Bunny Chow/Kota

A Bunny Chow is a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with delicious, thick curry. It originated from the Durban Indian Community of South Africa.

IMAGE: Ottilia Anna Maunganidze

“Migrant workers from India who were brought to South Africa to work the sugar cane plantations of KwaZulu-Natal required a way of carrying their lunches to the field; a hollowed out loaf of bread was a convenient way to transport their vegetarian curries.”


The Bunny Chow was adopted by township residents of South Africa, and they named it, “iKota”. “IKota” is a smaller version of the Bunny Chow that uses only a quarter loaf of bread. It is filled with a variety of ingredients like chips, cheese, polony, burger, sausage, eggs and atchar (pickled mango).


Check out this traditional Bunny Chow recipe by Kajil and Leyla:

IMAGE: amcsa.co.za


* 1kg lamb pieces
* Little oil to cover base of pot
* 2 large cinnamon sticks
* 1 tsp fennel seeds
* 1 bay leaf
* 6 green cardamoms
* 4 cloves
* A sprig of curry leaves
* 1 tsp crushed green chillies
* 1 large onion, finely diced
* ½ tsp turmeric
* 2 tbls crushed ginger and garlic mix
* 1 tbls vinegar
* 2 tsp sugar
* 3 level tsp medium chilli powder
* 2 tsp dhania- jeeru powder
* 1 tsp garam masala
* Tomato puree
* 5 small to medium potatoes, quartered
* chopped fresh coriander
* salt to taste

* 2 white loaves of bread, halved


1. Heat oil in pot.

2. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and fennel

3. Stir

4. Add curry leaves, chillies, onion, turmeric, ginger and garlic

5. Braise for 3-4 minutes

6. Add garam masala and spices to pot. Then vinegar and sugar. mix well

7. Add the meat and salt

8. Mix until the meat is coated with masala

9. Cover saucepan and cook/ braise on moderate heat for a few minutes.

10. Stir from time to time until meat is well braised. Add potatoes.

11. Add water when ever needed- don’t let it burn out. When potatoes are ¾ cooked add the tomato puree.

12. When potatoes are cooked, stir and add coriander

13. Serve.


1. Hollow out the inside of the bread.

2. Scoop in meat mixture.

3. Seal the bunny with the bread retrieved.

4. Place bunny in a large plate and serve.


* Cubed Steak
* Cubed Chicken Fillets
* Mince Meat

For a vegetarian option use: 2 x 400g sugar beans and veggies of your choice.


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