Bunny Chow, a quintessential South African dish, has its roots in the vibrant Indian community of Durban. This hearty and flavourful meal consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with spicy curry. Originally created as a convenient way for workers to carry their lunches, Bunny Chow has evolved into a beloved street food and a symbol of South Africa's rich cultural melting pot.
1 large loaf of white bread
500g boneless chicken or lamb (vegetarians can use chickpeas or mixed vegetables)
2 large onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
15 ml vegetable oil
15 ml curry powder (mild or hot, depending on preference)
5 ml turmeric powder
5 ml cumin seeds
5 ml coriander powder
5 ml garam masala
2 green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
250 ml chicken or vegetable stock
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
1. Cut the loaf of bread in half and hollow out the centre of each half, leaving a thick wall and base. Set aside the scooped bread.
2. Heat oil in a large pan. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add chopped onions, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
3. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, coriander powder, and garam masala. Cook for a minute until fragrant.
4. Add the chicken (or alternative protein/vegetables), ensuring it's well-coated with the spices. Cook until it starts to brown.
5. Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies (if using), and salt. Cook until the tomatoes break down.
6. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
7. Once the curry is cooked, spoon it into the hollowed-out bread loaves.
8. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
9. Use the scooped-out bread as a 'cap' on top or on the side for dipping.
Bunny Chow is traditionally served as is, meant to be eaten with hands. The bread soaks up the curry, making each bite a delicious combination of flavours and textures. This traditional Bunny Chow recipe captures the essence of South African cuisine – a fusion of cultures and tastes, offering a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. Whether you opt for a meaty or vegetarian version, Bunny Chow remains a hearty, satisfying dish that truly embodies the spirit of South Africa's diverse food landscape.