Bunny chow

When Lotus FM was first launched in Port Elizabeth, way back in the day. I was in highschool, matric if I remember correctly. Anyway we did not go to the launch but I did phone in an enter a competition which allowed me to win a CD.

Don’t ask me where that CD is today, I think it got thrown out.

Anyway they asked me a couple of questions and well it somehow came out that in my 18 years on this earth, I was an usual Indian, apparently they had never come across an Indian in their music career that had not eaten a bunny chow. I was also the joke amongst my Indian friends for a while.

Yes I know it was strange, my dad worked for a bread company and yet somehow I had never eaten a bunny chow let alone seen that full loaf of bread in the super market before.

That same year, my parents sent me off to Durban to have my very first bunny chow. I can still picture it in my head, but all I can remember is how strong the curry was and I also learnt that no  matter what diet you are on, the bunny has to be eaten with 2 things, a carrot salad on the side and a coke to quench your thirst. No other beverage will suffice.

Don’t tell anyone this, but that was the one and only time that I have eaten a bunny chow, these things are just not that easy to come by in my hometown.

Then I entered the Herald’s weekend post competition and I was one of the lucky winners to get a copy of Cariema Isaacs’s cookbook “Spice Odyssey.” While paging through the book, I came across the recipe for bunny chow and well there was the sign of what I would be serving for Sunday.

Of course I wanted to surprise my dad but I needed his help getting me this mystical loaf, believe it or not when he heard I was making bunny chow, he ensured that come lunch time, I had a piping hot loaf of bread to cut into.

The verdict, he loved it, I loved it and yes we each had a bottle of coke as well as a side serving of carrot salad. While we were eating, I asked my dad how he was enjoying it, and he said… delicious, just the way it should be. He told me that the runny nose while eating a bunny chow was an indication that I had made the bunny correctly.

Here is to more bunny chows in my future.

Ingredients:

  • ½ x cup oil.
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 x green cardamom pods, slightly bruised.
  • 2 x cinnamon sticks.
  • 1 x tsp fennel seeds.
  • 1 x bay leaf.
  • 2 x cloves.
  • ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • ¼ x cup masala.
  • 1 x tsp garam masala.
  • ¼ x tsp cardamom powder.
  • 2 x tsp ginger garlic paste.
  • 1 x tomatoe, peeled and grated.
  • 1 x tbsp. tomato paste.
  • 700g x lamb cubes.
  • 2 x tsp salt.
  • 6 x curry leaves.
  • 2 x cups water.
  • 4 x potatoes, peeled and quartered.
  • Freshly chopped coriander, to garnish.

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pot.
  • Add the onion, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, bay leaf and cloves.
  • Fry till the onions are soft and starting to turn a light brown.
  • Stir in turmeric powder, both masalas, cardamom powder and ginger garlic paste.
  • Cook for a couple of seconds.
  • Add a few spoonfuls of water and stir.
  • Add the grated tomato and tomato paste, give it a good stir.
  • Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the meat and salt and toss so that the meat is coated.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add curry leaves and 1 cup of water.
  • Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and the remaining 1 cup of water.
  • Cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the meat and potatoes are cooked through and nice and tender.
  • To serve, cut an unsliced loaf of white bread in thirds.
  • Cut out most of the soft middle of the bread, leaving a thick base and sides to keep the curry contained.
  • Spoon the curry in the hole, garnish with chopped coriander and place the bread that you cut out ontop of the curry.

Tell me what you think of this recipe