Bang the drums and turn the spotlights on…it’s time South Africa’s very own Bunny Chow was pushed right into the limelight! Bunny Chow, already growing in popularity in the United States, is a fast food meal born and bred in Durban, South Africa. Essentially, it is a hollowed out half-loaf of bread that’s stuffed with vegetable and bean curry (most commonly) or some kind of meat curry. There’s no denying it…the South African Bunny Chow has become such a fusion trend in South Africa, that even tourists spend a bit of time seeking it out when visiting the country.
South African Bunny Chow
It is said that the history of Bunny Chow is often disputed. Some say it originated in the 1940s during the second world war. If you do a bit of online reading, you will find actual accounts of it being sold in Zimbabwe during that time. In fact, some say it is still sold in Zimbabwe. Others say that it is was a meal that was functional in its time and has simply survived the hands of time. This is because it was served to Indian migrant workers who arrived to work in the sugar cane fields in Durban. It is believed that it was a convenient way of carrying vegetable curry lunches to work. Whatever the history says about Bunny Chow, we are only really certain of one thing right now: everybody that has tasted a Bunny Chow has thoroughly enjoyed it and now absolutely loves it. It’s the South African street food for all people; locals and international alike. It’s the date night meal any day of the week, it’s a weekend treat for the entire family, and it’s even often the chosen meal of the intoxicated or hungover. Bunny Chow seems to be the perfect food for every occasion and if you never had one while living in South Africa, you still have the opportunity to taste it (make your own)!
Make Your Own Bunny Chow at Home
Of course, you can make Bunny Chow your way and there are already various trendy versions well known in Durban and the rest of the country. One just has to stop in at Johnny’s Roti in Durban to see just how many ways a Bonny Chow can be made and enjoyed! You don’t have to really head on down to Durban, especially if you find yourself settled in and living an expat life in a foreign country, if you want to enjoy a Bunny Chow worth drooling over though. The good news is that you can make your own, if you happen to get your hands on the just the right Bunny Chow recipe that is. As you might have guessed…we have the perfect vegetarian Bunny Chow recipe for you to try.
Vegetarian Bunny Chow
A good vegetarian Bunny Chow is all about flavor and sauciness, which is something that certainly isn’t missing in our favourite Bunny Chow recipe, shared below. Before you even say “thank you”, we would like to say “you’re welcome”! That’s how confident we are that this recipe will wow even the most seasoned curry fan.
What you need:
- 4 teaspoons of cooking oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of masala
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
- 3 generous tablespoons of chutney
- 500g of peeled mixed veggies cut into smallish chunks (carrot, green pepper, broccoli, potato)
- 150g of chopped green beans
- 1 tin of sugar beans (drained and rinsed – other beans work just as well)
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup of vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 loaf of bread cut in half and with the middle of each half hollowed out (keep the hollowed out bits for later) – fresh white bread works best
What to do:
- First, heat the cooking oil in a large pot or saucepan and fry the onions until they are soft and turning a golden colour.
- Add the spices and chutney to the onions and fry gently for around 1 minute.
- Add all the veggies except for the beans to the pot, along with your tin of chopped tomatoes and beans.
- Place the lid on the put and simmer for 20 minutes before adding the beans to the mix. Cook for another 25 minutes.
- When the veggies are cooked through and you are happy with the consistency, spoon the curry into the hollowed out bread chunks.
This is best served with chutney, fresh coriander, sambals, and an ice cold beer.
Expat Financial Services Best Served by FinGlobal
It’s always a good idea to pair a tasty meal with a complimentary side dish or drink, just the same as it’s a good idea to pair your emigration with the right expat financial services team! At FinGlobal, our financial services are focused on a helping South African expats across the globe with various financial issues they might be faced with. For starters, we can assist you with accessing your pension fund or retirement annuity when emigrating. We can also assist you with the processing of your financial and tax emigration from South Africa, and understanding all that’s involved. If you have questions pertaining to the financial aspect of your emigration, feel free to contact us. Simply give us a call or send us an email and one of our friend consultants will assist you further.