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We’re not talking about floppy-eared Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, Max or Ruby. These are Bunny Chows, a tasty street food that originated in Durban in the 1940s.

In Apartheid South Africa, migrant Indian plantation workers were often banned from cafes. Their traditional meal of roti and beans tended to fall apart easily and so they filled hollowed-out loaves with the mixture and topped them with the bread lid.

Durban is a busy port city on Africa’s eastern coast and a popular holiday spot for South Africans. Each year, South Africans flock to the city that was influenced by Zulu chiefs, Indian merchants and British explorers.

In the 19th century, many Indians arrived as indentured servants to work on sugar-cane plantations and the railroads. South Africans called them Banias, a term for the merchant class from the caste system. Over time, that became “bunnies” and the food they ate became known as bunny chow.

Bunny chow is a cheap street snack. A quarter of a loaf, filled with chicken or mutton curry, sells from as little as 10 rand (about 60p).

Experts say that the best bunny chow has more meat than potatoes. Cumin, fennel, turmeric and cardamom should be in the spice mix and the sauce should permeate right through the bread.

Tear off chunks of bread crust and sop up the curry inside. You should never need a knife or fork to eat a bunny; it’s a finger-licking experience.

In London, it’s possible to chow down on a bunny at Bunnychow in Soho. With bread produced by the London Bakery Co. and meats by Henson’s of London and Allan’s Farm in Halesworth Suffolk there’s a half-dozen bunnies costing between £4 and £5 that are packed with meat, veg and spices.




There’s even a Full English Bunny that’s served all day. The sausage, bacon, mushrooms, bobotie-spiced beans, tomato, black pudding and fried egg breakfast won the “Most Innovative Breakfast Product of the Year” by The Best Breakfast Awards 2015.



(Feature image: Jay del Corro)

About the author

Oonagh ShielContent Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!

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