It’s mango season again, woop woop! And there is no better way to use super ripe fresh mangoes, in my opinion, than for this vegan mango cauliflower curry! A.k.a vegan mango “chicken.”
If you’ve gone plant based and have been searching for a plant-based substitute for mango chicken – this is it, friends.
It’s naturally sweet, rich and spiced to perfection. Trusty old cauliflower plays the part of vegan chicken for this curry, but could easily be replaced with young green jackfruit, a plant-based chicken substitute or any vegetable really!
It’s all about the delectable mango curry sauce, which is SO simple to make! And my absolute favourite side for this dish is black rice.
How to Cook Black Rice
We adore black rice in my household (even the toddler!), which is awesome because it’s so nutritious. It’s loaded with antioxidants and is a good source of iron, protein and fibre.
As with all rices, you can pre-soak it to help eliminate some of the phytic acid that can interfere with mineral absorption in your body. However, there’s no need to do it solely to reduce the cooking time, as pre-soaking black rice – surprisingly – doesn’t affect the cooking time by anything worth mentioning.
It took me a while to get black rice right. It seems to be quite touchy in that a little too much water results in a mushy rice, but not enough results in it being too chewy!
Using the absorption method, I’ve found that for each cup of black rice, 2 cups of water is not quite enough, but 2.5 cups is a little too much! So 2.25 cups of water is the magic amount for 1 cup of black rice.
- Add 1 cup of rinsed black rice, 2 1/4 cups of filtered water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (less or more to your liking) to a medium pot and bring it to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and pop the lid on.
- Cook for 35 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes with the lid still in place.
- Use a fork to ‘fluff’ it (gently break it up) before serving.
In the time it takes to cook the black rice, you can literally have the curry ready. This brings us to…
How to Make The Best Vegan Mango ‘Chicken’
First of all, you want to make sure your mangoes are RIPE. I’m talking almost too ripe. In fact, I buy a bag of seconds – or “smoothie” mangoes – for this purpose. You want the ones that are super soft, a little bruised and probably needed to be eaten yesterday.
That aside, this recipe begins with making a curry paste in a blender. This epic vegan curry has become such a favourite in our house that I will often double or even triple the recipe for the paste and freeze it for next time!
To make the paste, we blend the following:
- Brown onion
- Fresh ginger
- Fresh garlic
- Spices – garam masala, ground cumin, ground cardamom and turmeric
- A dash of organic sunflower or coconut oil
- Coconut aminos (or tamari if not soy-free)
- Lime juice
- Good salt
Making the paste in the blender not only simplifies the process by eliminating the need to chop or mince anything, but it also makes for a nice smooth curry.
Once the paste is ready, set it aside and then add the diced mango and coconut milk to the blender (no need to wash it first) and blend until smooth.
Now you’re ready to start cooking the curry:
- Saute the chopped cauliflower florets in a frying pan with a little water over medium heat (lid on) for around 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Extend this cooking time by 5 or so minutes if you like your cauliflower well-cooked and extra soft.
- Add the curry paste and cook for 2-3 mins, stirring it gently through the cauliflower until it is sizzling and aromatic.
- Pour in the mango/coconut milk mixture and cook until heated through.
- Garnish with fresh coriander, lime wedges and fresh chilli (optional, of course)!
There’s no better vegan summer curry in my books! This one’s truly special guys.
Hope you love it like I do! Be sure to let me know in the comments below or simply give me an anonymous rating. I’d be so grateful 🙏🤗🌱
A naturally sweet and mind-blowingly flavourful plant based curry!
- 1 brown onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 cm knob of fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce if ok with soy)
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp good salt
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 head cauliflower (approx. 600g)
- 3 cups fresh diced mango
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup black rice
- 2 + 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 tsp good salt
Start by rinsing the black rice and adding it to a pot with 2 + 1/4 cups of filtered water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring it to the boil then reduce heat to a very low simmer and leave to cook for 35 minutes with the lid on.
Meanwhile, add all the curry paste ingredients to a blender and blend to a paste (can be slightly chunky or super smooth, up to you). Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Add the mango and coconut milk to the same blender jug (no need to rinse) and blend until smooth.
Cut the cauliflower into 2-3cm florets and add then to a large frypan with 1/4 cup of water. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes with the lid on, until the cauliflower begins to soften. Extend this cooking time by a further 5 minutes if you prefer your cauli to be softer.
Add the curry paste and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, gently stirring the paste through the cauliflower until it is sizzling and aromatic.
Pour in the mango/coconut milk mixture and stir through well. Cook a further 3-4 minutes until curry is bubbling hot.
After black rice has cooked for 35 minutes, remove it from heat and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before removing the lid and gently stirring it with a fork before serving with the curry.
Optionally, garnish the curry with fresh coriander, extra coconut milk, fresh lime and some chillies. Enjoy!