South African Bunny Chow

The dish “bunny chow” originated in South Africa, specifically in the Indian community of Durban. It is believed to have been created by Indian immigrants in the 1940s. The name “bunny chow” is said to have originated from the Indian word “bania,” which referred to Indian traders, combined with the South African slang term “chow,” meaning food. Initially, the dish was served in hollowed-out loaves of bread, which were referred to as “bunnies.” Over time, it became known as “bunny chow.” Today, bunny chow typically consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, often chicken or mutton, and is a popular street food in South Africa.

Chery-Picked Cooking Staples

broth in cup
avocado oil
neutral oil
onion chopped and whole
onion chopped

Bunny Chow Ingredients

Protein Options
  • chicken thighs
  • lamb or beef stew
  • garbanzo beans
bread loaf
bread loaf
South African Bunny Chow

South African Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow is a tantalizing South African creation that blends vibrant spices, tender meats, or flavorful veggies, all nestled within a hollowed-out loaf of bread. Its origins steeped in cultural fusion and a story that's as rich as its taste. Join us as we delve into the savory world of Bunny Chow, where every bite tells a tale of tradition, innovation, and culinary adventure.
hands-on time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine South African
Servings 2


Protein Options - Pick One

  • 1 lb chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks [1]
  • 1 lb lamb or beet stew [1] [2]
  • 1 can garbanzo beans [1] rinsed

Fresh Produce

  • 1 tomato, finely chopped [3]
  • 1 large potato [4]
  • 2 green chilies optional
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro optional


  • 1 white bread loaf, cut in half

Culinary Spice Kit

  • 1 pouch Bunny Chow spice blend Coriander, turmeric, amchoor, onion, lemon verbena, chili, cumin, garlic, fenugreek, curry leaves, cilantro leaves, ginger, yellow and brown mustard, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper

Suggested Sides

  • simple fresh salad of your choice
  • cooked green peas


Prepare the Potato

  • Quarter the potato, grate one quarter, and cut the remaining three quarters into 1-inch cubes.

Prepare the Stew

  • In a POT, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
  • Add the chicken and fry it until all sides turn brown. Season with salt to taste.
  • Take the chicken out.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the onions and cook them until translucent.
  • Add the Bunny Chow spices and optional green chilies. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Incorporate chopped tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Return the chicken. Mix well. Fry for an additional 3 minutes
  • Pour in the broth and all potatoes, ensuring they are well mixed. Season with salt to taste.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

Prepare the Bread

  • Cut a square-shaped hole into the bread loaf, then hollow it out.

Finish & Serve

  • Arrange the bread on plates and place hollowed-out bread pieces next to it.
  • Fill the hole of the bread loaf with the stew. Optionally, garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve with a side salad of your choice and optional cooked green peas.


[1] Optionally, substitute half of the meat or beans with bite-size vegetables, such as eggplant, green beans, cauliflower, green cabbage, or root veggies.
[2] For lamb or beef stew, add 1 hour of cooking time. Add the cubed potatoes for the last 30 minutes.
[3] Substitute with 1 tbsp tomato paste and 4 tbsp water.
[4] Recommended if available: Yukon or Idaho gold potato.
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Karen Jones
Karen Jones
Wonderful, flavorful meals using readily available ingredients!
ann davis
ann davis
My daughter gave me a subscription as a Christmas present while our families were quarantining together. It was so much fun! It introduced us to several cuisines that were totally new to us. The recipes were easy to follow and the spices were transformative - fresh and pungent and delicious.
Jessica Brown
Jessica Brown
The best way to try new dishes!

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