1/2 Photos of Bunny Chow and Its Durban Curry
1 hr 10 mins
This is a story: with a recipe. During the Great Depression in 1933 Indians, whites and Chinese in Durban, South Africa, suffered hunger like everyone else. The kids then discovered that the cheapest curry they could buy (for a quarter penny or half a penny) was made by a vegetarian Indian caste known in Durban slang as the Bania. It was made from dried sugarbeans (no meat). The children didn't have plates, and one kid got the bright idea to hollow out a quarter bread, asked the seller to put the bean curry in the hollowed-out bread, and then used the broken bread he's taken out as a sort of eating utensil. Chinese food was called "chow". Somehow the two words came together: Bania Chow. In time it simply became known as Bunny Chow. Bunny Chow was what the Indian sugar plantation workers took as their day's food to the lands: curry in hollowed-out bread halves. Cheap and practical ... Today it does not matter what your skin colour or station in life is: Durbanites and people from the Kwa-Zulu-Natal province love their bunny chow ... For this story and the recipe he managed to get from "the mysterious Lingela" who makes bunny chows daily, I am indebted to "Kitchenboy". Should he happen upon this story, he'll know who he is ... Thanks, Braam!
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 1 loaf bread, white, unsliced, flat-topped
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (seeds)
- 1 teaspoon hot ground pepper (like cayenne)
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1Fry all the ingredients listed under "Whole Spices" until the onion is glassy.
- 2Add the list called "Fine Spices". Lingela says: "Stir and fry until the spices stick to the bottom of the pot. If you have a good Teflon-coated pot, go and buy a cheap one first.".
- 3Now add the tomatoes, and stir until everything sticking to the pot bottom comes loose.
- 4Add the meat, ginger, garlic and curry leaves.
- 5Simmer for half an hour or more, until the meat is almost tender, then add a little water and the potato cubes.
- 6Simmer until meat is tender.
- 7The bread:.
- 8It should be the unsliced rectagular loaf with the flat top, known in South Africa as a "Government sandwich loaf".
- 9You could cut the bread across into two, three or four even chunks, depending on how hungry the eaters will be.
- 10Whatever you decide, with a sharp knife cut out most of the soft white bread, leaving a thick wall and bottom. Keep the bread you removed.
- 11Ladle the curry into the hollows, and then put back on top the bread you removed. You could use this bread to help eat the curry, as "this is ALWAYS eaten with the hands".
- 12(Actually, any kind of curry goes into a bunny chow. It depends on the cook and your tastes!).
Browse Our Top For 1 Or 2 Recipes
Nutritional Facts for Bunny Chow and Its Durban Curry
Serving Size: 1 (593 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 2
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 2165.6
- Calories from Fat 1111
- Total Fat 123.4 g
- Saturated Fat 35.0 g
- Cholesterol 303.9 mg
- Sodium 1305.8 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 154.7 g
- Dietary Fiber 13.6 g
- Sugars 16.0 g
- Protein 106.6 g
The following items or measurements are not included:
whole cardamom pods