Bunny Chow Easy Recipe – South African Curry served inside Bread

As the golden rays of the late afternoon sun spill into my cozy kitchen nook, a sense of adventurous culinary spirit takes hold of me. It’s Gobble here, from the passionate food haven, Food and Meal, ready to embark on a gastronomic journey that promises to be as vibrant and heartwarming as the dish itself: the legendary Bunny Chow.

This isn’t just any ordinary meal—it’s a storied dish born in the bustling streets of Durban, South Africa, a melting pot of cultures and flavors. To me, Bunny Chow is a testament to innovation and communal dining; it’s a recipe that captures the essence of sharing and brings together friends and strangers over its hearty allure.

The urge to recreate Bunny Chow in my kitchen stems from a place of warmth and inclusivity, much like the loaf of bread that cradles its mouthwatering curry. There’s something profoundly comforting about hollowing out a loaf and filling it with aromatic spices, tender meats, or lush vegetables, all simmering together to create a flavor-packed indulgence that seems to hug your soul.

Making Bunny Chow is more than following a recipe; it’s an act of celebration, a nod to the resourcefulness that turns simple, humble ingredients into a feast for the senses. Each spoonful is a vibrant dance of tastes, a delicious rebellion against the confines of cutlery, encouraging you to dive in with your hands and savor each bite unapologetically.

In this blog post, I’ll share not only the how-to of assembling this South African classic but also sprinkle in personal reflections on how food, much like music, can transcend boundaries and unite us in unexpected ways. Through the love language of cooking, we’ll discover that a dish like Bunny Chow is more than sustenance—it’s a story, a shared experience, a piece of history enjoyed one delectable morsel at a time.

Bunny Chow Recipe

Bunny Chow
Bunny chow – a canvas for culinary creativity, adorned with vibrant cilantro.
Bunny Chow Recipe

Bunny Chow

Another South African dish, Bunny Chow is a popular street food in the country. It's a highly spiced curry that is usually accompanied by a sambal or chutney. It dates back to the arrival of Indian migrant workers to South Africa. The hollowed-out bread was an easy way to transport vegetable curries, and the dish evolved over time to incorporate meat filling.
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Course: Bread, Dinner, Main dishes
Cuisine: African
Keyword: bunny chow
CookingStyle: Baking, Handcrafted Cooking
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 428kcal
Author: Food and Meal
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  • Chop the onions, garlic cloves, garlic, and green chilies. Peel and dice the potatoes into cubes.
  • Add oil in a large pan on medium heat
  • Add the bay leaves, cassia bark, star anise and fry for 30- 40 seconds to infuse the oil
  • Add the cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, fennel seeds And constantly stir until mustard seeds start popping.
  • Add chopped onions and fry for 5 minutes, frequently Stirring until it is translucent and starting to brown.
  • Add the chopped garlic cloves and ginger and fry for Further few minutes. Then, add the curry leaves and stir.
  • Add all the spices together and constantly stir for a couple Of minutes. If spices start sticking to the pan, add a little water to Compensate.
  • Add the meat, in 1-inch chunks, trimmed of any excess Fat. Add some lamb bone to the pot for extra flavor if you have any.
  • Coat well with the mixture and fry for 2 more minutes Until the meat is sealed.
  • Add the plum tomatoes and tomato ketchup and mix well. Add the coriander stalks/leaves and fry for a few minutes.
  • Add the potato, green chilies, and any other vegetable that You have and stir thoroughly for 2 minutes. Then, add 300l water and Stir well.
  • Turn down the heat to low, cover and leave to cook for 1½ Hours or until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning and add fresh coriander leaves. (you can add more water to your desired consistency if you don't like A thick bunny).
  • Remove any bone and sticks.




Bunny Chow Easy Recipe - South African Curry Served Inside Bread 2
  1. Take a cube-shaped chunk of flat bottomed bread And cut a cube of the inner bread out using a knife leaving about 1.5- 2cm around the sides and the bottom.
  2. Cut the removed inner into stripes (optional)
  • Ladle the curry into the hole in the bread and top With some carrot salad and the excess bread.
  • Don’t worry if it gets messy. It’s supposed to be.
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Serving: 4servings | Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 445mg
© Food And Meal

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

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Alternative Method: Making Bunny Chow in a Slow Cooker

Bunny Chow
Cooking bunny chow: slow-cooked perfection in every spoonful.

To prepare a delicious slow cooker Bunny Chow, start by heating vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped onions until translucent and slightly golden. Stir in minced garlic, grated ginger, and curry powder, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes to release the spices’ aroma. Add boneless chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides for added depth of flavor. Transfer the sautéed mixture to the slow cooker, and then add diced tomatoes, coconut milk, and diced potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, mixing everything well. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours until the chicken is tender and the flavors are well blended. Before serving, slice a white bread loaf into individual servings, creating a hollow space in each slice to serve as the “bunny.” Ladle the rich chicken curry into the hollowed bread slices, creating a delightful combination of sauce-soaked bread and aromatic filling. Serve the slow cooker Bunny Chow hot to savor the comforting South African flavors with the convenience of a slow cooker.

Tips for making Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow
Get your hands on bunny chow – a south african delight in every bite.

Serving Suggestions

A side of QUICK PICKLES, with their tangy crunch, can serve as an attractive counterpoint to the spiciness and depth of Bunny Chow. They cleanse the palate and add a delightful textural contrast to the soft bread and tender curry-laden filling.

Pairing with Kachumbari – a refreshing East African salad typically made with tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and sometimes avocado – which would not only add freshness but also uphold the African theme.

To soothe the heat that curried dishes often bring, consider serving Bunny Chow with a chilled glass of Almond Milk or Soy Milk. Their creaminess will complement the fiery spices beautifully.

Serving Bunny Chow with a side of Daikon Salad might seem like crossing continents, yet the lightness and crisp bite of the salad offer a pleasing contrast to the rich warmth of the main dish.

Since Bunny Chow is a feast for the senses, may we also suggest ending the meal with something sweet like Sweet Mochi? This Japanese dessert will add a subtle sweetness and interesting textural experience to your dining adventure.

Cooking Tips

Bunny Chow
Storing bunny chow: make it ahead and enjoy even richer flavors the next day.

Begin by choosing the perfect loaf—traditionally, Bunny Chow is served in a hollowed-out white bread loaf, but feel free to experiment. A good-quality, dense loaf holds up better against the liquid of the curry, ensuring each bite is satisfyingly soaked yet robust enough to hold in your hands.

The soul of Bunny Chow lies in its curry, and here is where your personal flair comes into play. Whether it’s succulent chicken, tender beef, or a medley of vegetables, select fresh ingredients that sing to your taste. And remember, take time to let your spices bloom—a gentle sauté brings out their vibrant character and layers in complexity.

Embrace patience when it comes to simmering. Allowing the curry to simmer gently melds the spices with your main ingredients, creating a depth of flavor that feels like a warm embrace. The curry should be moist but not too liquidy to prevent the bread from becoming overly soggy.

Now, hollowing out the loaf is an art itself. Do so with a gentle hand, preserving the base and sides to create a sturdy vessel. The scooped-out bread isn’t to be discarded—those fluffy insides are perfect for dipping and savoring the curry’s rich sauce.

Serving Bunny Chow is about community and comfort. Dish it out directly on a clean board or plate, and encourage everyone to tuck in—no forks or spoons needed. This act converts a meal into a shared, intimate affair, imbibing the dish with extra joy and stories.

And here’s a personal note—don’t stress about perfection. Bunny Chow is rustic, generous, and forgiving. As long as there’s passion in your cooking and smiles around your table, you’ve mastered the essence of this iconic dish.

FAQs about Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow
Raise a glass of south african lager to accompany your flavorful bunny chow
  • Can I use a different type of bread for Bunny Chow? While a traditional white bread loaf is commonly used, you can experiment with other types of bread like whole wheat or artisan loaves to add a unique twist to your Bunny Chow.
  • Can I make Bunny Chow in advance for a party? Yes, Bunny Chow can be made in advance and reheated before serving. In fact, many people find that the flavors deepen and improve when it’s prepared ahead of time.
  • Is Bunny Chow always made with chicken, or are there other protein options? While chicken is a popular choice, Bunny Chow can be made with various proteins, including lamb, beef, or even a vegetarian version with beans and vegetables. Feel free to get creative with your fillings.
  • Can I freeze Bunny Chow for later consumption? Yes, Bunny Chow can be frozen. Ensure it’s stored in an airtight container to maintain its freshness. Thaw and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop when ready to enjoy.
  • How spicy is Bunny Chow? Can I adjust the heat level? The spice level of Bunny Chow can be adjusted by varying the type and amount of curry powder. You have full control over the heat, so feel free to make it as mild or spicy as you like.
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In the culinary tapestry of South Africa, Bunny Chow holds a special place, as it reflects the vibrant history and cultural fusion that characterize this nation. As we conclude our exploration of this beloved street food, generously filled with richly spiced curry and cradled in a hollowed-out loaf of bread, let us remember the unique journey it represents—a journey from the humble kitchens of Indian immigrants to the bustling streets of Durban and beyond, becoming an emblem of comfort and communal spirit.

This dish, much more than a mere means of sustenance, is a testament to the power of food in bridging cultural divides and fostering connections. The Bunny Chow’s development has been nurtured by a shared love of flavorsome, heartening food that welcomes adaptation and personalization. Whether you savor it in the traditional manner, using chunky bread to scoop up the aromatic curry, or you introduce variations and accompaniments from different cuisines, the essence of Bunny Chow remains.

The amalgamation of spices, the variety of fillings, and the sheer joy of digging into a loaf lined with piquant curry highlight the adaptability and creativity inherent in food cultures. Websites such as Food And Meal or foodandmeal.com extend this celebration of conviviality and innovation by offering stories, recipes, and tips to aspiring cooks and seasoned food enthusiasts alike.

Indeed, Bunny Chow is more than just a quick meal; it’s a symbol of resilience and joy in South Africa’s gastronomic landscape. By partaking in this culinary tradition, we not only indulge in a delightful experience but also pay homage to the rich heritage and ongoing narrative of a nation’s love affair with food.

Media Photography at Food And Meal
Hi! I’m Paula from the Philippines, the passionate blogger and skilled photographer behind Gobble the Cook. I also spearhead the media photography for Food And Meal in Vietnam.
I'm James F Anderson, a noted sous chef from London and a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus. My career began in a Michelin-starred Parisian eatery, where my blend of classic and contemporary cooking, using seasonal ingredients, earned accolades. Recognized in culinary publications and on cooking shows, I’m committed to mentoring aspiring chefs and delivering memorable dining experiences, marking me as a standout talent in the culinary world.
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