Bunny chow was first served in Durban restaurants owned by South African Indians, known as Bunias or Banias, and became a tradition in South African take-away food. Very popular in Durban, bunny chow consists of a hollowed out quarter or half loaf of white bread filled with a curried beef, mutton, chicken or beans. The piece of bread which is removed to make room for the curry is called the “virgin” and it is placed on top of the “bunny” before it is wrapped. Those in the know may simply ask a cab driver to take them to the nearest bunny. When it comes to ordering a bunny, the locals don’t mention the word bunny. Instead, they simply ask for the size and the type of curry. For example, you’ll hear “Can I please have a quarter chicken?”
Bunny chow is always eaten with your fingers starting with the lump of bread, or virgin, on top. You then tear pieces of bread off of the side of the loaf and dip them in the curry gravy. The process of eating a bunny can be very messy and, by the time you finish, you’ll have orange fingers. Bunny chows are available in many small take-aways and Indian restaurants around Durban. They typically cost 20 Rand for a quarter and 30 Rand for a half.