Forget the debate about Indians’ national dish; how about our international dish? Just as our diaspora writers and entrepreneurs are coming into their own on the global stage, so are our foods, with hybrid dishes like masala pizza and the British favourite, chicken tikka masala, finding their way onto menus and dinner tables worldwide. Now from South Africa comes India’s strongest contender in the culinary equivalent of the Miss Universe pageant: the bunny chow.
At a modern bunny chow joint in Durban, Africans of all colours can be seen chowing down on what is, essentially, half a loaf of bread stuffed with curry. It’s a lot of food, and it’s delicious. Eating among fellow diners who are black, brown, and white, it’s easy to forget that the bunny chow was born of segregation: South Africa’s extreme and relentless version of it.