Bunny chow, or the bunny, however you prefer to call it, is quite simply delicious South African grub. There is much debate over who officially invented the bunny chow, and the braai stories go back further than we care to mention. However, one thing is for certain this tasty food is as great tasting now as it was way back when it was first created.
What is bunny chow?
Traditionally the bunny chow is made from a quarter loaf of hollowed-out white bread. This bread bowl is stuffed with a variety of bunny chow ingredients such as fragrant lamb or chicken curry, mince, beans, and spices. The finished product usually has a spicy salad garnish and a lid made from bread, perfect for soaking up the excess sauce. One thing you should know about bunny chow is that it’s a messy but decadent and calorific meal. The diet will certainly be banished when tucking into a tasty bunny chow recipe! Licking your fingers yet, anyone?
Meat vs. veggie bunny chow
As bunny chow resepte go, they usually contain some form of meat. But with the recent global push to reduce meat intake due to health, global warming, and animal welfare issues, many people are turning to vegetarianism and veganism. Before you ask, yes, there is a difference between these types of diets! While both eat plant-based diets, the vegetarian still eats eggs and cheese, which are classed as meat products and not eaten when following a vegan diet.
However, we’re not here to lecture you on different diets; we’re simply pointing out that no matter what your dietary preference, bunny chow does not need to be slashed from the menu.
In fact, there are so many varieties of the bunny that if you’re searching for a bunny chow recipe South Africa has one to suit your unique requirements – including vegan bunny chow! From curried chips and sauce to chickpeas and potatoes and lentil curry, the bunny truly is for everyone.
Vegetable bunny chow recipe
On that note, it seems fitting that we dive into one of the tastiest bunny chow recipe South Africa has to offer, vegetable bunny chow. Let’s get cooking!
What you need for the filling
- 2 tsp Oil (sunflower/vegetable)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup beans (pinto/canelli/black/kidney) depending on preference
- ¾ cup onion diced
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 small green chilli chopped
- 2 teaspoon garlic & ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1tablespoon coriander cumin powder
- 1 ½ cups tomato puree
- 2-4 burger buns
What you need for salad
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 large tomato chopped
- ¼ cup onion diced
- Fresh Coriander chopped (for garnishing)
What to do for the filling
- Heat the oil in a medium or large-sized pan over low heat.
- Add the cumin seeds and lightly toast them, allowing their flavour to infuse into the oil.
- Next, add the onions and allow them to saute gently until they appear glass-like.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste, green chilies, and tomato puree to the onions and cumin seeds, stir thoroughly and allow the mixture to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Now it’s time to add the spices! Add the red chilli powder, coriander cumin powder, turmeric, and salt to taste. Stir in well and check the sauce consistency. If the sauce appears too thick, add a dash of water to thin it out a little.
- Leave the sauce to simmer for approximately five minutes; this is an excellent opportunity to prepare the salad. Alternatively, the best chefs delegate, so we suggest you ask the chef de partie to prepare it!
- Once the mixture has cooked thoroughly, add the beans and a splash of water if required. Allow the beans to warm through and absorb the spicey sauce flavours.
What do for the salad
- In a small salad bowl, combine the grated carrot, onion, and chopped tomato.
- Add the lemon juice and salt; these add a salty, tangy taste that compliments the bunny chow filling.
- Garnish the salad with fresh, chopped coriander leaves for added flavour.
Putting it all together
- Using a sharp knife, make a circular incision into each burger bun to create a small bread bowl.
- Fill each bread bowl with a generous helping of bunny chow filling.
- Top each bunny chow bread bowl with fresh salad and garnish with a sprinkling of extra coriander.
- Lastly, place the center piece removed from the burger bun on top of the filling and press down firmly.This is the bunny chow’s infamous dipping hat!
Served as a tasty mid-week meal, the bunny chow is ideal for those evenings when you’re stuck for something to cook. In addition, the above recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your particular taste buds. For example, add a drizzle of cheese sauce for that Mexican nachos feel. Alternatively, get creative and create your own signature bunny chow South Africa would be proud of. After all, you only need to start with a half loaf of bread!
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