A South African favourite: Bunny Chow recipe

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Bunny Chow recipe Melandie with brioche

Melandie, one of our lovely team members and resident South African, shares her delicious Bunny Chow recipe with us. According to her, it is the perfect winter meal! 

Quick background story

Bunny Chow is a fast-food dish that dates back to the 1940’s when Indian migrant workers arrived in South Africa. Required to work long hours with short breaks, they had to find a quick way to put their lunch together and the Bunny Chow was born.

But was is Bunny Chow you ask?

Typically, Bunny Chow is made with a white loaf of bread, cut into halves and hollowed out, then filled with your favourite curry (as hot or as mild as you like, but traditionally it’s a very spicy dish). Some serve it with a side of salad containing chopped tomato, grated carrot, chillies, and sliced onion and, of course, atchar, which is a pickle (usually mango pickle).  

Originating off the East Coast of South Africa (Durban), this dish was originally vegetarian and often consisted of beans or potatoes. As the popularity of Bunny Chow grew, so did the many cultural variations, many of which included meat.

Here Melandie shares a vegetarian version with chickpeas and potatoes. Let’s get cooking!

Chickpea and Potato Bunny Chow recipe


(for 2 hungry people)  

  • 1 loaf of Bellbird Brioche loaf, cut in half and hollowed out to create a bread basket to hold the curry (keep the yummy fluffy bread pieces, you will need this to soak up the curry sauce when eating) 
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli, chopped (this can be adjusted depending on how spicy you want the curry to be) 
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic 
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Optional: chopped coriander, salad and raita to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a pot.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and toast lightly.
  3. Add the onions and fry until fragrant and slightly golden.
  4. Add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chilli. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add all the spices and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the potatoes and chickpeas and fry for a few minutes until both the potatoes and chickpeas are covered in sauce.
  7. Add water (enough to cover the potatoes) and boil for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
  8. Scoop the curry into the hollowed bread, top with coriander and serve with a side salad and raita. 

Give this recipe a try this winter and be sure to tag us on socials in any photos of your culinary masterpiece. We are on Instagram and Facebook: @bellbirdbakery 

Love this recipe? Check out Alice’s Pain Perdu: Authentic French Toast Recipe 

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