Sunday, 3 January 2016

Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow is a South African dish, consisting of a bread loaf filled with meat or chicken or vegetable curry. Here I made with chicken. When we came to South Africa heard about a well known dish called Bunny Chow and many of the South Africans believe its a typical Indian dish as it is more popular among South African Indian community. 

There is a story with this recipe. During the Great Depression in 1933 Indians, whites and chinese in durban, SA, suffered hunger like everyone else. the kids then discovered that the cheapest curry they could buy for a quarter penny or half a penny, was made by a vegetarian Indian caste known in Durban slang as the Bania. It was made from dried sugar beans (no meat). The children didn't have plates, and one kid got the idea to hollow out a quarter bread , asked the seller to put the beans curry in the hollowed -out bread, and then used the broken bread he is taken out as a sort of eating utensil. Chinese food was called "Chow". Somehow the two words came together, Bania Chow. In time it simply became known as Bunny Chow. Cheap and practical food that time. Today it doest not matter what your skin colour or station in life is. Durbanites and people from the Kwa-Zulu-Natal province love their bunny chaw.

I searched for the recipe and tried at home. So here is recipe for you all to try..

  • Chicken 1 kg, medium size pieces with bones
  • Onion 3 Big, chopped
  • Green Chillies 4 nos, finely chopped
  • Garlic 4 cloves, chopped
  • Cumin Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala 1 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
  • Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Tomatoes 2 nos, chopped
  • Tomato Puree 1 tbsp
  • Potatoes 2 medium size, cubed
  • Whole Loaf white bread 2 nos
  • Cinnamon Stick 1 piece
  • Cloves 4 nos
  • Star Anees 1 full 
  • Salt
  • Oil

Cut and clean chicken and keep it aside. 

Take a medium size sauce pan and heat oil and add cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise, now add chopped garlic and saute till garlic turns little brown. Add onion and saute till it turns brown. Now add green chilli and saute for few seconds. Now add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, fennel powder and coriander powder, fry for 2 -3 minutes, stirring continuously. Add chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes leave oil. Add chopped potatoes and saute well. Add chicken pieces and saute well. Add some water and let it simmer on low heat. Add tomato puree and combine well. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes t0 40 minutes till the chicken is cooked. 

Now we can serve the bunny chow. Cut the fresh white bread loaves into halves or quarters for smaller portions and hollow out the centre, keep the hollowed piece. Fill the hollowed out bread with the hot chicken curry with the gravy so the bread soaks it all up. Serve with the scooped out bread, carrot salad (4 carrot( grated), Brown sugar 2 tsp, Lemon juice 1 tsp, salt, make a dressing of the lemon juice, brown sugar and salt mix well till the sugar resolves, then spread them over the grated carrots) and kachumber.

NB: You can make meat curry or paneer curry instead of chicken curry and fill into the bread loaf and serve. Enjoy cooking..


  1. This is an amazing one. soo unique yet so homely. thoroughly enjoyed it.


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