Bunny Chow has become one of Durban’s most famous exports! It’s usually called a ‘bunny’ and brings back youthful memories for many Durbanites who used to stop for a bunny chow on their way home from late night clubbing.

A bunny-chow is basically made from half a loaf of bread (with the inside scooped out and kept to dip in the gravy). The hollow loaf is then filled with delicious authentic Indian curry – made from either Lamb Mutton or Vegetables. Beef, chicken or mince can also be used.

Thank you Kajil and Leyla for sharing their bunnychow recipe with us (following a huge demand on SAPeople’s FB page!). “This bunny chow recipe, bless my mom, is a firm family recipe,” says Leyla. Kajil’s recipe has been passed from person to person, each refining it with “their own touches…lol…the usual Durban Indian way. It’s delicious!” says Kajil.

bunny chow recipe

Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: South African (Durban Indian)
Bunny chow, often referred to as a bunny is a South African dish consisting of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry. It can be made with lamb, beef chicken, mince or vegetables. It originated in the Durban Indian community.
  • 1kg lamb pieces
  • Little oil to cover base of pot
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed green chillies
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbles crushed ginger and garlic mix
  • 1 tbles vinegar (your choice on type) I normally use white vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 level tsp medium chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dhania-jeeru powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tomatoes, blended
  • 5 small to medium potatoes, quartered
  • chopped fresh coriander
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat oil in pot.
  2. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and fennel
  3. Stir
  4. Add curry leaves, chillies, onion, turmeric, ginger and garlic
  5. Braise for 3-4 minutes
  6. Add garam masala and spices to pot. Then vinegar and sugar. mix well
  7. Add the meat and salt
  8. Mix until the meat is coated with masala
  9. Cover saucepan and cook/braise on moderate heat for a few minutes.
  10. Stir from time to time until meat is well braised. Add potatoes.
  11. Add water when ever needed-don't let it burn out. When potatoes are ¾ cooked add the chopped tomatoes.
  12. When potatoes are cooked, stir and add coriander
  13. Serve with salad
To assemble the bunny
  1. Hollow out the inner, keep intact.Scoop meat, potato or sugar beans to your delight-- garnish with more greens.Seal the bunny with the bread retrieved. Place bunny in a large platter and serve with tomato/onion salad, beetroot, mango achar and freshly sliced red onion rings, for the brave guys... Fiery hot fresh chilli and dashings of Tabasco sauce ...
Cubed Steak
Cubed Chicken Fillets
For a vegetarian option use:
2 x 400gr sugar beans and veggies of your choice
Secret tip: If you use beans care must be taken that beans do not dry out as a substantial amount of gravy is required for the BUNNY CHOW