South African Bunny Chow Chicken Curry


I was looking online for inspiration last week and saw this recipe for Bunny Chow. Considering we are approaching Easter and there are bunnies everywhere I thought it was an amusing co-incidence 🙂 However, having now made this, I honestly think it is one of my favourite curries out of all of those that I’ve made.

As with the Zigni curry that I made last week, this recipe includes some slightly unusual ingredients – star anise and cinnamon. I love the totally different flavour that these impart on the meat.

Other great aspects of this dish are the bread bowl – perfect for soaking up the curry gravy – and also the quick cooking time.

I filled a crusty sourdough loaf for my family-style version, but you can use large bread rolls instead if you prefer individual portions.

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g/1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4cm/2 inch piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 chicken stock cube (I used a chicken Oxo cube)
  • 2 cups water
  • 400g/14oz can butter beans (lima beans), drained and rinsed
  • crusty bread, either a loaf or 4 large rolls, to serve
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved, to serve
  • fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, optional, to serve


  • Put half the oil in a large sautĂ© pan over a medium heat, then add the chicken pieces. Cook for a few minutes until sealed all over, then set the chicken aside on a plate.
  • Add the remainder of the oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until just softened.
  • Add the ginger, star anise, cinnamon quill, garam masala, fennel seeds and chilli powder to the onions. Stir and cook for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the tomato paste.
  • Return the chicken to the pan, crumble in the stock cube and add the water. Stir to mix all the ingredients together.
  • Bring to the simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked though and the sauce slightly reduced.
  • Add the butter beans, stir and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut the top off your bread and scoop out enough to make a bowl for the curry to be able to sit inside. Place in a hot oven for a few minutes so the bread is warmed through and toasted a little.
  • Once the curry is cooked, remove the star anise and the cinnamon quill.
  • Spoon the curry into the bread bowl(s) then scatter over the halved cherry tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves, if you have them.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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3 Responses to South African Bunny Chow Chicken Curry

  1. Delicious, this looks really tasty

  2. Sandra says:

    Yummy!! 🙂

  3. Nice. Not many people use star anise as an ingredient, but it goes well with chicken.

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