The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Bunny chow, often referred to as a Bunny is a South African fast food dish consisting of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry, that originated in the Durban Indian community.

One story has it that a restaurant run by people known as Banias first created the scooped-out bread and curry dish, in Grey Street, Durban. The food was a means to serve take-aways to excluded people. During the apartheid regime Indians were not allowed in certain shops and cafes and so the shop owners found a way of serving the people through back windows etc. This was an easy and effective way to serve the workers. They cut out the centre portion of the bread and filled it with curry and capped the filling with the portion that was cut out.

An alternative story of the bunny chow's origins (which similarly provides an etymology) is that, as in India, merchants who traditionally sold their wares under the 'bania' tree (also known as the banyan, or Ficus bengalensis) were called 'bania'. The use of this name is known in India going back to antiquity. It is more likely that the name 'bania chow' was adopted to describe the staple meal of Indian merchants than taken from a restaurant run by Banias, although the true origins remain somewhat disputed.


Captain Gopi is going around the world on an Indian culinary tour. He will be venturing into South Africa to eat bunny chow and then he heads to Trinidad to try some roti.
Added 2011-06-28 by Dishoom Dishoom




South Africa


Food and Drink

Related Terms

roti, samosa