Curried mandarin orange “chicken” (Seychelles)

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands which is considered a part of Africa, even though it is located 1,500 km (over 900 miles) east of the mainland. It is a former colony of the United Kingdom. With 84,000 inhabitants it has the smallest population of any African country. Another thing worth mentioning is that it is a matriarchal society, with unwed mothers “the societal norm”.

The major agricultural products include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconut and cinnamon (which curiously are the main ingredients in the Belizean sweet potato pone featured in Vegventures several months ago). The cuisine, luckily, has not been influenced too much by Britain, but it has French and Asian influences. Chili, ginger, garlic and sometimes lemongrass are used to spice coconut milk curries. As most islanders, the Seychelleans eat a lot of fish. Chicken, rice, pumpkin, breadfruit and various other fruit such as papaya, mango and melons are also staples.

This Seychellois recipe for oven-baked chicken does not contain coconut milk, but it does feature fruit (yep, citrus fruit again, and there’s more coming next week!) and spices. The result was very tasty, one of the tastiest Vegventures recipes I have cooked.

To replace chicken I used Bryanna Clark Grogan’s seitan tofu turkey (unfortunately the recipe seems to be offline at the moment, a real shame as it’s excellent), but you could use chicken-style tofu or any commercial fake “chicken”. Thus you could make it soy-free or gluten-free (though likely not both).

Tamarind is a sweet and sour ingredient popular in Asian cooking, so you should be able to find it in any Asian grocery store and often in normal grocery stores as well. The Seychellean curry paste is a link to a page linked from the original recipe. I made things a bit easier and made it without the garlic and chili (to get curry powder that keeps well) and added a little minced garlic and chili to the recipe.

Curried mandarin orange “chicken”

Curried mandarin orange vegan "chicken"

500 g/1.1 lbs “chicken”
90 g/3 oz mandarin orange segments
30 ml/1 oz mandarin orange juice
30 ml/1 oz vegetable broth
2 tsp sliced almonds
1 tsp raisins
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp Seychelles curry paste
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp mango chutney (chopped if it contains large mango pieces)
salt and black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200C/390 F. Place the “chicken” and the mandarin segments in an oven-proof pan (preferably a deep one). Mix all the other ingredients together and pour the sauce into the dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with rice (I served it with green beans, as I try to avoid eating rice etc).

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