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Bunny Chow: South African Curry in a Bread Bowl [Vegan]

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Bunny chow is a South African street food that traditionally consists of a meat-based curry served in bread. This completely plant-based version is made with hearty spiced chickpeas and potatoes instead. As for the name, it has nothing to do bunnies or rabbits. It originated in Durban, South Africa and is said to have been made by the Indian banias who migrated there. This is the perfect, comforting meal on a budget to keep you warm during the colder months.

Bunny Chow: South African Curry in a Bread Bowl [Vegan]



Cook Time



  • 4 crusty bread rolls
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, finely grated
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


To Make the Potato-Chickpea Curry:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add cinnamon stick and cardamom and cook for 30 seconds. Next, add onions, ginger, garlic, and curry leaves; cook until the onions turn translucent. Stir in tomatoes and curry powder.
  2. Cover and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy. Add the potatoes, chickpeas, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until the sauce thickens and potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To Make the Bunny Chow:

  1. Slice the top of the bread roll and scoop out the insides to make room for the curry. Add the curry into the scooped out bread bowls and garnish with cilantro. Serve right away.


Recipe adapted from African Bites.





Indian favorites and meat-free classics from all over the world. Hello There!! I am Pavani, author and photographer of Cook’s Hideout. I left my apparel retail job few years back to become a full-time mom and a food blogger. I am a lifelong vegetarian and love trying out new (plant based) dishes from all around the world. I share my tried and tested vegetarian and vegan dishes on my blog!



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One comment on “Bunny Chow: South African Curry in a Bread Bowl [Vegan]”

Click to add comment
9 Months Ago

says to add curry powder with tomatoes but does not mention any curry powder in ingredients. How much do you need o add?

Pavani Nandula
01 Nov 2016

Hi Regina, You can add 1~2 tsp curry powder in the recipe, adjust as per your taste preference. Sorry this info is missing from the recipe.

Marnie Johnson
9 Months Ago


Natalie Collins
9 Months Ago

I miss bunny chow!

Juwel Pirlo
9 Months Ago

Nada Ben

Dave Bateman
9 Months Ago

I grew up on these, you will not be disappointed.

Chloe Gardner
9 Months Ago

Michael Potts

Beverly Bergsma
9 Months Ago

Looks good

Giselle Mehta
9 Months Ago

Susmitha Subbaraju, interesting concept


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