Bunny Chow: the mouthwatering recipe for a popular South African street food dish

Total time: 60 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
chicken thighs or breast cut in bite-sized pieces
1 pound
Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup
curry leaves
2 to 3
ginger, minced
1 tsp
Garlic, minced
2 tsp
curry powder
1 tbsp
onion, diced
medium tomatoes, diced
cinnamon stick
1 1/2 tsp
green cardamom pods
potatoes, cubed
8 ounces
chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can
Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp
Chicken broth
1 1/2 cups
salt and pepper to taste

If you're a fan of flavorful, aromatic spiced curries, you'll love Durban bunny chow. This easy-to-make, ultra-popular South African street food is made from a richly flavored curry served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread.

Many people attribute its name to a corruption of the word banias, an Indian merchant caste. The dish is believed to have been first served in a restaurant owned by banias. The original bunny chow was vegetarian, but these days you can get versions with meat or vegetables. Bunny chow is eaten with the hands – although it may get a little messy, it's so delicious, we doubt you'll mind!

What is Bunny Chow?

Bunny chow is a popular South African dish that originated in Durban. It was created by Indian South Africans. It's a spiced curry that's served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread.

The reason why this delicious dish is served in a hollowed-out loaf is that the loaf served as an easy way for laborers to transport their lunch. Bunny chow is enjoyed as a meal or as a snack. It's similar to kota, which is served out of a quarter loaf rather than a full loaf.


How to Eat Durban Bunny Chow

Bunny chow is eaten with one's hands. Eat around the crust of the bread and dip bits of crust into the curry. It's a little messy, but it's the only real way to eat a bunny!

Tips for the Best Bunny Chow

If you don't like spice, leave out the cayenne pepper. For a spicier bunny chow, add in some chopped chilies.

To make vegetarian bunny chow, leave out the chicken or replace it with tofu or vegetables, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

You can make bunny chow with other types of meat if you prefer. Originally, it was made from vegetables. You can also use lamb, mutton, or beans. Traditionally, bunny chow was never made using beef, however, you can just as easily use beef as the main protein in your bunny chow.

If desired, you can garnish your bunny chow with some fresh chopped cilantro.

How to Store Bunny Chow

It's best to store the curry separately from the bread so the bread doesn't become soggy. Transfer the curry to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to Make Bunny Chow

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add in onions, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cayenne powder, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and curry leaves. Stir to combine. Cook for several minutes, until the onions turn translucent.

Stir in the tomatoes and chicken. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in the chickpeas, potatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens about 25 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Spoon the spiced curry into a hollowed loaf bread and garnish with fresh herbs.


Use low sodium chicken broth if you're watching your salt intake.

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