SA Grub – Bunny Chow

As it gets colder and colder all I can think about is curry. An Indian curry with big chunks of meat and either a reddish or yellowish creamy sauce. I want the aromatic flavours to warm me up and make me happy from the inside. Food can do that.

Indian food is very popular in South Africa so you can get it about anywhere. You can choose any curry your heart desires and it will be served up in mild, hot or very hot. Delicious. But now, let me tell you about a truly South African invention involving curry: The Bunny Chow.

Why this parcel of meaty goodness is called a Bunny Chow is a bit of a mystery but I’m happy to say  it’s got nothing to do with bunnies. It would appear as if the word Bunny could be derived from the Hindu word for vendor/merchant banyā and chow means food. But, yeah, that’s all I’ve got to offer on the subject.

What’s important is what a Bunny Chow consists of: A half loaf of bread filled with a Durban curry cooked with either meat or beans. It’s your food and your bowl all in one. It’s steamy and aromatic, delicious and easy to take-away with you. It’s surmised that the use of the bread as a ‘bowl’ came from the need for workers to house their curry in an easy to carry and cheap way. It also helps that the bread fills any stomach gaps.

I specified a Durban curry because that is where the dish originated from. However, do note that a Durban curry is something all on its own as well. The Indian people in Durban like their food hotter than hot. A true Durban curry will blow your socks off and have even put Indians from Indian to shame. I don’t know where this trend originated from either but when you order a Bunny (as they’re commonly referred to) in Durban as for mild. It’s a little less authentic but at least you won’t be grabbing for the nearest beaker of milk halfway through your first bite.

Each Indian family has their own secret recipes for their various curries and no one makes better curry than your own mom so there are variations to a good Bunny Chow but as I’m sure you’re keen to make one try the following link:

Enjoy the steaming goodness.


Bunny Chow goodness from the Easter Food Bazaar in Cape Town
Bunny Chow goodness

bunny chow 2

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