This year ‘Curry Week’ falls from 3rd - 9th October, and we can all agree that curries certainly make a warm and hearty autumn dinner! We’re all familiar with our much loved and familiar Punjabi, Bangladeshi, Keralan, Kashmiri, Thai (the list is endless) curries... but have you tried South African?
‘Bunny Chow’ is not food for rabbits, it is a South African street food created by the Durban Indian community. This curry is traditionally served in a hollowed out, unsliced sandwich loaf and is designed to be a portable dish, you eat the curry out of the bread ‘dish’ and then you can eat up the bread that has soaked up all the curry juices!
Bunny chows come in quarter, half and full loaves. When ordering a bunny chow in Durban, the local slang dictates that you need only ask for a "quarter mutton" (or your preferred flavour and size of loaf); colloquially, people would say, "Can I have a quarter mutton bunny?" Bunny chows are mainly eaten using the fingers; it is unusual to see locals use utensils when eating a bunny chow.
Bunny chows were historically packaged in the previous day's newspaper. This is no longer common, and takeaway bunnies are more typically sold in "bunny boxes"
which retain heat and prevent leaks from the curry.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
500g beef mince
2 tbsp tomato purée
300ml beef stock
1 x 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
2 large crusty bread rolls or 1 rectangular loaf of bread to serve the traditional way
Heat the oil in a
saucepan and then sweat the onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic, ginger, and chili. Fry gently on a low heat until softened.
Add all the spices and salt and stir fry for a minute, then turn up the heat, and add the beef mince.
When browned, stir in the tomato purée and pour in the stock. Add the butter beans and mix everything together well.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Cut the loaves of bread in half and hollow out the inside - reserve the bread you've removed.
Divide the curry mix between the chunks of hollowed-out bread and top with the bread