Most of us are stuck at home due to the coronavirus lockdown, and this means we can have plenty of time to try our hands on one of Durban’s famous sandwiches, Bunny chow. Well, look around the house; the ingredients used for this sandwich are not hard to come by so you might have stocked up on a few.
Bunny chow is a very tasty South African street food that is infused with aromatic spices, meat, chickpeas and potatoes served in a hollow bread. It sounds like a lot but you would be glad you took time off to try it.
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Some even refer to it as the ‘Durban Curry’ as it is heavily influenced by Indian cooking since it originated among the Indian community in Durban. The word bunny is a variant of the word “Bania“, an Indian class of traders who sold this tasty street food.
Basically, half a loaf of bread is scooped out, so it is hollow. The scooped-up bread is not waste though, it is later used as a dip for the gravy or curry. The curry can be made with either lamb, beef, chicken or mince. Vegetarians can also have a go at it with their preferred vegetables.
1-pound chicken thighs or breast cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup canola or cooking oil
2-3 Curry leaves
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon curry powder or more
1 medium onion diced
2 medium tomatoes diced
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
8 ounce or less potatoes cleaned and cut into cubes
1 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
11/2 cup or more chicken broth or water
Salt and pepper to taste
When ready to cook, heat up large saucepan with oil, and add onions, garlic, cinnamon stick, curry leaves, cardamom pods and curry powder, stir occasionally for about 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.
Add tomatoes followed by chicken. Stir and sauté for about 2-3 more minutes. Add chicken stock/water if necessary, to prevent any burns.
Next, add chickpeas, potatoes and chicken broth, about 1 1 1/2 cup. Add more as needed. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until sauce thickens. It might take about 25 minutes or more.
Adjust for salt, pepper and stew consistency.