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Grandpa Mac’s Bunny Chow

This Bunny Chow is made with plant-based chicken-style strips, bold savory curry, and served in a hollowed bread bowl.

This spicy ‘chicken-style’ curry combines sweet and savory flavors with South African tradition to make a popular comfort food meal known as a Bunny Chow. A loaf of fresh white bread is cut in half and hollowed out to become an edible bowl filled with mouthwatering curry. Then we top it off with a cool-as-a-cucumber coconut yogurt raita. This dish always reminds me of happy times, learning some culinary skills as a kid, in my Grandpa Mac’s kitchen. Enjoy this trip down memory lane with me as we save the chicken and enjoy plant-based protein instead.

Grandpa Mac’s Bunny Chow

20 mins to prep
1 hour 20 mins to cook
Yields 6
Vegan

Ingredients

Bunny Chow

  • 2 packages Fry’s Chicken-Style Strips, frozen
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 4 1/4 cups 1 liter vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 red chili of your choice, seeded (optional) and chopped
  • 2 cups 400 milliliters canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 medium 650 grams Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, skinned and cubed
  • 1/2 cup 80 grams seedless raisins
  • 1/4 cup 50 grams raw sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup 125 milliliters dry sherry (optional)
  • 3/4 cup 180 milliliters fresh lime juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dry makrut limes leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Raita

  • 1/2 English cucumber, washed and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup 120 grams coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon 15 grams cilantro leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To Serve

  • 3 loaves freshly-baked white bread
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Red chili of your choice, seeded and chopped

Preparation

    BUNNY CHOW

    • 1
      In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are tender and translucent. Add a splash of vegetable stock if the onions are browning too quickly.
    • 2
      Add the remaining oil and the Chicken-Style Strips and stir to combine.
    • 3
      Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder, rosemary, thyme, and chili, if using. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant and the flavors are incorporated. If needed, add another splash of vegetable stock to loosen the mixture as you stir and brown the Chicken-Style Strips.
    • 4
      Add the tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, apple, raisins, sugar, sherry, lime juice, bay leaves, and lime leaves. Add 2 cups (450 milliliters) of vegetable stock and give it a good stir.
    • 5
      Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer with the lid slightly ajar for about 1 hour, until thickened. Stir every 10-15 minutes. Add more stock as needed to create a thick and rich sauce.
    • 6
      Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

    RAITA

    • 1
      In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, and cilantro.
    • 2
      Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

    TO SERVE

    • 1
      Cut each loaf of bread in half crosswise. Stand them onto their butt ends to create a stable base. Scoop out bread from the middle to create a bowl. Make sure to leave a thick wall on all sides to prevent the Bunny Chow from leaking out.
    • 2
      Ladle the Bunny Chow into the bread bowls and top with raita, chilis, and cilantro. Enjoy your Bunny Chow by breaking off chunks of the bread bowl and dipping it into the curry.

Chef's Notes

The longer the curry simmers, the juicer it gets. I find curry the next day is always better as the flavors have had more time to infuse.