Keef Cooks logo
British food-lover Keef shows you how to cook amazing food with easy to follow recipes and videos. So stop wasting your time and money on takeaways or supermarket ready meals, and Get Cooking!

Bunny Chow

Introduction & method

Bunny chow originated in Durban, South Africa. The hollowed-out loaf is an edible container (a bit like the pastry on a pie or a pasty). The curry can use any kind of meat or veg, but the distinctive thing is the Durban Masala spice mix. Bunny chow is easy to make and great fun to eat.

Bunny Chow Recipe

Pre-Cook The Meat

If you are using meat such as beef or lamb, it's a good idea to pre-cook it to get it nice and tender before adding it to the curry. If you have a pressure cooker, add the diced beef, turmeric, salt and pepper to the pot with enough water to cover it. Bring it up to pressure and cook for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this in a pot on the stove, but you'll need to cover it and simmer for 2 hours.

Make the Durban Masala

Heat a dry frying pan on medium heat and roast the whole spices for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and blitz to a powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Or, if you're feeling strong, in a mortar and pestle.

Cook the Curry

Peel and finely chop the onion. Thinly slice the green chilli - remove the seeds if you don't like it hot. Add a good glug of oil to a frying pan and sauté the onion with the bay leaf for 2-3 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic paste and the sliced green chilli and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Drain the meat (but keep the broth) and add it to the pan with the turmeric, chilli powder and Durban masala. Give it a good stir, then add the tomatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks (make them small enough to fit in the bread!). Pop in the potatoes and the broth from the meat and cook for 15-20 minutes until the spuds are tender. Finely chop the coriander, but reserve a few sprigs for decoration. Stir in the coriander, taste the curry and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

Serve the Bunny

Bunnies can be served as whole, half, or quarters, so cut you loaf according to what size you want. Take a small sharp knife and cut down through the loaf close to the four edges. Be careful not to cut right through the crust or your bunny will leak. Pull out the bread from the centre of the loaf and set it aside. Fill the hollow in the bread with curry. Serve with a sprig of coriander and the bread from the centre. No cutlery allowed!

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Bunny Chow on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 450 grams diced beef or lamb
 1 medium onion
 400 grams chopped tomatoes
 1 tsp turmeric
 2 cups water
 1 green chilli
 1 bay leaf
 2 tsp Durban masala (see below)
 1 tsp red chilli powder
 small handful fresh coriander / cilantro
 2 medium potatoes
 half a cinnamon stick
 4 cardomom pods
 4-5 cloves
 1 star anise
 2 tbsp coriander seeds
 2 tsp fennel seeds
 half a tsp fenugreek seeds


Salt & pepper to taste. Oil for sautéeing. 1 small white loaf of bread, unsliced.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves  2 -4
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Total time: 55 minutes.