Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Bunny Chow!

Bunny Flavours; Breakfast, lamb/mutton, chicken, beef OR mince & beans.
Sizes; half OR quarter.


I made it for breakfast and it was a delight! 
  • Bread quarters or big hamburger buns (known as the bunny) 
  • Onions, sliced 
  • Green Peppers, diced (you can also use red & yellow peppers) 
  • Mushrooms, sliced 
  • Bacon, cubed (or leave it out) 
  • Eggs (1 per bread quarter) 
  • Salt, pepper 
  • Tomato relish (optional) 
  • Cottage cheese (optional) 
Fry the onions, green peppers, mushrooms & bacon till done. Season.
Add either a bit of tomato relish to make it a bit saucy or smooth cottage cheese/cream cheese so that it forms a white sauce.
Spoon the cooked mixture into the bunny. Make a shallow dent in the mixture, break an egg into it. Bake in oven till egg is set. The bunny will be nice and toasted at the outside. (The mixture can absolutely be played with.)

                             BUNNY CHOW 
Lamb/Mutton/Beef (serves 4)
  • 1 kg lamb/mutton OR beef, cubed 
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly into rings 
  • 2 large tomatoes or 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes 
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 2-3 curry leaves 
  • 1 stick cinnamon 
  • 4 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed 
  • 1.5 tsp crushed ginger 
  • 1.5 tsp crushed garlic 
  • 4 tsp Durban masala (or substitute shop-bought curry powder,as hot or mild as you like) 
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 2 tsp garam masala 
  • 3-4 potatoes, cubed 
  • Salt 
  • 1 or 2 (depending on the size) crusty, square loaves of bread 
  • Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Cube the meat and slice the onion; peel and dice the tomato.
Heat the oil and add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, onion and curry leaves. Fry until the onion is light golden brown in colour.
Add the masala mix (or curry powder), turmeric, ginger, garlic and tomato.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mix resembles a puree.
Add the meat and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add the poatoes and about 1/4 cup of water.  Lower the heat and simmer over low heat until the meat is tender and the potatoes cooked.  Keep an eye on it to make sure the bottom of the pot does not burn.
When the meat is cooked through and the potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes), add the garam masala mixture. Test for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Simmer for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.
In the meantime, take a fresh loaf of white bread  - it needs to be crusty on the outside with a nice, soft crumb.  Little farmhouse loaves half the size of standard loaves are ideal.  Halve the loaf and scoop out the soft white crumb, leaving the crust to form a "bowl". 
Spoon the curry into the half loaf and serve, garnished with coriander leaves.  The soft crumb can be dipped into the curry and eaten as well.

Chicken (serves 4)
  • 1kg chicken breast fillets cubed 
  • 3 tbs oil 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 3 green cardamom pods 
  • 4 cloves 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 3/4 tsp fennel seeds 
  • 3 curry leaves 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1 green chillies, slivered 
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric 
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger 
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic 
  • 2 tsp brown vinegar 
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 -3 level tblsp medium hot mixed masala 
  • 3 ½ cups water 
  • 80ml cup tomato purée 
  • 1 tomato, chopped 
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled & cubed 
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 loaf of fresh white bread, unsliced


Heat oil in a large saucepan and ddd cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and fennel and stir.
Add curry leaves, ground coriander, chilli, onion, turmeric, ginger and garlic and saute for 4 –5 minutes. 
Mix vinegar, sugar, garam masala and mixed masala in a bowl, add this to the saucepan. 
Add the chicken and mix until meat is coated with masala.
Cover saucepan and cook on moderate heat until meat is well braises and oil starts to float on the surface. 
Add the water and continue cooking until chicken is tender.
Add tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and cubed potatoes
When potatoes are cooked and the gravy has been slightly reduced, add the coriander.

Serving Tips:
Cut loaf of bread into quarters. With a sharp knife cut out most of the soft white bread, leaving a thick wall and bottom. Keep the bread you removed. Fill the hole with the chicken curry and place the bread you removed back on top. Bunny chow is always eaten with the hands.
Serve with sambals if desired – and eat messily!

Vegetable (serves 4)
  • 1 medium butternut, peeled & diced
  • 2 onions, diced 
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 1 tin butter beans (optional)
  • 1 tin whole kernels sweetcorn
  • 1 small pack green beans
  • 2 large carrots, julienne
  • 3- 4 red or green chillies (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 Tblsp chilli oil
  • 2 Tblsp crushed garlic
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 1 Tblsp canola oil
  • 1 Tblsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 2 Tblsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • 1 - 2 Tblsp lemon juice
  • salt to sesaon
  • 1 loaf brown or white bread unsliced 
  • fresh coriander to garnish
Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the garlic, onions and chillies for a few minutes. 
Add the tomatoes and fry for a few more minutes.
Add the butternut, potatoes, sweet potatoes, water and curry leaves. Ensure the vegetables and potatoes are submerged under water. 
Add the curry powder, turmeric, lemon juice and salt to taste. 
As soon as the water starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
If the curry is still very watery, mash some of the potatoes and stir.
Stir fry the carrots and green beans until slightly tender but still a little crunchy and add them to the curry.  
Add the butter beans and sweetcorn to the curry and allow to heat through on a low heat.
Serving Tips:
Have a taste of Durban with this Free Traditional South African Vegetable Bunny Chow. Bunny Chow is hollowed out bread filled with curry. You may use any curry to make a bunny chow. This recipe has been made with many different vegetables and butter beans, you may use any vegetables that you like. Bunny chow is a very messy meal to eat so be prepared to get your hands dirty as the traditional way to eat a Bunny Chow is with the hands!

Mince and Beans (serves 4)
  • 1 loaf bread, halved and hollowed
  • 250g mince, pre-fried until just no longer pink
  • 1 cup each kidney beans and sugar beans
  • 1 clove garlic and similar sized piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1Table spoon curry (mild, medium or hot to taste), mixed with 1tsp turmeric
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • pinch dry thyme, a bay leave or two
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbsp oil

Boil kidney beans in stock and add sugar beans and carrots after about half an hour.  Continue boiling for another hour.
Gently fry onions in about 4 tablespoons of oil until transparent.
Add garlic, ginger and thyme.  Keep frying for another minute or so.
Add the curry.  Keep stirring mixture to prevent any catching for another three minutes.  Add the mince, potatoes and bay leaf and keep stirring until everything is covered in curry.
Add the beans and the stock and boil gently until the stock has reduced and the potatoes and beans are soft.
Adjust seasoning and thicken gravy a bit if required.
Scoop curry into the bread, cover with the "cap", and leave a minute or so for the cap to draw up some moisture, then seek seclusion and go primitive!
The way to eat,

is to break off portions of your bread lid, use it to grab some delicious curry and plonk into your salivating mouth. 
Absolutely gorgeous. The curry will soak into the bread but wont soak through the crusted shell. So once your lid is finished, you begin to break off portions of the shell to eat with the curry or even on its own, simply working your way down until it is finished.
A Half Bunny is usually good for two people. The good thing being that a person can sit on either side of the Bunny, and as you are eating with your hands, you can eat at the same time. 
God bless and may you always have your taste buds tickled into the heavens.

The Bunny Chow 
(called "bunny" by the locals) was meant as an inexpensive take-away food, consisting of a hollowed out half loaf of bread filled with a vegetable or meat curry and capped with the bread (the virgin) that was scooped out of the loaf. 
 Although the original Bunny was strictly vegetarian, nowadays mutton, lamb, chicken and bean curries are the more popular fillings. They are often served with a side dish of grated carrot, chilli and onion salad, commonly known as sambals.
 The Bunny should be eaten with the fingers, starting with the lump of bread, or virgin, on top. You should then help yourself to the curry and tear pieces off of the side of the loaf and dip them in the gravy. The trick here is to avoid tearing off pieces of loaf which are below the current gravy line.