Shuchi Mittal with a cocktail version of the famous South African Indian Bunny Chows.
Bunny chow is a South African Indian dish – how do I know? Well, I am married to one of those who claim it as their own. It comprises of a loaf of bread, centers scooped out, served with hot and spicy curry. Usually prepared with meat, I tried to experiment with a vegetarian version and used chickpeas instead as chickpea curry comes closest to meat in flavor and texture.
“A bowl of sorts Made of bread white,
Curry and its cousins Playing peek-a-boo inside.
I break the crust Dive to join the game,
Discover luscious corners Spicy, yet tame.
Devouring it uncivilized I wipe my hands on my jeans,
Gloating in delicious victory Of man, over meat & beans.”
- 8 buns
- 1 cup chickpeas, washed & boiled
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 onion, sliced lengthwise
- 1 green chili, sliced lengthwise
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ginger, chopped
- 1 potato, boiled and diced
- 1 green pepper, cut in squares
- tsp cumin seeds
- tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp dry coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala or South African mixed red curry masala
- 1 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
- 1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a pan. Add green chili, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic and onions and sauté on medium flame till the onions turn brown.
- Add the tomatoes and all the dry spices. Cover on medium flame and cook till tomatoes turn tender.
- Stir in the chickpeas, green pepper and potato and add ½ cup water (if too dry). Cover and simmer on medium flame for 8-10 minutes. Open cover, and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes. Garnish with coriander and keep aside.
- Cut the top of each bun and scoop out the centers (it will become hollow and form something like a bread bowl)
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of chickpeas into the bread bowl. Serve immediately. Finger licking goodness guaranteed!
Shuchi cooks with the heart of a poet. Banker turned chef, she runs the 29. Private Kitchen in NYC focusing on social tasting events, dining experiences and small-scale private events. Using simple & wholesome ingredients, she likes to re-invent homemade Indian flavors into modern tapas & small plates. Her dream? To cook, feed, write, and eventually open her own communal dining cafe - with a published recipe book on the stands.