Today we’re going to veganise one of the nation’s favourite dishes – Nandos chicken!
Surprisingly, one of the questions I’ve been asked the most since turning vegan is, ‘how much do I miss Nandos?’. I don’t know what it’s like overseas but Nandos is like a religion here in the UK for anyone under the age of 35 and the thought of not being able to eat it anymore really really messes with peoples heads!
So I wanted to recreate that restaurant quality peri peri flavour with some vegan chicken pieces that would impress vegans and non-vegans alike.
The vegan ‘chicken’ is made from the same seitan recipe that I used last month in this vegan KFC burger recipe. Once you make the seitan you can store it in the fridge for about a week and a half, or the freezer for up to 6 months.
The delicious flavour for these vegan Nandos-style chicken pittas comes from my homemade peri peri sauce that I posted on the blog earlier this week. I’d highly recommend using the homemade sauce in this recipe but if you are really pushed for time you can always pick up some of the Nando’s own-brand sauce from the supermarket. I won’t tell anyone you cheated.
I know the ingredients and method might look a little daunting but the bulk of the work is in making the setian. This batch will make way more than you need and it will keep for months in the freezer for another recipe later on. It’s really worth the effort.
I hope you enjoy these Vegan Nandos-style Pittas as much as I did. Drop me a comment below to let me know how you got on with them.
Vegan 'Nandos' Chicken Pittas
A delicious homemade vegan version of Nandos chicken pittas. Packed full of flavour and sure to impress vegans and non-vegans alike.
Seitan dry ingredients
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup chickpea (gram) flour
Seitan wet ingredients
- 1 cup diced tofu (squeezed of excess moisture)
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
Broth (for cooking seitan)
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Peri Peri marinade
- My homemade peri peri sauce or Nandos marinade from the shops
For the pittas
- 300 g seitan
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 6 pitta breads
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 handfuls of salad leaves
For the 'perinaise' spread
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonaise
- 1 tbsp peri peri sauce
Preparing the Seitan
Mix the dry ingredients for the seitan in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the seitan wet ingredients into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Add the blended wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Begin to mix the wet and dry ingredients with a spoon. Aim to combine the ingredients and get all the wet bits off the side of the bowl. Once the ingredients are combined into a ball, remove from the bowl onto a clean surface ready to knead.
Kneading the gluten mix properly is key to getting a good firm seitan, so get this part right! Knead the dough firmly for 10 minutes. You will feel the dough getting firmer, this is good. Punch the dough with your fist and do whatever you need to do to get a firm consistency with no air pockets. Be rough! You don't want your seitan too spongy when cooked. Knead it out so you end up with a thin (roughly 1cm thick) circle shape at the end of the 10 minutes. Set aside and rest for 10 minutes while you make the broth.
Making the broth and seitan
Heat the vegetable stock in a pan until simmering. Add the onion, rosemary and thyme and continue to simmer.
Cut the seitan dough into 4 pieces and place in the broth liquid. Simmer them in the broth for 35 minutes or firm to the touch.
Allow the seitan to cool completely. Once cooled tear each piece in half roughly. You now have the base for your 'chicken' done! Put the setian you don't need for the pittas in the fridge or freezer.
Making the pittas
Grab the seitan you will be using for the pittas and slice into thin strips. I find that thinner strips cook through better in the pan and take on more flavour.
Coat the seitan strips in the shop-bought Nandos marinade or my homemade peri peri sauce (link in article). Marinate in a bowl for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a griddle or frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, add the seitan to the pan and cook for 15 minutes, turning regularly. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the sliced pepper to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Add a little more oil if it's getting too dry.
Remove seitan and peppers from the pan into a large bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
Whilst the seitan is cooling a bit, prepare the 'perinaise' spread. In a small bowl, stir your peri peri sauce into the vegan mayonaise.
Time to assemble! Heat the pitta for a couple of minutes on each side in the pan you've just been using. Once the pocket opens up, remove from pan and cut in half. First, spread the 'perinaise' on the inside of the pitta, then add seitan and peppers. Lastly add some of the salad leaves for a bit of crunch. Done!