BunnyChow Experience is the only South African food truck in the Netherlands.
We do not only share this loaf with the rest of the world but also its great tales. We believe that the more everyone understand the origin of the BunnyChow is the easier they can enjoy it and be knowledgeable about the art of eating a BunnyChow!
A large number of Indians settled in the Durban area around 1940 and curry and roti became very popular in South Africa. It was the time of the great depression in South Africa and curry was not only a delightful and tasty dish but a cheap and affordable one as well, especially with sugar beans and potatoes in it.
It was also an Apartheid era, the time some laws forbid non-white people from entering restaurants and/or cafés. Bunny Chow became a perfect solution to serve curry as take-out to the non-white community through back windows of the restaurants. It was in this time that the Bunny Chow was born, a simple half a loaf of bread filled with curry, without a clear origin but with a number of tales about its existence.
Banja was a manager of a small restaurant called Kapitan’s on the corner of Victoria and Albert Street in Durban. The restaurant’s specialty was roti & bean curry. Banja wanted to extend his service by offering takeaways, but the beans tended to fall out of the roti and they were generally difficult to eat without it falling apart. It was then that Banja decided to serve his curry in a hollowed loaf of bread, which was first known as Banja’s chow and later became known as Bunny Chow.
The Tales of BunnyChow
Around the 1940s, a big population of Indians worked in the sugar plantations. Since the workers were far away from the city and did not have Tupperware to take their curries to work, they often asked friends and/or family members to bring them curry from the city. They used a hollowed bread loaf to transport the curry and to keep it warm. The workers would sit under a “banyan tree” or “Ficus benghalensis” and share their hollowed bread loaf. So the food got the name banyan’s chow, which later became Bunny Chow