Bread Bowl Recipe and South Africa

Five quick facts about South African bread bowl Bunny Chow recipe, history behind African bunny chow and detailed bread ingredients and directions.

Bunny Chow is considered South Africa quintessential fast food

Five quick facts about South African Bunny Chow Recipe.

  • Bunny Chow is considered South African quintessential fast food.
  • Bunny Chow is a classic Durban South African fast food similar to a bread bowl.
  • Bunny Chow is usually called bunny and makes a glorious mess when eaten.
  • Bunnies are generally ordered by sizes, such as a quarter loaf or half loaf.
  • Just like Panera bread bowls, all parts of the Bunny Chow is eaten. The bread gets soggy and the curry sauce soaks through the bread.

The history behind South African bunny chow recipe.

Bunny Chow Bread Bowl Recipe in South Africa

There are many stories about how bunny chow originated, but the one cited most often describes it as a totally portable dish served up to colored and black people under apartheid. The system not only separated black and white people but also Indians and colored people.

The first Indians arrived during the Dutch colonial era, as slaves, in 1684. In the decades, 1690 to 1725 over 80% of the slaves were Indians. This practice continued until the end of slavery in 1838.

Bunny chow started as a way of selling food to people who were not allowed to eat in certain restaurants during apartheid.

The bread was used as a holder, or a plate, so that nothing needed to be returned after eating. South Africans of Indian descent largely live in and around KwaZulu-Natal's’ city of Durban, South Africa with a population of over one million.

South African Veggie Bunny Chow recipe ingredients and directions

South African Veggie Bunny Chow recipe ingredients and directions.


2 whole hollowed-out loaves of bread cut in half

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups vegetable stock

1 medium onion chopped

2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped

2 large potatoes cut in cubes

½ cup cooked green beans and carrots

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons ground curry powder

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

3 curry leaves

Salt to taste


Add all ingredients except the bread, and sauté for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients; simmer until the potatoes are soft 20 minutes. Spoon mixture into the hollowed-out bread and serve warm.

Bunny chow started as a way of selling food to people who were not allowed to eat in certain restaurants during apartheid.

Did you know?

Curry comes from the Tamil word kari, or spiced sauce, which was originally a thin, soup-like, spiced dressing served in South Africa where many Indians live and work. Curry is the universal name of numerous types of rich and aromatic stewed Indian dishes. In Durban South Africa, the best bread bowl-filling recipe is curry, the stewed dish type.

If you had to define Bunny Chow South African Bunny Chow it is a South African fast food curry stew whose bowl is made out of hollowed out bread, you can enjoy bread while you're eating the stew, but you don't want to eat the bowl until you are just bout done eating the curry stew.

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