667.Bunny Chow

July 10, 2017mayurisjikoni
Blog post

All in One

Theme: Oceanic Cuisine

BM #78 Week 2 Day 1

I’m into my second participation in the Blogging Marathon and it is definitely helping me to plan better and discover new dishes around the world. For the Oceanic Cuisine which should not be confused with Oceania which is a region consisting of islands in the Pacific Ocean. For the Oceanic Cuisine, a theme selected by Srivalli for the BM, she suggested that we can choose a cuisine of any country that is surrounded by 2 or more oceans or seas.

I chose to cook a dish from South Africa. South Africa is surrounded by South Atlantic, Indian Ocean and at the tip by the Southern Ocean. It is a multiethnic country with strong influence in both culture and cuisine from the English, Dutch, Asians and the local tribes. While braai or roast is the most common and popular, there are many other types of food that are famous in South Africa. The Dutch East India Company brought to South Africa spices like nutmeg, allspice and chilli peppers. They brought slaves from India, Malaysia and Java. With them came spicy curries, sambal, pickled fish and fish stews.

I decided to make a popular Indian street food called Bunny Chow. It originates from  Durban, made by the Indian community and is usually referred to as bunny. No, it has nothing to do with a rabbit. It is believed that migrants workers were brought from India to work on the sugar plantations. They apparently carried their curries in a hollowed out loaf of bread to eat. The other story is that Banias as Indians were called back then by the local people, created this dish at restaurant cum cafe called Kapitan to serve to the the coloured people as takeaway. Coloureds were not allowed to dine with the Whites so its believed that the Indian cooks would serve curries through the back windows in hollowed out loafs.

These days mostly meat curries are served in the hollow bread. I decided to make a vegetarian curry. I’m in Montreal enjoying summer with my son. I tried looking for a rectangle loaf of unsliced bread in the supermarket near our home but couldn’t find any. Most of them were sliced. But I must tell you tell the choice of ‘proper’ bread is amazing right from sourdoughs to crusty baguettes, rye breads, seeded ones, country style and so much more. Its a change from eating sweet doughy breads that are available in India and Kenya. So I had to use the next best alternate and that is buns. The family enjoyed this vegetarian bunny chow. Its going to be a regular on our table. To make it more authentic I used home made Durban Curry Masala.





Durban Curry Masala

For 4

Ingredients for the bunny chow:

2 cups cooked chickpeas (kabuli chana)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
4-6 curry leaves (kari patta, limbdi)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2-3 tsp Durban Curry Masala
¾ cup fresh tomato puree
½ cup water
2 crusty loaves of bread or 4 buns
1 -1½ tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

Ingredients for Durban Curry Masala (recipe source: The Spruce)
Makes about ¼ cup

3 tsp mild chilli powder
½ tsp hot red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
1 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
¼ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
½ tsp cinnamon powder (taj)
¼ tsp fenugreek powder (methi)
½ tsp ginger powder (adrak)
¼tsp clove powder (laving, laung)

To prepare the Durban Curry Masala:

  1. I lightly roasted all the spices mentioned above except the chilli powders.
  2. After they cooled down, I ground each one separately in a mortar and pestle as the quantity was little.
  3. Then I blended the required amount of spices.
  4. The remaining powders were stored in for use in other dishes.
  5. Store the remaining Dutch Curry Masala in an airtight container.
To prepare the Bunny Chow Curry:
  1. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  2. Add mustard and cumin seeds.
  3. As they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onions.
  4. Stir fry the onions till they become soft and are light brown in colour.
  5. Add ginger and garlic pastes. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add curry leaves, the measured Durban Curry Masala and the chopped potatoes.
  7. Add water and salt. Mix well.
  8. Cover the pan and let the potatoes cook over low heat.
  9. When the potatoes are done add the tomato puree and chickpeas.
  10. Cover the pan again and let the curry cook for a further 5-7 minutes or till the gravy becomes thick.
Preparation of Bunny Chow:
  1. If you are using rectangle loaves, then cut it into half. Create a hollow in each piece by removing a bit of the bread. make sure that the walls of the bread are not too thin or else it will not hold the curry.
  2. If you are using buns, then slice of the top and scoop out the crumb part.
  3. Fill the bread with the curry.
  4. Sprinkle coriander over it and serve.
  • Make sure the sides or walls of the hollow bread are thick. Best to use a crusty bread.
  • Fill the bread with a curry of your choice.
You may want to check out some curry recipes:
Mughlai Egg Curry

Sending this recipe to the following event:

Check out what other Blogging Marathoners have cooked for Blogging Marathon#78 here




    July 10, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    This looks seriously awesome!Delicious!

  • Ritu Tangri

    July 11, 2017 at 6:54 am

    The name bunny chow catches all the attention which tempts me to make this easy n delicious take away dish. 🙂

  • waagmi Soni

    July 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I just gone through the recipe… tomorrow I m gonna make this in my lunch…eager to click the picture of this Bunny chow

  • Jayashree

    July 11, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    This looks so wholesome. There are bakeries that sell bread that is meant to be hollowed out and filled with soup. You could look for those the next time you want to make this.

  • thegalnxtdoor

    July 12, 2017 at 10:26 am

    This looks awesome! I'm so going to try this out!

  • Srivalli

    July 13, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Ah that looks so filling, this has been on my to do list for a while..wish I could make it or either grab it here!

  • Kalyani

    July 14, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I love most things with chickpeas and savoury n spicy stuff is my fav ! bookmarking this, Mayuri 🙂 will let u know how we liked it !

  • Archana Potdar

    July 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I first thought it was bunny that you have cooked.:D The bunny chow looks amazing. I am bookmarking it!

  • sushma

    July 14, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Looks soo yummy and of course a filling dish.

  • veena krishnakumar

    July 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Mayuri I am bookmarking this. Looks totally delicious!!

  • Chef Mireille

    July 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    you certainly are dedicated blogging while on vacation in Montreal. This looks awesome and I love the historical notes

  • Gayathri Kumar

    July 28, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I saw this on a TV show and I really wanted to try it at that time. Looking at your beautiful buns filled with curry, I am so tempted to make it.

  • Sapana Behl

    July 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    This is in my to do list since ages. Seeing in your post how tempting it is I need to make it soon.

  • Nisha Ramesh

    August 17, 2017 at 8:37 am

    I love this. I made it for one of the BM's and we absolutely relished it. The platter looks awesome 🙂

  • I Camp in my Kitchen

    August 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

    oh that looks scrumptious and that durban curry masala is calling my name! Bookmarking this!

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