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Bunny Chow

Stories of the origin of bunny chow date as far back as the migrant Indian workers' arrival in South Africa. One account suggests that said Indian laborers who came to work the sugar cane plantations of Port Natal required a way of carrying their lunches to the field; a hollowed-out loaf of bread was a convenient way to transport their vegetarian curries. Meat-based fillings came later. The use of a loaf of white bread can also be ascribed to the lack of the traditional roti bread as well as its weak structure; thus the cheap loaf, widely available at local stores, would be an optimal substitute vessel for the curry.


While this version of the bunny chow uses meat in the form of chicken thighs or breast, feel free to go the traditional way and use an array of vegetables based on your preferences. Also make sure not to skimp on the spices or the cooking time, both essential for the curry to have that irresistible depth of flavour. Happy cooking!

You will Need

  1. 3 cups chicken thighs or breast – cut in bite-sized pieces

  2. ½ cup canola or cooking oil

  3. 2-3 curry leaves

  4. 1 tsp ginger – minced

  5. 2 tsps garlic – minced

  6. 1 tbsp curry powder

  7. 1 medium onion – diced

  8. 2 medium tomatoes – diced

  9. 1 cinnamon stick

  10. 1½ tsp paprika

  11. 3 green cardamom pods – lightly crushed

  12. 1 cup potatoes – cleaned and cut into cubes

  13. 2 cups chickpeas – rinsed and drained

  14. ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

  15. 1½ cup chicken broth or water

  16. salt and pepper to taste

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You will Use

  1. A saucepan

How to prepare

  1. When ready to cook, heat up a large saucepan with oil, and add onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, curry leaves, cardamom pods, and curry powder. Stir occasionally for about 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent.

  2. Add tomatoes followed by chicken, stir and sauté for about 2-3 more minutes. Add a splash of chicken stock/water if necessary to prevent it from burning.

  3. Next add chickpeas, potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until sauce thickens; this might take about 25 minutes.

  4. Adjust for salt, pepper, and stew consistency.

  5. Serve hot in a bread bowl or a small hollowed-out loaf of bread.

Recipe inspired by Immaculate Bites.

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