4.1/5 rating (30 votes)

Lamb Bunny Chow

Durban's Lamb Curry

  • Heat Hot
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info LACTOSE-FREE
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 1 hr 25 mins
Lamb Bunny Chow

Spicy lamb curry served in a hollowed out bread roll to soak up the delicious curry juices.

Hari says

The humble Bunny Chow from Durban is a South African dish that was created by Indian migrant workers using some distinctly Indian flavours and spicing. 'Bunny Chow' is, in fact South African slang for 'Gujarati food'. It is thought that Indian labourers working the sugar cane plantations carried their lunches to the field in hollowed out loaves of bread.

It's so unique and I love it because it epitomises how food and recipes travel the globe. A classic bunny chow is usually pretty hot, and spicy with a distinctly different flavour from what I would call an Indian curry. This is because Indian migrants who were so desperate to recreate flavours from their homes didn't have all the ingredients they needed so they would adapt and recreate recipes with what they could use locally. The bunny chow dishes I have tasted are usually cooked with curry powder so if you have some then use it. I didn't have any so here is my take on the wonderful dish from Durban - the glorious Bunny Chow! 

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 1kg lamb neck fillet/leg, diced


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 7cm piece cassia bark
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger, grated
  • 2-4 green chillies, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seed, ground 
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, blended
  • 5 small to medium potatoes, quartered
  • chopped fresh coriander

To Serve

  • 4 medium crusty buns

Toppings can include:


  1. Heat oil in a pot and add cassia, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, fennel seeds and stir until fragrant. 
  2. Add curry leaves, and then the diced onion. Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vinegar and sugar and then add the grated ginger and chopped chillies.
  5. Add the turmeric, garam masala, Kashmiri chilli powder, crushed cumin and coriander.
  6. Stir in the meat and salt and coat the meat with the spices.
  7. Cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes. 
  9. Leave for another 20 minutes until the meat is tender and the potatoes are soft.
  10. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped coriander.

To assemble the bunny

  1. Hollow out the inner bread but keep the bun intact.
  2. Scoop the curry into the bunny and serve with tomato kachumber, red onion rings, sliced green chillies and yoghurt or raita on the side.


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