South Africa – Bunny Chow – Recipe (Traditional)


This recipe brings the rich and spicy flavours of South Africa’s Bunny Chow to your table, providing a delicious and authentic culinary experience.


Bunny Chow is a unique and flavorful dish that originated in the Indian community of Durban, South Africa. Despite its name, it does not contain any rabbit meat; instead, it consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a spicy curry. This dish has become a beloved part of South African cuisine, celebrated for its fusion of Indian flavors with local South African ingredients and culinary traditions.

Key Elements:

  • Loaf of Bread: The traditional vessel for Bunny Chow is a hollowed-out loaf of bread, typically a white bread loaf known as a “bunny” in South Africa. The bread is hollowed out by removing the center, creating a bowl-like structure that holds the curry.
  • Curry Filling: The curry filling is the heart of Bunny Chow and is often made with chicken, lamb, or beef. It is cooked with a blend of spices such as curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander, along with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and sometimes potatoes.
  • Spices: Indian spices play a significant role in Bunny Chow, adding depth and complexity to the curry filling. These spices vary based on personal preference and regional variations but typically include chili powder, garam masala, and fenugreek.
  • Garnishes: Bunny Chow is often garnished with fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves and sometimes a squeeze of lemon juice for added brightness and flavor.


  1. Hollowing Out the Bread:
    • A loaf of bread is carefully hollowed out by removing the center portion. The removed bread pieces can be used for dipping into the curry or served alongside the dish.
  2. Preparing the Curry Filling:
    • The curry filling is prepared by sautéing onions, garlic, and spices until fragrant. Meat (if using) is added and browned before adding tomatoes and other vegetables.
  3. Simmering the Curry:
    • The curry is simmered until the meat is tender and the flavors have melded together, creating a rich and aromatic sauce.
  4. Assembly:
    • The hollowed-out bread loaf is filled generously with the hot curry filling, ensuring it is packed full of flavor and sauce.
  5. Serving:
    • Bunny Chow is traditionally served hot, with the curry filling spilling out of the bread bowl. It is often eaten with the hands, tearing off pieces of bread to dip into the curry or using a fork and knife.

Culinary Experience:

  • Flavor Explosion: Bunny Chow offers a burst of flavors—spicy, savory, and aromatic—encased in a soft and absorbent bread loaf, creating a unique and satisfying eating experience.
  • Cultural Fusion: Bunny Chow represents the fusion of Indian culinary techniques and spices with South African ingredients and traditions, highlighting the diversity and multiculturalism of South African cuisine.

Cultural Significance:

  • Street Food Heritage: Bunny Chow has its roots in Durban’s Indian immigrant community, where it was originally sold as street food. Today, it is enjoyed across South Africa and beyond, symbolizing unity and cultural exchange through food.
  • Popular Dish: Bunny Chow has gained popularity beyond South Africa’s borders, celebrated for its innovative concept and bold flavors, making it a must-try dish for anyone exploring South African cuisine.

Bunny Chow is more than just a meal; it is a cultural icon that embodies the spirit of diversity and culinary creativity in South Africa, offering a delicious taste of history and heritage with every bite.


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