Lahnee lamb bunny chow

Way back in 2006 Lotus FM launched itself in my hometown. I was in matric that year and well they had the launch party and the whole launch do and my parents being strict back then… they still are, they think they are gentle now…anyway they put their foot down and said NO. Sit home and study and of course they went to bed while all and I mean ALL even our priest attended the launch and the after party.

I did however phone in and enter a competition and trust me to have won a religious CD, which to this day is still wrapped up in the plastic it was shipped down in. One look at the cover and I knew straight away it was too religious, it was going to be heavy Indian, it was going to give me a headache and chances were high that my mother would love it and make me play it everyday on the way to work…so no, no chances I was ever going to open that CD.

I can’t remember what exactly I had to do in order to win the CD, but what I do remember is announcing on National Radio, that I, a born and bred 100% Indian had never in my 17years eaten a bunny chow, to which the DJ laughed at me and thought it was the most hilarious thing he has ever heard.

What can I say, PE is not like Durban, where you just go down the road and there is a place that is making bunny chows. In 2006 if you wanted a bunny chow in PE, you made it in your house.

My luck is that most of my family heard as well as my friends and it seemed like I was the only person on the planet that had not eaten a bunny chow. Even my father was shocked, not sure how, seeing as he goes with me to Durban and pays for everything I consume, you would have thought he would have seen if I had eaten a bunny chow.

For my birthday the same year, my parents killed two birds with one stone. We went to Durban to shop for my matric farewell dress and at the same time I ate my very first bunny chow at Coconut Grove. Boy was I not impressed, what was all the hype about? Firstly the thing was soo strong, I drank more coke in one sitting than ever, my nose was running, it was hot, the curry was making me hotter and I had zero idea how to eat it. I was so uncomfortable. If anyone had to walk into the restaurant and take one look at me, they would have known straight away that I was a fake Indian.

I never ate a bunny chow again, never felt the urge to eat it.

Then all that changed, when I got my hands on the Durban 2nd edition cookbook and well there is an entire chapter on bunny chows and with lock down it just seems easier to make all these things.

14 years later I am finally having my 2nd bunny chow and let me just say this for the record, I LOVE homemade bunny chows now, the gravy, the taste, the smells and the salads that go with it.

You would think that having a dad that works for a bread company having uncut loaves in your house would be a common object. No I have to remind him from the time he leaves home in the morning till the time he gets home to bring me 1 uncut loaf and most of the times he forgets and has to go all the way to the shops again for uncut bread.

This bunny chow I loved a lot, the gravy just pouring down the sides, my dad offered to cut the bread for me, because apparently I cut it like a white person and not like an Indian who just made a bunny chow, so I rest my case, he also dished up and well not sure how he expects everyone to see the curry since with my bunny chow he dished up more potatoes than meat and kept all the meat for him. Typical.

He said that the curry was strong, because he was blowing his nose and wiping his forehead and drinking ice water while me on the other had was in 7th heaven.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg x lamb cubes.
  • 1 x tbsp. coriander seeds.
  • ½ x tsp cumion seeds.
  • 1 x tsp fennel seeds.
  • ½ x tsp fenugreek seeds.
  • 1 x tsp black pepper corns.
  • 2 x tbsp. white wine vinegar.
  • ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • ½ x cup plain yoghurt.
  • 1 x tsp sugar.
  • 2 x tsp ginger garlic paste.
  • 60ml x ghee.
  • 2 x cinnamon sticks.
  • 5 x cloves.
  • 5 x cardamom pods.
  • 2 x onions, finely chopped.
  • A few curry leaves.
  • 1 x tbsp. chilli powder.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 x tin crushed tomatoes, liquidized.
  • 2 x green chillies, sliced.

Method:

  • In a pan, dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and black pepper.
  • Remove from the pan and grind to a powder.
  • Add in the vinegar, turmeric powder, yoghurt, sugar and ginger garlic paste.
  • Mix till well combined.
  • Pour over the lamb and toss to mix.
  • Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge to marinade overnight.
  • Heat the ghee in a pot.
  • Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods.
  • Fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the onions, curry leaves, chillies and salt.
  • Allow to cook till the onions are starting to brown.
  • Add in the tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes have released all their water.
  • Add the spices and give it a good stir.
  • Add about a cup of water, stir and bring to the boil.
  • Add the meat as well as the marinade, mix, cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes.
  • Cover and cook till both the meat and potatoes are soft and the gravy is thick.
  • Serve in hollowed out bread.

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