salads

Coronation Cauliflower

I love to transform classic dishes that include meat into really tasty plant-based recipes. Coronation chicken was created by florist Constance Spry and chef Rosemary Hume, who were both principles of the Cordon Bleu Cookery School. They invented the recipe, which featured cold cooked chicken in a creamy curry sauce, for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Thanks to its popularity, it's since become a British classic, and is usually enjoyed as a sandwich filling or served cold as a salad, sometimes with rice.

I used to love Coronation Chicken, and made the dish to the original recipe for a party I held to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage – very retro! It was delicious, so I'm surprised it's taken me this long to work up a plant-based version.

Faced with a large cauliflower that was slightly past its best, I was scouring the fridge for inspiration – and there, on the top shelf, was a jar of Follow Your Heart Vegenaise and some leftover mango chutney. Just like that, a new vegan recipe was born – and just like the original, it's absolutely delicious.

6-8 sandwiches


1kg head cauliflower, separated into florets

3 tbsp light oil

2-3 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

For the sauce

2 tbsp medium curry powder

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

4 tbsp good mango chutney – Geeta's is great

200ml good vegan mayonnaise – Follow Your Heart is my favourite

200ml coconut yogurt, or other non-dairy yogurt

2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

To serve

60g flaked almonds, toasted

Handful chopped coriander

Crusty bread of your choice

Peppery leafy salad, such as watercress, or cold rice salad


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4, and line a large baking tray with parchment or foil.
  2. In a big bowl, combine the cauliflower florets with the oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Spread evenly across the baking tray, and add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bake for around 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is slightly charred and just cooked. Be careful not to overcook it: you want it to retain a little bite.
  3. When the cauliflower is cooked, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, make your sauce. Heat a small frying pan on a medium-low heat, and add the curry powder. Gently toast it for a minute or so to release its fragrance, being careful not to let it burn.
  5. Add the ginger, cook for a further minute, then pour the contents of the pan into a large mixing bowl. Add all the other sauce ingredients to the bowl, and stir to combine.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick from the cauliflower, and add it to the bowl. Gently combine, trying not to break up the florets.
  7. Serve the coronation cauliflower on a large plate or bowl, sprinkled with the toasted almond flakes and coriander. If you're using this mixture in sandwiches, use good bread, and serve with a peppery salad alongside. Alternatively, omit the bread and serve with a green salad and perhaps some cold rice.

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