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Bunny Chow on the braai: A South African delight

By December 22, 2023FinGlobal

Bunny Chow on the braai: A South African delight

December 22, 2023


The bunny chow, also known as a “bunny” or “chow”, is a popular street food in South Africa that has gained popularity worldwide. It is essentially a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry and served with various accompaniments. While it can be enjoyed anytime, there is a special way to prepare it that elevates the dish to a whole new level – by making bunny chow on the braai (barbeque). In this blog, we will explore the origins of bunny chows and how to make this delicious dish on the braai.

Origin of Bunny Chow

There are a few theories about the origin of bunny chows, but the most popular one involves Indian migrant workers in Durban, South Africa during the early 1900s. These workers would bring their lunches to work in a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. The dish was eventually adapted and became a staple in the Indian community in Durban. Today, bunny chow is widely enjoyed by people of all races and backgrounds in South Africa.

South African Bunny Chow: What’s in a name?

One might wonder, why is it called “bunny chow”? The name actually has nothing to do with rabbits. It is believed that the word “bunny” comes from the Tamil term “bania”, which means merchant or trader. This could be a reference to the Indian merchants who popularized the dish in South Africa. The word “chow” is a South African slang term for food.

Bunny chow on the braai

Bunny chow on the braai is a delicious twist on this traditional street food. It adds a smoky, charred flavour to the curry and enhances the overall taste of the dish. To make bunny chow on the braai, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chopped onion: 1 medium-sized onion.
  • Two garlic cloves, finely chopped and crushed.
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 50 grams of tomato paste.
  • 500 g Boneless blocks of lamb meat
  • 1 packet of your favourite cook-in curry sauce
  • 1 unsliced loaf of bread.
  • Serve with fresh slices of tomato, onion, and coriander

What to do:

  1. First, heat the oil in your potjie and then add the meat. Brown the meat over high heat for a few minutes, ensuring it gets a nice sear. Season the meat with just the right amount of salt and pepper to enhance its flavours.
  2. Sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger for a minute. Then, incorporate the tomato paste and continue frying for another minute.
  3. To tenderize the meat, simply add the cook-in sauce, cover with a lid, and let it simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. This slow cooking process ensures that the meat becomes irresistibly soft and tender.
  4. In the meantime, cut your bread into four equal pieces and remove the soft inside, creating a bread bowl.
  5. Dish the curry into the bread open space of the brand loaf, garnish with fresh coriander and place the bread lid on top.
  6. Serve alongside a delightful salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, and coriander.


Bunny chow on the braai is a delicious and unique way to enjoy this South African street food. It’s perfect for a casual barbeque with friends or as a special treat for yourself. With its rich history and flavorful taste, bunny chow has become an iconic dish in South Africa and beyond. So next time you’re planning a braai, why not give this recipe a try? Your taste buds will thank you.

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