For South African born Justine Wall who has lived in England for 19 years, the Bunny Chow has a fond place in my memory. She says: “Here a little recipe is for you: I have used a shoulder of lamb, and I cooked it for a long time… you must use cheap, white bread. I, of course, as pictured, used a brilliant large white gluten free loaf from Bath Bakery, because that’s what I can have! But, the rest of you: tuck in to the supermarket stuff. Now, the thing is, with our mixed culture and influences in South Africa; Bunny Chow has its roots in our Indian cooking. However, as I write, I am overtaken by the most African of flavours; we are a country of mixtures: and none more so in our cooking.
As I write this recipe, I am listening to my beloved Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Shaka Zulu, if you’re interested is the album: not a popular one, but my favourite). If anything were to reduce me to tears, this is it. Listen to them, feel the crazy mix of culinary influence Africa has to offer you, make this recipe, and feel a little of Africa inside you.”
Visit Justine, CLICK HERE
Serves 2, very generously
1 loaf of white, unsliced bread
For the curry
I small shoulder of lamb, about 500g meat in total cut from the bone
2 tbsp ghee, or, if you don’t have, a combination of salted butter and vegetable oil
2 white onions, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, microplaned
1 knob ginger, about 5 cm in length, peeled and microplaned
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp fenugreek
1 tsp mustard seeds, ground to a powder
1 fat chilli, seeds retained, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods, pods discarded and seeds crushed
1 tbsp stock powder: Marigold, or lamb stock, whatever you have to hand
1 tin plum tomatoes
1 tsp caster sugar
Maldon salt and pepper
Fresh coriander and parsley to serve and stir through the curry at the end
Make the curry, if you can, the day before. It will be very good if you cook it for 4-5 hours on the day of eating; of course it will. But- it will be fantastic cooked for those hours, and then kept, and reheated for a few hours the next day. I have to say, it will not be good with two hours of cooking: I am being honest with you here, just don’t do it. Good old fashioned stew, or curry, with a cheaper cut of meat, needs time. Don’t do the meat a disservice.
So, going on this rather draconian advice of mine, please sauté the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil or ghee, or whatever you’re using, AND the shoulder meat, for 5 minutes. Do this on a medium high heat, but carefully. Add the spices, and stir about for a few minutes. Turn the heat up, and begin to brown the meat further- for only a few minutes, but to ensure those gorgeous flavours permeate the meat. Keep stirring for about another 5-10 minutes.
Add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and the salt and pepper. Now, you need to simmer this for a long time: 4 hours is good, or, as I said previously, make it earlier, and then reheat when you are ready to eat. Ensure you remove the star anise from the curry before serving.
Pour into the halved loaves, and serve with the extra bread on the side.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
I live on Salisbury Plain, England, in a very old, wonky thatched cottage that looks like it’s been iced with royal icing and topped with Shredded Wheat. I grew up in South Africa, but have lived in England for 19 years.
I run my design business, Hector and Haddock, from my studio at home where I design linocuts, screen prints, tea towels and greeting cards. A complete bibliophile and self-confessed hoarder, all of my designs and work pay homage to vintage graphics and paper. I also use this extensive paper ephemera collection to create bespoke paper pictures for clients.
More than anything, I love to cook for people. I hope that you find these recipes helpful, inspiring and delicious, even if you don’t follow a gluten free diet. There’s more on the inspiration behind my blog in The Plain Kitchen – CLICK HERE