Buttermilk rusks are kind of the opposite of Bunny Chow.
When I tried my first rusk, my first though was why? Imagine scones, without any additional flavorings like fruit or spice, baked until they are hard and crumbly. There’s not much flavor and they are very, very dry. Almost rock like. Do people really want to eat these? And then, for no apparent reason, I took another nibble. And another. The subtle sweetness kind of grew on me. A dunk into a cup of sweet tea, and the rusks soften and become oddly addictive. I’m not saying that they are going to replace doughnuts or anything, but they are kind of a neat snack to have around.
I love this combination of shrimp and chicken with a very spicy curry, but you can make bunny chow with any curry recipe you wish.
Adapted from 2010 Eat In Magazine, page 54
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick cinnamon
1 curry leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons red curry powder*
2 tablespoons curry paste**
2 chicken thighs, diced
8 prawns, peeled and cleaned
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 waxy potato (like Yukon Golds)
1 cup stock
1 loaf unsliced bread
cilantro, chutney and sambal for garnish
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions when hot, and reduce heat to a simmer, slowly softening the onion. When the onion is translucent, increase the heat to medium high and add the garlic, cinnamon stick, curry leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, and then add the curry powder and curry paste. The mixture will thicken. Add the chicken, and stir to coat. Add the prawns, tomatoes and potatoes and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the stock, and and loosen any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan, and taste for seasoning, adjusting as needed (salt, pepper, curry powder, cayenne pepper). Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. If the curry gets too thick, add a bit of water. Now is a good time to remove the cinnamon stick and curry leaf.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the loaf of bread in half, crosswise, and scoop out the middle of the bread to create a large bowl (keep the interior bread). Then fill each bowl with the curry, making sure to add plenty of the sauce. Top with the pulled out dough, and then wrap each “bowl” in parchment. Bake for about 10 minutes to warm and slightly toast the bread.
Serve with sides of freshly chopped cilantro, chutney and sambal, and eat using the bread to scoop up the curry.
* Ideally you’ll have either Durban curry powder or an equally delicious red curry paste. If not, you can use garam masala, but add either cayenne or red chile powder for flavor and heat.
Makes 2 very filling bunnies.