Dish Spotlight: Bunny Chow From Durban in South Africa
Bunny chow is a South African dish consisting of a half or a quarter loaf of bread that is hollowed out and stuffed with curry that has been cooked with kidney beans or meats such as mutton, chicken, and lamb.
It is traditionally consumed without utensils and originated in the city of Durban. It is believed that bunny chow owes its origins to the Indian immigrants who came to South Africa in the late 19th century.
Today, this cheap and filling dish has crossed borders, so it is also quite popular in the United Kingdom.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 2.5cm/1in piece of cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 1 star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp South African curry powder
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1kg/2lb 2oz boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1.5cm/½in dices
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 2 large potatoes, cut in cubes the same size as the meat
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 loaves of crusty white bread, unsliced, each cut across in half in the middle and most of the crumbs removed
- coriander cress or sprigs, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the whole spices and bay leaf until the spices sizzle.
- Add the onion and cook for 5–7 minutes until translucent.
- Stir in the curry powder and sauté for one minute, then add the tomatoes and stir to mix.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until you get a sauce-like consistency.
- Add the meat, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and 300ml/11fl oz water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40-50 minutes or until the meat is tender.
- Add the potatoes, salt to taste and 200ml/7fl oz water. Continue simmering until the meat and potatoes are perfectly cooked (about 15 minutes).
- Stir in the chopped coriander and lime juice.
- To serve, spoon into the hollows in the bread and garnish with coriander cress.