South African bunny chow recipe

South African bunny chow recipe

The bunny chow dish is proudly Durban. The dish is probably one of South Africa's most loved street foods. From the unique casing to its excellent Indian curry, you can never have enough of the South African cuisine. The good news is that the preparation of the bunny chow Durban delicacy is quite easy. Learn how to make the chow using South Africa’s unique recipe.

Bunny Chow
Image:, @Being South African
Source: Facebook

The probability of finding the South African Indian dish in India is next to zero. Even though the dish is Indian, it particularly identifies with the Indian community living in South Africa and not in India.

The history of the much loved South African cuisine dates back to the 1940s with a not so sweet story behind it. However, in recent times, the popular delicacy is used as the main course in meals. Find out how to make the dish using the South African bunny chow recipe.

Read also

Sosatie recipes: How to make the best and tastiest sosaties on Braai Day!

READ ALSO: How to make homemade pickled fish for easter | Classic easter tradition in south africa

What is bunny chow made of?

Curry bunny
Image:, @foodietravellerabhax
Source: Facebook

Bunny chow, or simply bunny, is a South African dish of hollowed-out bread that is filled with curry. The recipe originates from the Indian community in Durban, South Africa. The curry is made of meat (mutton or chicken) and potatoes or sugar beans. Sometimes, when a quarter a loaf is used instead of full bread, it is referred to as Kota for 'quarter.'

Why is it called bunny chow?

The biggest question is why do they call it a bunny chow? The term bunny chow is an Indian slang in South Africa for Gujarati food. Surprisingly, the bunny does not stand for a rabbit. Instead, the common term comes from South African Indian slang word ‘bania,’ which means Gujarati person. The term ‘chow’ is South African slang for ‘food’ or ‘eat.’

Read also

You will love these steps on how to make bokkoms

Why do they call it bunny chow?

Bunny chows
Image:, @Painters Cafe Sudbury
Source: Facebook

Many theories relate to the origin of the cuisine. One of the arguments traces back to the time of Indian migration into South Africa. The theory suggests that Indian workers at sugar plantations used to carry their vegetable curries in hollowed-out bread for convenience during transportation. The white bread, which replaced the traditional roti, was locally available and cheap. Another theory suggests that Indian ‘banians’ served the dish in their restaurants, hence the name, bunny chows. Yet, another theory suggests that the delicacy was introduced during the apartheid era when blacks were denied entry into restraints. The bread was a holder for the curry, which meant that blacks could only buy take away food.

How much is a bunny chow?

The price of the curry bunny ranges from R15 (for quarter beans) to R50 (for quarter mutton). The cost of a full one ranges from R60 to R200.

Read also

Here is all about the popular South African cuisine

What is bunny chow in Afrikaans?

Durban bunny chow
Image:, @SouthAfricanTourism
Source: Facebook

The delicacy is commonly known as bunny chow in South Africa, even in Afrikaans.

Durban mince curry recipe

The type of meat used in preparing curry for the chow may differ according to personal preferences. The recipe provided here is for the mutton bunny chow. The method could be used in making different curries for the Durban bunny chow.

You could customize the recipe into the following:

  1. Durban beef curry recipe
  2. Chicken bunny chow recipe
  3. Bunny chow recipe lamb

In the bunny chow recipe chicken flavor, use chicken instead of mutton.

Ingredients for the curry bunny

  • 1 kilogram of lamb pieces
  • 2 tablespoonful of vegetable oil
  • 2 large-sized cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoonful of finely fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoonful of chopped garlic
  • 4 cloves
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed green chillies
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • ½ tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar, use any type of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons medium chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of dhania-jeeru powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 5 small to medium-sized, cut into quarters
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Read also

Yummy and easy Jollof rice recipe

Best bunny chow in Durban
Image:, @thepaagalkhana
Source: Facebook


  • Heat the oil in the cooking pot.
  • Add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, and fennel.
  • Stir and leave to sizzle.
  • Add onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and the curry leaves.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add garam masala and spices to the cooking pot.
  • Add vinegar and sugar.
  • Stir to mix.
  • Add the meat and salt to taste.
  • Mix the meat with the spices until the meat is covered with masala.
  • Add a moderate amount of water.
  • Cover the cooking pot and cook on medium heat.
  • Stir regularly until the mutton is thoroughly cooked.
  • Add the potatoes.
  • Simmer the meat and potatoes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes when the potatoes are almost ready.
  • Simmer until the potatoes are well cooked.
  • Stir in the chopped coriander.
  • Serve the meal when hot.

How to serve the best bunny chow in Durban

After making the delicacy, this is a good way to serve it!

Read also

Do you love spicy food? Check out different types of chillies

  • Hollow out the inner part of the bread while keeping the outside part intact.
  • Scoop the meat and potatoes or sugar beans into the hollow bread.
  • Garnish with more greens.
  • Place the bunny in a large plate and serve with tomato or onion salad.
  • You could also add some fresh hot chillies.
  • Enjoy your bunny chow!

So, now, you have the bunny chow recipe. You can prepare the delicious street food at the comfort of your home. The dish can be used as a main course for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


  • 10 best vegan soya mince recipes South Africa
  • How to make the tastiest butternut fritters in South Africa
  • 10 easy chicken breast recipes

Source: Briefly News

Online view pixel