Bird’s Eye Bunny ChowNatasha Jebens
Recipe development and photography by Rochelle Keet
No, this dish does not consist of rabbit meat, nor is it considered rabbit food. Rather, a Bunny Chow is a typical South African Street Food. As with most traditional foods, there are various stories on how the famous Bunny Chow originated, and since its inception in the 1900s, many new recipe variations have been created. But no matter what curry you use, there is one non-negotiable for the dish—it must be served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread. And we’re not talking about fancy designer bread. Go for that bland, unsliced loaf of white bread you find in the supermarket, and see it transformed in front of your eyes when you fill it with this aromatic curry. (If you’re feeling like something fancier, see our tips below). To add heat to this curry, we used ADF Bird’s Eye Chilli Sauce to add just the right amount of heat, but feel free to add more if you can handle it!
PREP & COOK TIME:
15 mins prep time
40 mins cook time
553 per half loaf
Chicken fillets (thighs or breast), cubed
Garlic cloves, minced
Fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
Ground cardamon (optional)
Butter beans, drained and rinsed
Red onion, finely chopped
Fresh Bird’s Eye Chilli, chopped
Fresh coriander, chopped
White wine vinegar
- Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté until brown, but not cooked through.
- Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Add a bit more oil if necessary and sauté the onion with salt, until golden.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and spices, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Return the chicken to the skillet, add tomato paste and ADF Bird’s Eye Chilli Sauce, and stir to combine.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Add the butter beans and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes (until the sauce thickens). Stir through cream, if using.
- Mix all the ingredients through. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.
- Traditionally a bunny chow recipe is made with mutton curry and whole spices. We made some adjustments to make it more accessible for home cooks:
1. Chicken meat (breast or thighs) is often cheaper, and is generally a crowd pleaser (not everyone is a fan of lamb).
2. Instead of roasting whole spices, we opted for ground alternatives.
3. A bunny chow is always served in a halved loaf, otherwise it’s not a bunny chow. If you are having guests over and want to get creative, you can bake your own miniature loaves and fill them with the curry.
- The cream is optional, you can use yogurt too, or omit both. The curry tastes delicious either way.
- Instead of butter beans, you can add two medium potatoes (diced) and cook until soft.