So where did the Bunny Chow originate from?
There are many many stories on how the bunny chow got its name. Some are more believable then others. We have posted some legends here on the origin of the humble but much loved bunny chow.
Vote for which one you think is the most plausible or suggest an alternative....
The legend of the Bhanya's
The IOL version
"The bunny chow was introduced in the l940s at a restaurant-cum-cafe called Kapitan's on the corner of Victoria and Albert streets in Durban.
"The traditional Indian meal was roti and beans. The problem was that Africans could not enter the restaurant, so the manager, known as Bhanya, opened a hatch onto the pavement and sold takeaways.
"However, rotis tend to fall apart so he came up with an innovative idea to sell the curry packed inside a hollowed out half or quarter loaf of bread... Bhanya's Chow proved to be popular and soon became known as bunny chow."
The legend of the Golf Caddies
Another theory is that the bunny chow was invented for the Indian caddies at the Royal Durban Golf Course, who were unable to get off from work for long enough to nip into Grey Street for a curry at lunchtime.
The story goes that they got their friends to go and buy the curry for them and that it was brought back to the golf course in hollowed-out loaves of bread as there were no disposable food containers at the time.
The explanation that Bunnies were first made in Grey Street does hold a bit of water because the shopkeepers there were known as banias and therefore, the phrase 'Bunny Chow' could mean food from the shopkeepers.
If the origin of the bunny was in Grey Street, then a prime candidate for the place where it was invented is the G.C. Kapitan Vegetarian Restaurant which operated at 154 Grey Street between 1912 and 1992. Whether the bunny was invented there or not, G.C. Kapitan’s beans bunny was famous and enjoyed by ordinary people and such luminaries as Indira Gandhi.
The Apartheid legend
It is said that the bunny chow began due to apartheid segregation laws. This meant that African customers had to be served through a hatch in the back of most takeaways and hence curry was served in a hollowed out loaf.
What bunny chow legend have we missed?
The term Bunny Chow is most likely a distortion of "Penny Chow" which was prooably the cost of the meals. It is unlikely to be Bhanya as Bhanyas were strict vegeterians and a Mutton Bunny is the very essence of the Bunny Chow. Vegeterian alternatives are relatively insignificant variants.
How do you think the Bunny Chow emerged?