Sunday, October 23, 2011

52 Meals, 52 Countries, 52 Weeks - South Africa

Welcome to my second edition of 52 Meals, 52 Countries, 52 Weeks. This week Avery got to choose which country we visited, and he chose South Africa! The kids are loving this as much as I am, and Kyle is quite happy to take part in it in his own way - eating. :) For our meal today we decided on some street food called bunny chow and some soetkoekies (can you see/hear the heavy Dutch influence?) for dessert. Before you protest that a vegetarian should not eat bunnies, I will reassure you that there were zero bunnies involved in this dish, or in the original bunny chow in South Africa. Typically it is a curry made with mutton, chicken or beans, and I've read that the original bunny chow was in fact vegetarian. The curry is then placed in a hollowed out bread loaf or bread bowl, sold as a fast food, and eaten with their hands.

Tiernan wasn't feeling too great tonight, so the cooking was left up to Avery, Rhianna and myself. Rhianna did almost all of the vegetable peeling and chopping while Avery pretty much baked the soetkoekies (spicy red wine cookies) himself. This is a big deal because he's never really had any interest in cooking before. Since we started this project up he's been really enjoying himself. My favourite part is seeing the kids' pride when they sit down to eat this meal that they've created. I hope they always enjoy the feeling of love that you get from cooking and creating with delicious fresh foods in the kitchen and sharing them with family and friends.

As for South African food etiquette... they don't do anything different from us. Instead, we decided to eat while catching up on our episodes of Survivor and Amazing Race. :) Now the big question is..... did the kids enjoy this meal? Oh yes they did, and so did we. Avery and Rhianna gave the bunnies two huge thumbs up! Because Tiernan wasn't feeling too hot, he didn't eat much of it. I'm definitely going to try this dish again on a night where he's more himself to see what he thinks. Kyle was in heaven with this meal because curry is his favourite food in the whole world! And the soetkoekies? A perfect ending to the meal. The spices and sweetness of the cookies were the perfect way to offset the curry from dinner. Yum!

Our first country coloured in on the continent of Africa!


Bunny Chow aka Bunnies

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch chunk fresh ginger, minced
2 carrots, diced
green pepper, diced
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until it has browned. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the carrots, green pepper, and tomato and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the curry powder, turmeric, paprika and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the drained chickpeas, tomato paste and water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 3 minutes and remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and stir to mix.

Take some whole wheat buns (which is what we did - but you can use any type of bread) and cut out the centre, making a bread bowl. Be careful not to cut too far down or your curry will leak out of the buns. Pour some curry in, being sure to include some of the sauce so it soaks up nicely into the bread.



2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs
1/4 cup red wine

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar and almonds in a large bowl. Cut in the butter, and mix until it's crumbly. Add the eggs and red wine and stir until well mixed.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a baking sheet and cook 12-15 minutes.


  1. Shannon, this is such an AWESOME idea!! Dustin, Madison and I just might have to "borrow" it!! What a way to learn about other cultures and trying new foods!

    You guys have the best ideas and the most fun!! :)

  2. That bunny chow looks absolutely delicious!! I'm always on the look-out for more curry dishes to serve with my butter chicken... I might have to give this one a try!! :D

  3. Tanya - be sure to let me know how it goes... or better yet? Blog it!! :) Glad you're enjoying it. :)

    Cara - you should try it! YUMMY! Let me know if you do.