How to make bunny chow

Most South Africans will have tasted bunny chow, if not at the very least heard the term ‘bunnies’ thrown around in patriotic conversation. If you’ve never heard of these epic bites, let us introduce you to the amazing marriage of curry in a bun with our twist on the classic.


There are many stories about the origin of the bunny chow, which we know for certain has Indian roots. Our favourite tale comes back to the Indian sugar cane workers of Durban, KZN, who used to take their veg curries in rotis to the fields. The heavy heat in Durban left their lunches a messy slop until one innovative fellow hollowed out a quarter loaf of bread, stowing his curried stew safely inside. Hence their other familiar name, ‘kota’ from quarter. Either way, introducing this classic South African dish to your culinary repertoire can only spell, tasty, bread soaked goodness.

Ingredients (serves 4):               

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp finely chopped coriander stems
¼ cup curry powder
10 fresh curry leaves
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1cm pieces
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
400ml water
2 large potatoes, peeled, cut into 1cm pieces
Mini white bread rolls, to serve
1 bunch fresh coriander, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, stirring often. Continue doing so for 4 minutes or until soft and aromatic.
2. Add the coriander stems and cook for 1 minute. Add curry powder and curry leaves. Continue stirring, for a further minute or until aromatic.
3. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until browned slightly. Next stir in the tomatoes and water.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Next add the potatoes and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Season with some salt.
5. Finally scoop out a hollow in the bread rolls and spoon in the curry.


Top with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and serve.

Get creative with your bunny chow fillings and see if you can concoct a new family favourite.


These spicy bunny chows would go down well with a thick weiss beer like Johnny Gold or a refreshing ale or IPA.