The Bunny Chow ( no relation to our floppy-eared, furry friends) is possibly South Africa's most famous street food and originated in Durban, home to a large Indian community. There are many theories as to it's precise origins but one account suggests that Indian migrant workers who were brought to South Africa in the 1940's to work the sugar cane plantations, needed a convenient way to transport their lunches to the fields. The hollowed out loaf of bread filled with vegetable, chicken or lamb curries , exotic though down to earth, eventually won the hearts of the entire country.
Rather than use whole or half loaves of bread , I prefer to bake the bread in a Jumbo muffin tin. Bunny chows are strictly a messy fingers affair and usually served wrapped in yesterdays newspaper. —foodfanatic
sachets instant yeast
pinch of salt
mild curry powder
fresh curry leaves
chicken , breast or thigh or a combination, cut into chuncks
masala, a combination of the first 5 ingredients
garlic clove, chopped
medium potatoes, cubed
red chilli finely chopped
salt, to taste
cilantro , to serve
In This Recipe
Heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Set aside to cool.
pour 1/2 cup of the water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir to combine and set aside for 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, salt and remaining water.
Add the sugar mixture to the butter mixture, stirring well . Stir in the yeast mixture.
Slowly add the flour 1 cup at a time. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth.
Place in a large, greased bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 11/2 hours.
Punch down the dough and knead again for about 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and place in the buttered and floured muffin tin. Cover and leave to rise again , about 2 hours.
Bake the loaves at 350 for about 45 minutes and set aside to cool.
Mix together all the ingredients for the masala.
Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion, curry leaves and cinnamon stick until the onion is softened. add the chicken and stir-fry until almost cooked through. Add the masala, tumeric, ginger, garlic, buttermilk and tomato. Cook over medium heat , stirring occasionally , for 10 minutes.
Mix the cream and cornstarch together and add to the chicken mixture along with the potatoes and chilli.
reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender and the potatoes are cooked. Add a little water if it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the garam masala and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for 10 more minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
Cut each loaf across the top and remove the "lid. Scoop out the soft inside dough so that the crust forms a bowl. Spoon the chicken mixture into the loaves and serve garnished with cilantro. The scooped- out dough can be used to mop up the sauce.